Debunking the 5 Most Common Stereotypes about Women in Hijab

Wafa Yahya pinpoints five misunderstandings about hijabis.

Wafa Yahya

Dubai-based beauty and fashion icon Wafa Yahya, the brain behind the beauty and style blog “Wafa’s Diary,” sheds some light on the most common misconceptions women who wear hijabs face in their lives.

1) Women in hijab are hushed and extremely traditional: Yahya thinks it’s amusing some people think of covered women “as dry as a bone and as quiet as a church mouse.” She says they are fun-loving and enjoy doing what other girls who don't wear hijabs do, including sing, participate in sports and appreciate culture. “We surely enjoy life as much as everyone else,” she says.

 2) Veiled women are forced into it - Everyday Yahya makes choices like choosing what to wear and watching and reading her favourite picks. The bottom line is she has freedom to choose. “Wearing hijab is a matter of faith and personal choice,” she says. She believes this to be true with most Muslim women, who are generally independent-minded individuals.

3) Women in hijab are timid - You can blame it on some of the movies that depict Muslim women in some degrading roles such as members of a harem, oppressed wives, or faceless victims waiting to be rescued by a male hero.

4) Veiled women are not stylish – According to Yehya, being fashionable is not about wearing revealing clothes. “I perceive fashion as a reflection of inner beauty, and the secret of beauty lies in simplicity and modesty,” she says.

5) Women in hijab are all the same - Muslims are a diverse group of people, coming from many different cultures, with differing opinions about various issues and matters and different languages and styles, Yahya emphasises: “We all have individuality and we are all born unique with distinctive talents, abilities and gifts just like everyone else,” she says.

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