Stereotypes, Muslim Women and Fashion


,By Simi A Mira

The stereotypes that are often associated to Muslim women and fashion are oppressed with no autonomy to express one’s self-identity. However, on the contrary the association is an inaccurate depiction of Muslim women and fashion. Today, there are Muslim women with a broad range of differences a part from each other, varying social statuses and careers: from the international singer Haifa Wehbe to the socialite, entrepreneur and former Shahs of Sunset cast member Lilly Ghalichi.

Muslim women who are not in the spotlight are changing notions of non-Muslims in a very elegant way, too. For instance, Melanie Elturk, a native of Detroit, Michigan, mixed ethnicity of Lebanese-Filipino and owner of Haute Hijab, created her company to fill a void in the clothing industry; the lack of modest options that caters to the faith of a Muslim girl.

“We wear hijab in order to be recognized as women of faith and not to be harassed or disrespected. Therefore, hijab is inherently not oppressive; it is those that choose to use hijab as a tool of oppression that have misunderstood the decree of hijab in Islam.” –Melanie Elturk

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