Saturday 17 November 2018

Thoughts on Hijabi Blogger Shaming

Hello Lovelies 😊

Without realising it, my year officially ends in two weeks, that means I have decided to take a break from work and the blog at the end of November for a well deserved break. I'll still be around occasionally on social media, but I am seriously in desperate need of some leave! Something I don't have the luxury of, unless I am out of town. This realisation dawned on me this week and put me in a flat spin, I have so much to wrap up before then! 

I have changed my topic of today's post based on a conversation in one of my watsapp groups which got me pondering. The topic was the removal of hijab by some huge hijabi bloggers. I have followed the journey of a few public figures who have decided to take this step,  a hugely controversial one clearly. And I am not going to go into the merits of the various cases, or the why; but it brought to the fore the issue around cyberbullying. I have written about this two years ago (read post here).
Whilst we only see the publicly shared information around this topic, the respective individuals would clearly be dealing with their own struggles, or just perception and outlook on life.

This brings me to my topic for today. I understand that the removal of the hijab is a highly charged topic, which will be fuelled by emotion, religion and personal opinion. However the first thing to consider is that these public figures are people first. They are human. And therefore experience struggles and trials like everyone else. The fact that they are public figures means that they cannot step out of the public eye to deal with issues, nor should they have to do that. The reality of being an inspiration or role model to others goes both ways, being an inspiration encouraging women to embrace their hijab stylishly especially the youth, is one. The other side of the coin is being an inspiration to those who struggle with it, I am not foretelling that they may return to hijab, but I believe that they will. And in this journey, women around the globe who struggle with this issue will find some kind of comfort in knowing that they are not alone. That a public figure may be grappling with the same stuff - who knows, it could touch them in a way which encourages a journey to hijab.

I see all the negative comments aimed that these young women, the hate that's directed at them and cannot help but feel empathy for someone having to navigate that landmine of negative energy. Noted, it would have been expected. I am also very aware that making the decision to do something so controversial, with the world watching, takes a lot of courage, and hard work to be completely clear with the inner self. It requires knowing yourself intimately, trusting yourself and your inner voice; which is something very few master in today's society. Whatever decision they make is based on their own life journey, and that's exactly what blogging is about; being able to express yourself in your own space. It feels empty when content is aimed at what's popular or acceptable at the expense of authenticity. I would much rather read about a real journey; and whether they share their struggles or not, is also their prerogative. It has been said that they are influencing young women to follow their lead and abandon the hijab, which I believe is highly unlikely. Any person wearing the hijab would not (or should not) do it because of anyone else, as this is a highly personal decision.  

These young women are no different to celebrities who go through their struggles publicly. And relating it back to someone like Demi Lovato, who has publicly struggled with alcohol and drug abuse as well as bulimia and an eating disorder. All the negative comments, and cyberbullying rants were peppered with encouragement. Her story has been publicised to inspire and encourage those going through the same struggles, it has not been publicised to encourage substance abuse. I am not saying removing the hijab is a struggle as I do not purport to know the motivation despite what is being shared, but in exposing negatives one can move to a place of healing and improving on the self. I choose to look at life in this way, I cannot stand in judgement of any of these individuals as I live with my own faults. I know and experience my own struggles, and not all of them are blogged- but they filter through many decisions and in the way I navigate the world.

With this post I would like to urge you to look at these young women, consider how you would react if she were your daughter, sister or friend... Would you find some understanding and empathy in your heart instead of rushing into immediate judgement?
This was a quote I shared in a post earlier this year on the trials of raising teens (read that post here), and I believe is appropriate to share now:

"In my world there are no bad kids,
just impressionable, conflicted young people
wrestling with emotions & impulses,
trying to communicate
their feelings & needs,
the only way they know how." -
Janet Lansbury

Todays look features a vintage nautical blazer, sequinned t-shirt and jeans- a definite holiday mode look.

Outfit details:

Vintage blazer
ZARA t-shirt (old)
WW jeans
Superga sneakers
Accessorize floral scarf
Earrings old
Chimpel leather bag
Zulululu sunglasses

Ciao for now,
RuBe xoxo

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