The rise of the Instagram hijabista has taken place quite quickly, and evolved dramatically, over the last ten years. It started with Muslim women on YouTube offering hijab tutorials for other Muslim women, and then evolved to an industry of Muslim women who fully embrace the influencer lifestyle.
Some of the most famous hijabista influencers have built entire businesses, modeling careers, sold books – and then – decided to take their hijab off entirely… and in the aftermath of that removal of hijab, there is both huge blowback and huge support from their followers and fans.
If you don’t fit this image of what a trendy hijabi girl looks like, you’re looked down on. Like, you are not cool enough. You are not hot enough. That by itself is so contradictory to hijab and the concept of modesty from an Islamic perspective. -Zainab bint Younus
Many of them will say that they’ve never aspired to be role models, and that no one should be copying them or taking cues from them, but then the irony is that it is exactly what they have done all this time – hence their status as an “influencer.” Then there is also the pushback and anger from the influencers themselves, towards those who disagree with or criticize their actions. Dina Tokio famously lashed out with the phrase “toxic cult of hijabis.”
When you spend twenty years of someone’s life telling them their entire religion is in their hijab, then don’t get angry at them for not understanding their religion holistically. Don’t get angry at them for not understanding what hijab is a part of. -Sana Saeed
Join Zainab bint Younus as she discusses this and other aspects of modesty, Muslim culture, and the social implications of the commoditization of modesty in the media with guest Sana Saeed, a host and senior producer with AJ+ and a commentator on Muslim-American affairs.
We have come to embrace parts of society that we used to rage against, like the beauty pageant thing. I was like wait, why am I supposed to be proud about this? Why should I be proud that a Muslim woman won a competition build to judge women on their physical beauty? – Sana Saeed
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Source: Muslim Matters