Salam! My name is Yasmine and I currently live in California although I am originally from New Jersey. I went to Islamic school my entire life. Over there, my friends were all Muslim, Arab, and even wore the same white headscarf and navy blue abaya as me. Everything about us seemed to be the same from the outside because of our uniforms – the only thing that was different was our faces. We were together all the way until twelfth grade, and it was only after I graduated and went to college did I realize just how little I knew about myself. I had always fit in at Islamic school, to the point that I didn’t know who I was without people who looked like me. Here, in college, people were different. There were different nationalities, religions, viewpoints, and styles. I felt overwhelmed because I didn’t know how I would make friends. Since kindergarten, I have always been surrounded with people who were the same religion and similar backgrounds as myself.
I went to Islamic school my entire life. Over there, my friends were all Muslim, Arab, and even wore the same white headscarf and navy blue abaya as me.
Even though I went to an Islamic school, I didn’t officially become a hijabi until three years ago. My high school uniform which had the headscarf apart of it, didn’t feel like it belonged to me- it felt like something I had to wear. So even though I didn’t wear hijab when I was in college, I still never felt like I fit in with the other girls who didn’t cover. The early years of college were very dark for me because I felt like something was missing. I had problems with my major (I majored in Mathematics) as well as not being happy with the people around me. The people around me disconnected me from Islam. I see students around me smoke and drink and party. This was very confusing to me because I was never surrounded with that type of environment like that before.
Even though I went to an Islamic school, I didn’t officially become a hijabi until three years ago.
I then realized I wasn’t happy. I didn’t like who I was becoming and who I was surrounded with. I went on social media and somehow, I began to watch hijab tutorials. I realized slowly that being Muslim did not mean being uniform with every other covering woman. I watched Habiba Da Silva, a major inspiration for me to start my hijab. I loved how she’d pair beautiful outfits with her hijabs and it made me realize that I could make my hijab my own and personalize my style to how it suited me. Dina Tokio was another woman who rocked her style in a modest way, something I was not used to seeing. These women doing hijab tutorials and posting style inspiration looked so beautiful when they put their scarf over their shoulders, around their head, as a turban and so on. I realized that people were different and want to define themselves with what they’re wearing. With fashion, others can see WHO you are and where you belong which is beautiful. It was so interesting because it took me years and leaving the Islamic school environment to see the beauty of hijab, and it was after I spent a lot of time on social media with all these female influencers that I began to be inspired to start it myself.
When I began to start it, I remember there were crazy hijab styles going on which really drew me in. Some women would show how to wrap two hijabs into one. Some of my friends and my mother would also wear a lot of colored hijabs throughout my entire life, and once I started to love hijab, those crazy colors drew me in. On my cousins wedding day, she wore her hijab and I remember being so awed by her beauty and grace. She had her neck covered, long sleeves, and she looked absolutely breathtaking. Seeing so many women make their hijab beautiful inspired me to start my own hijab journey. Hijab has now become a huge part of who I am.
Some of my friends and my mother would also wear a lot of colored hijabs throughout my entire life, and once I started to love hijab, those crazy colors drew me in.
My mom, cousins, and influencers on social media helped me through a difficult time in my life. I didn’t know who I was at a certain point, and it was scary. People on social media always critique others and say that people’s hijabs are right or wrong, but no one ever looks at the positive side of things. I personally am happy to have been scrolling through Instagram and coming across those hijab tutorials. In my case, they ended up changing my entire life and helped me discover who I am today.