Editors note: This is a new feature brought to the culture section called Campus craze. Where we find people on campus with a unique aesthetic that ties together their personal style and culture.
Some Americans may view wearing a hijab as limiting. This Ferris student uses it to express her personal style and womanhood.
Belsem Aldiney, a pharmacy graduate student, proudly wears a hijab to break the stigma behind it. She began to wear a hijab early in her life because she was too excited to wait until her first period, as is tradition. Today, she incorporates her hijab into her everyday personal style. The meaning behind the hijab is important to Aldiney and she uses it as a way to look at and live her life.
“I wear the hijab because, in the Islam religion, you are supposed to be showing your beauty through your actions,” Aldiney said. “I like to think that people like me because of my personality and what I do, not just because of my looks, but I still fashionize the hijab and I think it’s pretty.”
Aldiney is proud to wear her hijab because she gets to follow God’s orders and respect herself and her beliefs. She likes that she gets to show her beauty in other ways and she “takes pride in people liking [her] without having to show [her] body,”
The rule for the hijab is that skin can be shown from the wrist and ankle down. Areas like your neck, hair, shoulders, arms and legs are supposed to be covered. However, it is up to the woman to decide how or if she wants to wear it. Wearing the hijab is “between you and God and no one else can judge you for it.” In Islam, it’s haram which means it’s against the religion to force somebody to wear it.
Aldiney likes to express herself through fashion because covering up can sometimes make her feel insecure. When she dresses herself up, she feels pretty and in control. She also likes to show other Muslim women that wearing a hijab can be cute and not oppressive.
Her outfit with the pink blazer is what a “night out” looks like for her. She uses accessories like purses and press-on nails to add to her outfits and sense of style. Press-on nails are a very “Islamic way to wear nails,” according to Aldiney.
“When you’re praying to God, you want to make sure you’re clean and presentable. So I will wear press-ons so that I’m able to wash my hands because you’re supposed to get water on your nails,” Aldiney said
The outfit with the yellow blazer is one of her favorites. Her uncles have a store in Iraq and over the summer styled and tailored the outfit for her to keep. Aldiney has aslo gotten many purses from her uncles store and she uses them in her everyday attire to spice up a look.
She gives credit to her uncles and her mother for inspiring her to dress how she does now. Her uncles were a part of her inspiration because they picked those outfits for
her. Her mother is the “biggest fashionista ever” and since she grew up around that, getting dressed up was and always has been the norm for Aldiney.
In college in Iraq, you are never supposed to wear sweatpants. Dressing up professionally and fancy is a part of the culture. When Aldiney was in undergraduate school, she didn’t follow that rule and her family didn’t understand it. When her uncles came to visit, they desperately wanted to give her a fashion makeover. Now that she is in graduate school, she takes part in dressing up because it is what she was brought up in.
Aldiney likes to shop at stores like Marshall’s, Burlington and Macy’s. She loves her personal style and believes that beauty shows whether you’re covered or not.