“Fifteen to eighteen percent of girls under twelve now wear mascara, eyeliner and lipstick regularly; eating disorders are up and self-esteem is down; and twenty-five percent of young American women would rather win America’s Next Top Model than the Nobel Peace Prize. Even bright, successful college women say they’d rather be hot than smart. A Miami mom just died from cosmetic surgery, leaving behind two teenagers. This keeps happening, and it breaks my heart. Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What’s missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments.”
When I read articles like this, I’m left with a bitter sweet after taste. On the one hand, it’s ironical in that it is a problem that predominantly plagues a society that mocks the modesty instilled by Islam, and on the other, it leaves me wondering how many of the women that wear hijab actually do so realising this blessing of it? I’m not discounting the women that are conscious about the benefits of hijab, but by far most of the women that do so either do so out of religious compliance, cultural practice, societal pressure, or blind faith.
I’m not discounting the inherent value to society in doing so regardless of the motives for wearing it, but the more conscientious we are in why we practice Islam the way we do, the more value we’ll realise, and the more we’ll be able to earn the respect, rather than the ridicule of those that don’t understand it. Practising Islam with purpose and conviction, rather than mimicry and blind faith is the greatest da’wah you could ever give.