Words by Kamilla Omarzay
“I feel very strongly about this topic of veiled women, women who choose to dress modestly and the likes. I am a Muslim woman, but I am not veiled, neither do I cover my hair. My late mother chose to wear abbaya, and Sheila and a lot of women in my family cover their hair or wear abbaya. In my family, it is totally a choice, it’s not forcefully – as is the case in many culture and countries.
When I saw Kim Kardashian showed up to Kanye’s latest album listening party veiled, it triggered something in me, given what is currently going on in Afghanistan, with women’s and girls’ rights being a major concern.
I agree, her intention probably was to dress in a wedding gown, but it wasn’t a regular veil we see brides wear, it resembled the sort of veil a lot of women wear in Afghanistan, known as chadari. The resemblance to Kim K’s veil and chadari is uncanny.
I saw that, it didn’t upset me, but it got me thinking – When Kim Kardashian wears it, its Haute Couture. When a Muslim woman wears it, it’s not so Haute. Its labelled as being oppressed! Not just for Afghan women, but also Saudi and other Middle Eastern Muslim women are labelled as “oppressed”, “forced”, and felt sorry for.
Why do we continue to live in a society where we eagerly wait for a celebrity to set a trend, and then everyone follows suit? These cultures of women dressing up modestly or veiled have been going on for decades in all religions – Islam, Christianity and so on. We don’t need the Kardashians to set examples of fashion trends.
One final thought – these things shouldn’t be taken lightly for trendsetting or emulated to look cool because some women really are oppressed and are forced to wear it.”