Unapologetically Beautiful: The Confidence Behind the Veil

Unapologetically Beautiful: The Confidence Behind the Veil

“And say to the believing women they should lower their gaze and guard their private parts and do not expose their beauty,” Quran 24:31.

Reassurance is something we chase without realizing it: being noticed, handed a compliment, words of affirmation, appreciation – all of these do a lot for us.   

Looking into the mirror, we come up with at least five things wrong with our face.  We search through magazines and Google for exercises, diets, and even pills to change the way our body looks.  As women, we cannot help but smile, and allow it, when a man talks to us and pays us compliments, asks for our numbers, or wants to sit and talk to us because they find us attractive.  We find it conflicting because we look at these men and wish it was someone we were attracted to, the same religion, age appropriate, or just simply our type. We enjoy this attention but we seem to lose our voice in that moment because how can we stop something enjoyable?  Sometimes we go as far as allowing men to capture our smile or laughter and they haven’t earned our kindness or respect. Islam recognizes the everyday struggles that come with being a woman around the globe. The hijab is such an important piece in developing our self-esteem and self-confidence.  

Looking into the mirror, we come up with at least five things wrong with our face.  We search through magazines and Google for exercises, diets, and even pills to change the way our body looks…Islam recognizes the everyday struggles that come with being a woman around the globe. The hijab is such an important piece in developing our self-esteem and self-confidence.   tweet

There is a misconception about why we wear hijab.  Growing up we learn that hijab is a form of protection from sexual exploitation and unwanted advances.  Where this is one of the few reasons women wear hijab, we are brought up believing we need to dress modest because men have no self-control and wandering eyes.  This is completely false! This communicates to us that women are held responsible for the ill behaviors of men. In Surah Al Noor, chapter 24 Ayah 30, Allah addresses men first, “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their chastity/private parts. That is purer for them.  Allah is all aware of what they manufacture (plan).” They were advised before the women to control their gaze and then warned in multiple ways – it is purer for them and Allah knows what they do because their internal struggle is their sex drive, and weakness is women. If you cannot control what you see then you cannot control what you do.  In the next passage, Ayah 31, Allah addresses the women, and tells us not to expose our beauty that He has given us. The order of the passages is important to note because men are being held responsible for their own actions and behaviors and then women are addressed for their struggle separating the issue from men.

It is okay that we enjoy the compliments and attention, because that is what makes us human.  But when it turns into a need or when we go searching for it by dressing a certain way or presenting ourselves in a particular light, this is the point we need to ask ourselves, “Am I truly confident and comfortable in my own skin?  Do I love me?” tweet

It is okay that we enjoy the compliments and attention, because that is what makes us human.  But when it turns into a need, or when we go searching for it by dressing a certain way, or presenting ourselves in a particular light, this is the point we need to ask ourselves, “Am I truly confident and comfortable in my own skin?  Do I love me?”

Self-love is important and should be practiced. It is an important step in helping work through insecurities. Taking time out for yourself is easily something we forget to do. And it is not just sitting and reading or watching our favorite television show.  It goes deeper. Taking baths, working out, eating right are all things that are important to incorporate in our week to aid a clear, productive mind and assist in soothing or lessening anxiety – but let’s take it one step further: turn the mirror inward, and look at yourselves from within.  Getting to know yourself is key. This allows you to assert your needs to whomever enters your life. Asserting your needs allows you to be heard and seen, and this is the first step to grooming your confidence and self-esteem.

Asserting your needs allows you to be heard and seen and this is the first step to grooming your confidence and self-esteem. tweet

So how do we begin to love ourselves?  The first thing is introducing yourself to you.  You can do this by learning self-awareness. Self-awareness means you have conscious knowledge of your own character, feelings, motives and desires. In doing this, you can gain insight on the ‘whys’ behind your actions, feelings and thoughts.  To develop self-awareness, spending time with yourself, meditating/praying and journaling are key. Being self-aware helps alter your emotions and increases emotional intelligence. This can lead to understanding your need for reassurance and many other things about yourself.  Spending time alone at a coffee shop people watching, meditating, praying, journaling thoughts, feelings, fears and even what makes you excited all help with examining yourself from within. You find yourself processing your thoughts and seeing your mind from another angle, therefore practicing self-awareness.  Journaling specifically offers clarity for many people. Putting thoughts and feelings down on paper aids in looking at things from another perspective finding new possibilities to explaining a situation or solving a problem. Sometimes we don’t know what we are feeling or thinking so journaling will help articulate our thoughts.

So how do we begin to love ourselves?  The first thing is introducing yourself to you.  You can do this by learning self-awareness. Self-awareness means you have conscious knowledge of your own character, feelings, motives and desires. In doing this, you can gain insight on the ‘whys’ behind your actions, feelings and thoughts. tweet

Just say “NO!”  That’s right, that doesn’t just work on stranger danger, or saying no to drugs.  Many times when we make decisions, we end up making them because of how others will react.  We are too scared to do what we want and what makes us happy. Eating one more doughnut, wearing that outfit we think is so amazing but only we assume makes us look odd, or even that bold red lip.  We don’t do it fearing the judging eyes or thoughts from those around us. Self-talk is the trick. When you catch that thought crossing your mind, immediately stamp your foot, take a deep breath and tell yourself “No!” nice and loud.  This alerts the brain that something was thought about that shouldn’t have crossed your mind.

Straighten your back, let those shoulder blades kiss, hold your head up and picture putting those confidence panties on and moving forward with what YOU want to do. Those butterflies are normal when you walk out in front of people but those butterflies are trophies of success and boldness, so smile and own them because the secret is, there are a few people around you wishing they had the confidence you did to wear those bright fuchsia socks. Allah SWT said you are beautiful.

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Unapologetically Beautiful: The Confidence Behind the Veil
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