When I was about 10 years old, Limited Too (now Justice) was the coolest store I had ever visited–I loved it so much I wanted to buy the entire stock! I remember getting a catalog in the mail revealing Limited Too’s summer line and flippinhg through the pages to see adorable tween girls having fun under the sun.
When I asked my mom if I could buy something, she said “no.” I tried reasoning with her, but she reminded me that the clothes in the catalog “can’t really cover me up.” Fast forward about 10 years later and I come across this.
According to the Huffington Post, fashion blogger Hassanah El-Yacoubi brought up the lacking of representation in mainstream fashion. Many Muslim preteens and teens face the challenge of understanding their identity, especially considering the bullying that factors into it. In that age group, they are consumed with pop-culture. They tend to find a sense of self through movies, television, music and fashion. The lack of diversity in mainstream fashion creates what El-Yacoubi calls an “identity complex.” Since Justice is targeted for seven- to fourteen-year-olds with a wide range of sizes, this is changing the game.
El-Yacoubi called Justice’s feature of the young girl in the hijab a “leap forward.”
“I honestly teared up when I saw the ad because it’s a celebration of what it means to be different and shows that difference is what makes us beautiful,” she told Huffington Post.
“It will help the youth cultivate a confident and stronger sense of self at such a young age. By seeing themselves represented throughout mainstream markets, it will provide a feeling of belonging, something many of us wish we had growing up.”
My first thoughts when I saw that ad were, “If I could go back and tell 10-year-old me this, she would be so happy!” I was raised at a time with hardly any representation of Muslim women, something I didn’t think about because I was a kid. I thought I had to compromise my modesty and conform to cultural norms in the West in order to fit in. Now the game has changed! Muslim tween girls may no longer have to struggle with who they are and can instead be raised in a society where they are already known and accepted.
Do you think the youth will have a better sense of self through diversity in the mainstream fashion world? Let us know in the comments below!