Taken from The Customized Hijab (linked below).
So I was walking to the Broad Street Line in the 15th street free interchange from the Market Frankfort Line (Septa) yesterday and I came across a sight that definitely confused me. I noticed a black female, approximately between 17-20 wearing a long black Hijab and hot pants.... Now, I never thought these two article of clothing would come into the same sphere. The Hijab is a statement of religious and social values that include conservative dress for females: "In one tradition, the Prophet Muhammad is quoted as saying: '...If the woman reaches the age of puberty, no part of her body should be seen but this --- and he pointed to his face and hands'". (Linked from: Hijab in the Workplace) This conversation encompasses a much grander social, religious, and moral sphere than the small issue I am touching on today, but when I envision a female in a Hijab, I see a statement of either a religious consciousness or a social choice of conservative dress and living. I do not equate it to a showcase of skin or a way to allure interested parties to you, as I would hot pants. Women wear hot pants generally to make a statement, to appeal to the opposite/same sex, and to garner attention (usually of the sexual type). It is a clearly revealing item of clothing and in a world society where the Hijab is majorly connected with a religion that promotes female and male conservative actions and dress, I would think the paring of the two an oxymoron.
But maybe this is a new trend in Islamic religious culture? Is this an example of Muslim women seeking a freer mode of dress? Or this particular female's way of rebelling against her Muslim religion and culture? However, there is also the idea that she was not in fact Muslim, though her Hijab points otherwise from my general experience. But even if she was not Muslim the pairing of the two garments still points to a dramatic cross of style and dress.
I happened upon this piece that illuminates more of what I have touched on: The Customized Hijab.
I suppose the larger question is what has the Hijab evolved into, religiously, socially, culturally, and in the fashion industry? Is it now becoming only a garment meant to showcase a religious connection/belief, no longer a religious lifestyle? And how does one equate a garment equated with such conservatism with the continually more risque/revealing fashion trends of today? Does it even need to be? I have seen Muslim young adults in Philadelphia wearing tight jeans and shirts, which begs the question of whether there is some sort of regional acceptance of a much less conservative dress? As I am not Muslim myself, I cannot judge what is conservatively fitting in Muslim culture, only say my take from what I have read and learned from Muslim friends.
So what's your take? What does the Hijab mean to you in this quickly evolving world?