The Second Annual Covered in Light Day is on. It will be held on Friday, September 20, 2013. After last year I’ve come to the conclusion that the issue is much larger than if a woman’s hair is covered with a scarf. The issue is if a woman’s body is truly her own and if it is, does she have the right to display as much or as little as she sees fit.
Too often I’ve read that a woman should show the “good stuff” because her body is communal property. Too often I’ve read that a woman who refuses to be ogled is “oppressed”. Too often I’ve read how a modestly clothed woman is not a “real feminist”.
Enough is enough. A woman has the right to wear whatever she damn well pleases and no one has the right to say that her body belongs to society, that her choice in expressing herself is oppression, that if she wants to wear long skirts then she’s not a “real feminist”. Whatever happened to the idea that a woman has the right to make a choice, even if it is not the social norm?
This year we are focusing not just on women who choose to cover their hair, but we are now also focusing on women who choose to dress modestly.
Often times modest clothed women are subjected to public scrutiny. We are told that our long skirts and high neck-lined tops are signs of oppression. We are told that by covering our bodies while in public we can not be feminists because our bodies *belong* to society.
It is our goal that this year we bring greater awareness to the oppressive nature of these misinformed people. It’s time that a woman truly has a right to choose how she displays her body.
Just to make things very clear from the start (thanks to a few people last year who tried their damnedest to derail the message we were trying to get out to the public): This is a grassroots movement that is open to everyone. Any race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, religion, and creed is welcomed.
I was asked in the comments section of “Who We Are” if we are going to do another Covered in Light Day this year.
What are your thoughts and feelings about it?
It’s been a while since I’ve written on this blog. It’s been a while since I’ve written about my continuing veiling experiences in general and that’s because there hasn’t been any veiling experiences in a long time.
Late in 2012 I finally bit the bullet and dyed my hair using permanent colouring instead of the washes-out-in-a-month variety. This decision was huge because I’ve never used permanent colouring on my hair since the sight of roots is rather unsightly and I don’t get to the salon very often. By making this leap, I was sealing my fate to sitting in my hairstylist’s chair more than twice a year, not to mention staring a very expensive habit. On the plus side, my hair gets trimmed more often which equals less split ends.
A funny thing happened after the dye was applied: I no longer felt the need to wear a scarf on my head.
It’s so strong of a feeling that the few times that I’ve put a scarf on for old time’s sake, I immediately took it off again because I didn’t like the way I look in them anymore (which makes me sad because I miss wearing my scarves), and think every other woman who chooses to veil is breath-takingly beautiful in them.
A while back I shared this experience with a group of Sisters of whom I found thanks to veiling. One insightful Sister said that she’s heard of this happening to other women and dying one’s hair is, weird as it seems, a form of veiling.
I like that. It’s like I’m veiling in plain sight.
And so the new veiling adventure begins in which I find the perfect shade and learn how to do some fancy updo styles to keep my long hair looking neat, tidy, and awesome.
Selecting your head covering for the day can be as difficult as selecting the full ensemble, down to what style you wish to wear your head covering in. In selecting your head covering, the first concern is comfort. Many people choose hats because they are easy to wear and generally guarantee comfort, when worn properly. Scarves are also quite popular, though the present a greater challenge because it is possible to tie them too tightly. A good rule of thumb in how tightly you tie your scarves is if you can not slip a finger between the scarf and your scalp, then your scarf is probably tied too tightly.
Improperly tied scarves are not only a fashion accident waiting to happen. They are also a leading cause of headaches amongst people who wear them. If you can fit more then one finger between your scarf and your scalp, then your scarf is quite likely too loose (this varies according to the style of tying you use). Scarves can be worn loose provided there is an under scarf or some form of pin to help affix the scarf to your hair (i.e. bobby pins). A quick look at different methods of providing the necessary foundational ‘garment’ for successful scarf wear shows us three different options that are quite popular.
- Cotton bonnets
- Tube scarves
- Wig grips
With the cotton bonnets, if there is a need for additional security for the style, one can use both bobby pins to affix the bonnet to their hair and straight pins to affix the over scarf to the bonnet. Many popular hijab styles use straight pins to secure the over scarf. Tube scarves are less prone to slipping then cotton bonnets on fine hair. It is, however, often a challenge to make this style work comfortably for many western women. Western women, who are more likely to wear clothing styles that show off the neck and collarbones will find that tube scarves prevent this. In this case, cotton bonnets or wig grips are advisable. Wig grips are the less attractive sister of the cotton bonnets. Originally designed to help wigs stay on people’s heads, a wig grip can be highly effective in holding an over scarf still. It does, however, make it challenging to incorporate looks that would possibly show some of the chosen under scarf.
If one does not have access to any of the three items mentioned above, a cotton bandanna makes a good ersatz replacement. Again, one must be careful not to tie their bandanna too tightly. However, the cotton fabric does an excellent job of allowing the scalp to ‘breathe’, is very good at gripping other fabrics, and (in the case of bandannas) very budget friendly. Next post, we will look at how to select the correct scarf style for your face shape and style of scarf used.