Author Topic: Scarves on head - non-religious  (Read 6457 times)

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jaxsue

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Re: Scarves on head - non-religious
« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2013, 08:36:31 AM »
Having lived in a strong Muslim area, head scarves that denote religion are obvious. They aren't worn as a fashion statement. Sure, some look nice and have fashionable patterns, but again there are specific ways they are to be worn depending on which form of Islam one follows as well as family/clan/sect/tribal connections. I think of some of my black friends who where scarves wrapped and tied on their heads. It's again obvious that it's cultural, not religious. I also know many college students (I work in a University setting) who wear scarves as a form of a statement rather than fashion. Again, it's obvious. Wear it however you like - whether religious, cultural, a statement, or because it pleases you. What others think doesn't matter unless it specifically goes against your work dress code.

ITA. I used to live in an area with a very large Orthodox Jewish population, and now I live in an area with a sizable Muslim population, and you won't be appearing to be part of those groups just by wearing a scarf.

SingActDance

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Re: Scarves on head - non-religious
« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2013, 11:11:10 PM »
I'm glad to see the support here. To be quite honest, I first read the OP and thought "Wow, she is WAY overthinking this."

But then I was taken back to a time when I read a blog about Native American symbols and crafts being misappropriated for "fashion". The blogger was very angry about it, and I suddenly started questioning if I could wear my moccasins or beaded bracelets.
Most people look at musical theatre and think "Why are those people singing and dancing in the street?" I'm sort of the opposite. I see a street full of people and think, "Why aren't they?"

nuit93

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Re: Scarves on head - non-religious
« Reply #32 on: March 14, 2013, 11:25:05 PM »
I'm glad to see the support here. To be quite honest, I first read the OP and thought "Wow, she is WAY overthinking this."

But then I was taken back to a time when I read a blog about Native American symbols and crafts being misappropriated for "fashion". The blogger was very angry about it, and I suddenly started questioning if I could wear my moccasins or beaded bracelets.

I love the clothing on Shukr and EastEssence, but I also worry about misappropriation.  It's a tricky thing sometimes!

scotcat60

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Re: Scarves on head - non-religious
« Reply #33 on: March 15, 2013, 04:13:17 AM »
But then I was taken back to a time when I read a blog about Native American symbols and crafts being misappropriated for "fashion". The blogger was very angry about it, and I suddenly started questioning if I could wear my moccasins or beaded bracelets.

I read a letter in a magazine from an African lady who said that she had seen beads on sale as a fashion accessory, and where she came from, they were used as n aid for playing scrabble, and not the word game either.....

Hillia

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Re: Scarves on head - non-religious
« Reply #34 on: March 15, 2013, 08:21:36 AM »
My personal beef is rosaries worn as necklaces.  They have a particular use/meaning, and to me it is disrespectful to use them as jewelry - kind of like people who wear second hand uniforms complete with insignia as fashion.  That's just me; I would certainly never say anything to someone wearing these items.

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RebeccainGA

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Re: Scarves on head - non-religious
« Reply #35 on: March 15, 2013, 08:54:53 AM »
My overthinking came from my mother - who is a pretty serious whackaloon at times. She told me that if I wore any scarf thing on my head, right after 9/11, that someone would think I was *one of them*. I tried to get her to define why that was a bad thing, and never did get an answer.... but then I started overthinking it.

And yes, I have the same issue with my salwar kameeze and such - if I could, I'd wear them, and ao dai, and lots of other country-specific garb (even have a couple of sarees I'd love to wear!) - but pale white girl + clothes that designate another race = ?? I'd hate to offend. I do wear the salwar kameeze occasionally - they don't fit as well as they used to - and once I'm back down a few sizes, will definitely be wearing them again. I get too many compliments not to!

MerryCat

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Re: Scarves on head - non-religious
« Reply #36 on: March 15, 2013, 12:04:46 PM »
RebeccainGA, I think you'd be okay with the salwar kameeze. As someone of Indian origin, I wouldn't find it offensive. Afterall, I wear pants, skirts and other "western" clothes almost exclusively.

The problem is that some items of clothing/jewelery have a specific meaning attached to them. Crucifixes, yarmulkes, native headresses, etc all  special significance and symbolism attached to them. An outsider wearing them as just an accessory, or to be ironic, is well, pretty insulting.

I think that adopting another culture's style is okay if one takes a bit of time to research first. If the item is just an everyday article of clothing you're probably okay to wear it. It it has special significance religious or cultural significance, you might want to reconsider.

Head scarves, unlike the examples above, are not strongly identified with any one culture. Lots of cultures have worn head scarves for a variety of reasons from the religious to the mundane, so I think OP should be fine to wear them.

gellchom

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Re: Scarves on head - non-religious
« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2013, 06:55:47 PM »
I think this is an interesting discussion.  You are very sensitive to wonder if it is toward the "rosary as necklace" end of the continuum, and I agree, it's not -- you are fine to wear your scarf.

I too have a sari and a salwar kameez that I would love to wear, but it does sort of feel like being a wannabe.  I've worn the salwar kameez a couple of times, though.  But I wouldn't add a bindi.

I had a similar experience to Sophia's last summer in Berlin.  I was walking through a park and it started to rain lightly.  I was wearing a very big scarf, so I just put it over my head and threw the ends over my shoulders.  After a while, I noticed people were looking at me a bit -- not unkindly, but just noticing me -- I wasn't "invisible" as I had been before I put the scarf over my head.  When I finally saw my reflection, I saw I had worn like a Muslim woman. 

That was a very good learning experience for me -- walking a mile in someone else's shoes (well, scarf).

weeblewobble

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Re: Scarves on head - non-religious
« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2013, 05:02:37 PM »
Personally, when I see someone in a headscarf, I tend to think that person may be ill or going through chemotherapy way before my brain lands on religious speculation.  I certainly wouldn't judge them one way or the other.  Wear what makes you comfortable.

jaxsue

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Re: Scarves on head - non-religious
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2013, 12:28:33 PM »
Growing up, it was common to see women wearing scarves, but it was the fashion and not connected in any way to ethnicity/religion. Women my age (40s-50s) don't seem to wear scarves much anymore. I don't assume a woman wears a scarf for religious reasons unless she is wearing it "that way." But even then it doesn't make me pause. I live in a very diverse community now and it isn't even a blip on my radar.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Scarves on head - non-religious
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2013, 02:52:12 PM »
I wish I could wear my pretty scarves over my hair, but I end up looking like my babushka no matter how I wear it.  I stick to hats and wear my scarves as belts on occasion.

OP, let your fashionista loose!

jaxsue

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Re: Scarves on head - non-religious
« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2013, 05:39:58 PM »
I wish I could wear my pretty scarves over my hair, but I end up looking like my babushka no matter how I wear it.  I stick to hats and wear my scarves as belts on occasion.

OP, let your fashionista loose!

I can relate. I've been given some absolutely beautiful scarves (from Pakistan, India). I have no idea how to wear them.  :-\

MerryCat

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Re: Scarves on head - non-religious
« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2013, 07:03:03 PM »
I wish I could wear my pretty scarves over my hair, but I end up looking like my babushka no matter how I wear it.  I stick to hats and wear my scarves as belts on occasion.

OP, let your fashionista loose!

I can relate. I've been given some absolutely beautiful scarves (from Pakistan, India). I have no idea how to wear them.  :-\

I had this problem too, so in the end I gave away all my scarves. But recently I found this link from the Long Hair Community with step-by-step instructions to several different headscarf styles. This thread is making me want to go out and buy some more scarves to experiment with now.

Sharnita

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Re: Scarves on head - non-religious
« Reply #43 on: March 18, 2013, 10:46:08 PM »
My personal beef is rosaries worn as necklaces.  They have a particular use/meaning, and to me it is disrespectful to use them as jewelry - kind of like people who wear second hand uniforms complete with insignia as fashion.  That's just me; I would certainly never say anything to someone wearing these items.

Yeah, I used to try to plain to students why doing so might bother people they encounteres but it is so common that I just gave up.