My daughter, who is 13 and trying to push to 20 on the fast lane, is in constant disappointment with me. She takes after my mom, a fashion diva and a woman high on the ladder in business. My mom could find the best of the deals and make 20 outfits out of 7 articles of clothing. My daughter is of the attitude clothing and makeup equate self worth, or so that is how I see it.
I am far different. I am the one that finds clean skin the best makeup and clothing is for covering the body and perhaps giving a sense of one’s personality. Hair? …uh, put it in a ponytail, slap a hat on it (in my youth) or now bob it myself and tie a hijab around the nape of my neck…. I do not cover my neck, too restrictive and makes people weary of you.
I am a naturalist: simple clothing… cotton tops preferred and jeans…. barefoot when I can get away with it (Kentucky actually has a law that you cannot drive barefoot…go figure). Makeup is a rare event, so much so, I think my friends are taken aback when they see me with it. They say it looks good on me, but maybe they are just being nice. I do like khol on bright sunny days; the Egyptians from the days of the Pharoah wore it to protect their eyes and it does a beautiful job. Chapstick is my lipstick… for the drying effects of the sun.
I have double pierced ears but rarely wear earrings any more. I had a beautiful pair from a friend in Algeria, but one got broken, so I do not wear any. I have not found any that really speak to me. I wear one knotted twine bracelet that my daughter gave me, has rhinestones… she thought I needed bling. The other “bracelet” I wear are actually prayer beads from a dear friend. It was an exchange of gifts. My necklace is something I made… a strip of red leather with a small vial of mustard seed hanging from it. I made one for the aforementioned friend. The only gold on me, as I am not a gold girl, is a handmade ring with a six directional design on it. It was a gift from Africa, a place I often dream about.
Women are often personified by the image they can present. We are inundated with self questioning that is drilled in our minds from the media and society… are we sexy enough? are we beautiful enough? are we thin enough?…. are we enough? We are enough, worthy of respect, love and care. We are more than our outward appearances, which should only be hints of what lies within. When we get caught up in presenting this sexy, beautifully thin image, we attract shallow people. If you want to be surrounded with deep thinking, intellectually stimulating people, you must keep some things hidden…. including your beauty.
This is not an Islamic rant…. I am not saying you have to cover a certain way, because I do not. It is simply saying that we women give it all away too much and far too easily. We show all that God has given us, our beauty in it’s highest form, our hearts on our sleeves, and sadly sometimes our innate nature is traded for a man’s attention. We lose. We lose ourselves, our dignity and our trust that their are good men out there, because we attracted the wrong ones.
I am not a fashion diva, I prefer to live naturally, simply and purely… or so my intention. I love my daughter as she is, I will never try to stifle her desire to be a fashion diva; albeit I will try to slow it down to an age appropriate level. I only pray that she will in fact understand that her true beauty and true worth comes from her compassionate heart and intelligent mind. Those are more powerful and more beautiful than what is presented on the outside; even though she is an absolutely gorgeous girl naturally.