You’ve probably seen those “100 Years of…” videos before, where you get to see the evolution of hair trends for Black men or Korean women or some other group. Well, MuslimGirl.com decided to make one dedicated to exploring how women have donned hijab in various countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia throughout over the last century. Here, the site explains its motivation:
Today’s industry is quickly catching onto the modest fashion trend, but the hijab is much more than a fad. While more and more businesses are seeing it as a lucrative commodity, the headscarf is a religious garment just as much as a political one. For generations, it has been a powerful symbol of Muslim women’s defiance against the male gaze, colonialism, and Islamophobia as we know it today. It’s also become a politicized garment that represents Muslim women’s control and autonomy, and has been at the center of a tug-of-war between governments and the people for its reclamation. We made a video focusing on the hijab in the most controversial region in the world to reinsert the nuance of the hijab’s history, strength, and tension into today’s fad headlines.
But the video—which has been viewed more than 460,000 times since it was posted yesterday (May 23)—is not without its critics. Some commenters have asked why they choose not to highlight Sub-Saharan hijab styles, while others wondered why the creators employed a fair-skinned model. As one commented said, “Not every Muslim is Arab, and not every Arab is Muslim. Respect to all, but many of us Muslims that are from the Sub-Saharan regions of the African continent hardly ever get recognized in the faith, and we have some of the largest Muslim populations.”
The site says the video is the first in a series and tells visitors to “watch this space,” so perhaps it will address those concerns with future efforts.
Watch “100 Years of Hijab Fashion in 1 Minute” below.