#NotYourRespectableHijabi sees Muslim girls fight back against being told not to wear makeup

Published December 1st, 2015 - 02:31 GMT
While the hashtag did get a lot of support, others criticized the idea as being against Islam. (Twitter)
While the hashtag did get a lot of support, others criticized the idea as being against Islam. (Twitter)

The hashtag #NotYourRespectableHijabi has gone viral on Twitter after a Muslim girl decided to fight back against being told not wear make up with a hijab. The hashtag received a wave of support from fellow “hijabis”, who used it alongside photos of them proudly wearing makeup alongside their hijab.


But not everyone was has been so supportive. Critics—both men and women—claim that make-uped faces clash with Islamic ideas of modesty.


The woman behind the hashtag is 20-year-old Humaira Mayet, a student and writer living in London. We asked her what prompted the campaign.

“The hashtag [is] [a] tongue-in-cheek response to a tweet by a Muslim man saying that hijabis should not wear makeup,” she told The Loop in an email. “Muslims are expected to conform to an ever growing list of expectations before being deemed worthy of respect; this is the concept of respectability politics.”

“The aim of the hashtag [is] to celebrate those hijabis who exist beyond the expectations of respectability. Those who wear makeup, take selfies, are vocal about their politics.”

Mayet was overwhelmed by the response.

"I did not expect it to go viral," she said. “I'm glad so many visibly Muslim women are reclaiming the hijab back for themselves.”

Of course there were negative voices, too, of which Mayet thought fit into two categories.

"Misogynists who trolled the hashtag and Muslims with no understanding of respectability politics," she said. "Both of these groups merely prove that a discussion around Muslims and feminism is dearly needed. The fact that Muslim men can identify Islamophobic respectability politics in mainstream media but will police their sisters using the same rhetoric is saddening.”

See some more reactions to the hashtag, both positive and negative, below via Twitter.

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