Monday, November 24, 2014

Why I Have Thought About/Think About Covering My Hair

The only reason that I think about hair coverings is because I lived in a Muslim country for two years. I was exposed to this practice and it has become less foreign to me that other women who have never experienced it up close. Experiencing this closely for two years has challenged me to examine the act of covering or not covering your hair more than the average Westernized woman.

First and foremost I want to clarify that women covering their hair for religious reasons is not a symbol of repression in women. It rather is an expression of freedom. Women in certain cultures, namely Islamic and Jewish, find that their hair is a very powerful tool for attraction and that by showing it they are leaving themselves open to be objectified by men. 

Is this not truly the case?

How much time and money do women spend on their hair wanting it to look supple and voluminous as a tool to allure men?

So by covering their hair, some women believe they are granting themselves more freedom not to be judged by men for their looks alone. They force men to judge them on their character. This encompasses an entire lifestyle of dressing modestly as well. Many women in these religions believe that since they are only having sex with their husbands, that their hair is only for their husbands to see. 

I'll mention my own reasons for wanting to cover my hair. 

1. Like the women I mentioned, modesty. I don't want to be judged solely on my looks either. 
2. Doing your hair can take a lot of time and energy. It's amazing how much time and money some women spend on their hair all just have it lay just so. Hair is meant to keep you warm! Not to get you a mate!
3. There are many days I would rather not fuss with my hair. It would be nice to just throw on a scarf and go. 
4. Head scarfs can be awful cute!  
5. I love culture and covering my hair sometimes makes me feel like I am part of another culture. 
6. It makes me feel like I am someone else and that can be fun sometimes.

Covering your hair in the United States can be as uncomfortable for women as it is for Muslim women to have their hair exposed. It's because it's just out of the norm and people may be wondering why you are doing it. Most head covering is for religion symbolism or for covering up thinning or balding hair.

I do not want to cover my hair for religious reasons, I want to do it for the reasons I mentioned above. I need to stop worrying about what people might be thinking of me and just wear a scarf on my head when I want to.