The Fall Of Modest Fashion Influencers

The year 2020 will be known as the year of many changes. We have grown through a pandemic and now we are going through a series of murders and instances where it has become painfully obvious that our black brothers and sisters need solidarity. But another shift in 2020 will be the fall of modest fashion influencers. And I am not sorry about that one bit.

I think many of you remember when I was blogging about modest skirts, cute hijabs, and Follow Friday’s. I felt it was an amazing way to get fashion inspiration and share a way to bring Muslims into lifestyle conversations. But shortly after Protection Edge in Gaza, I realized that my fluffy frothy blog posts just weren’t right. I didn’t want to blog anymore.

In the meantime, Muslim and modest fashion influencers were on the rise and heading to NYFW and nabbing amazing contracts with big companies to create products or hawk products. We even got our own museum exhibit (that I helped give feedback on called Contemporary Muslim Fashion at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco.) I was excited, but wary at how quickly companies wanted to make money off of modest fashion without really giving back to the community.

Then came the flock of Muslim fashion influencers who took off their hijabs. Starting with Hijablog and Winnie Detwa and ending with Dina Tokio and Ascia AKF, these influencers amassed large Muslim followings, profited off these followers, and then took off their hijabs. That is between them and God. But it seems telling that the very fashion influencers who posted daily selfies and photos of only themselves day after day decided to remove yet one more reminder of faith in their lives.

The very idea of being an influencer in terms of self-centric content is antithetical to Islam. Islam teaches us to be humble and to be a slave of God. Yet, being an influencer means you are cool and live a life that others covet and will follow. I don’t mean to say that all influencers are like this. But the influencers who share ONLY about their lifestyle, their bodies and their wealth are not only harming themselves, they are harming all of us.

This year, we saw this is painfully clear. While modest influencers should have stepped up and shown solidarity with our black brothers and sisters, we have seen them blissfully unaware and posting their pastel outfits of the day and complaining about being locked up at home instead of being able to travel on their luxury vacations to create content for us to consume. It all reeked of privilege and we are all guilty for following it.

Withloveleena’s Leena Snoubar took it a step further when she not only did NOT show solidarity and posted a tone deaf pregnancy outfit shortly after George Floyd’s death by Minneapolis police, she started to SILENCE black voices on her Instagram account (which I refuse to link back to) including black stylist HakeemahCMB who then had to share an Instagram Story replete with screenshots. What broke my heart is how she is expecting a child and yet couldn’t understand that a grown man crying for his mom in his last moments deserved some attention on her account.

Muslim modest influencers have taken the stance that if you don’t agree with them 100% then you are being “negative” and only ask for “good vibes only” from their followers. However they fail to realize that history was almost always made with dissent. Not censorship.

On top of Muslim influencers in fashion silencing black voices we have the final nail on the coffin. More tone deaf content that is created to monetize off of Muslims.

Amena Khan, who I have followed and blogged about for ten years has not only ignored the Black Lives Matters movement except for a small black tile on grid, she has drowned out black voices by shifting the conversation to HER. She made an announcement in the middle of a watershed moment of the Black Lives Matters movement to take off her hijab. Just to be clear: all of these ladies are free to do that. My only issue is how she announced it NOW. When we should only be talking about Black Lives Matters. It’s the antithesis of being an ally. Not only that, she announced it with a video aimed at monetizing views. Disgusting.

So I am here to say that YOU hold the power here. Unfollow people who are not helping you grow as a person. Don’t let them damage your self-esteem, your worth, and let you forget about the social issues that matter. They may have built their influence, but what’s an influencer without followers? Break the wheel. Even if it means you stop following me too.

Hijabi Style: Great Gatsby Inspired

Great Gatsby Hijabi Style

Flapper style meets hijabi style in this collage!

Salaams my lovelies! I hope you are all doing well inshallah. I have been dying to see the movie The Great Gatsby. It is a complex novel with no real heroes or heroines. Just extremely wealthy but human characters who make sometimes fatal mistakes. One of the things that drew me to the recent film adaptation was the dazzling array of fashion looks worn by the characters. It makes me want to go back in time just to wear some of the clothes!

That being said, then reality struck me. First off, there were no such thing as flapper style hijabis back then. The Prohibition brought out the worst in people, there was the impending Depression coming, and you need to have a stick skinny body in order to actually look good in flapper fashions. Good thing there are newer options for hijabis to embrace the fashion from The Great Gatsby without looking like you traveled back in time. As you can tell from my styled collage, curvy hijabis can work the flapper look with a fishtail gown and a nice shrug in a contrasting color.

I was inspired to create this look based on what Amena Khan from Pearl Daisy wore to a tea party a few weeks back. Here is her look:

PearlDaisyGreatGatsby

Amenakin blends the old with the new in a lace dress and silver accents.

As you can tell, I modified the dress for a curvier hijabi. I also took liberties to add a more flapperesque headband and an art deco lariat versus a traditional Hyderabadi satlada.

What is your favorite look at the moment?

Follow Friday: Amenakin

Vlogger Amena Khan aka Amenakin

Vlogger Amena Khan aka Amenakin

Salaams my lovely readers and jumah mubarak to you all! As you know, I try to do a regular post every Friday about a fabulous Instagrammer that I love to follow. This Friday, I wanted to give a special shout out to one of my favorite vloggers: Amenakin. For those of you who don’t know, Amena Khan is a YouTube vlogger who goes by the handle Amenakin. Her YouTube hijab tutorials have won over the hearts of many hijabis and helped spawn the online hijab store Pearl Daisy. She now does lifestyle vlogs about her life as a vlogger as well as makeup tutorials.

One of the reasons I love Amenakin so much is that she is just so sweet mashallah. She always seems upbeat, happy, and most of all, she tries to encourage and interact with all of her fans. I don’t think I have come across a vlogger who seems so down to earth and approachable. I only hope that I can meet her one day soon inshallah and get one of those famous Amenakin hugs! Also, her hijab tutorials have made me hate the pashmina hijab look on me a little less and has given me ideas on how to dress up a little nicer for special occasions.

Make sure to follow her @pearldaisyltd on Instagram. Also, for more pics of my own, follow me @hijabilife :).