We met with ELVI’s very own retoucher, Razina Patel, for a candid chat about what it’s really like to be a young Muslim woman in London today
Boris Johnson recently thought it was a good decision to compare Muslim women who wear burkas and headscarves to, “bank robbers” and, “letter boxes” in one of his columns for the Daily Telegraph. The Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP tastefully rounded up the piece with the profound words, “If you tell me that the burka is oppressive, then I am with you”. Johnson has been urged to apologise, causing a total frenzy amongst the conservative party. While we wait for some form of explanation or ill-hoped apology, we spoke to one of many millennial Musilm women helping to break the controversy amongst the choice of wearing a headscarf. Meet Razina Patel, the barrier-breaking ELVI retoucher and full time fashionista.
Let’s get started, things women who wear hijabs are sick of hearing:
“How comes that person’s wearing a hijab, but you’re not?”
It’s all about when you’re personally ready to wear it; I only actually knew I was ready because I went for pilgrimage just last year. I didn’t wear my scarf before that and it was only when I got back that I decided to. I just got the feeling, I thought, “Nope, I’m just done with showing my hair now”. And that’s ok!
“Are you going to wear your headscarf all the time now?”
In general, people treat you differently for wearing a headscarf and it’s actually super annoying. So, the first time you throw it on, it’s like a massive shock to everyone and they don’t know how to treat you. A favourite for me is, “Oh, are you going to wear that all the time now? I don’t like you with it, it’s too different I’m going to have to get used to it”. Well, you’d never say it to anyone else, for example, if someone’s slim and went on holiday, came back and they’d gained loads of weight… You wouldn’t be like, “Oh, I’m really going to have to get used to this now”.
“So, you wear a scarf, but you’re allowed to wear make up?”
I mean… Seriously? I really do understand and agree with the whole modesty thing, but it really is all down to each person’s personal choice. I like makeup and I like my scarf, too. I’m only showing my face, so it should look the way I want it to, which is glowing!
“You wear a scarf, but you’re not dressed appropriately”
10 things you might not know about women who wear hijabs:
We are not unapproachable, despite my resting bitch face!
People have this idea where they think all girls that wear scarves or hijabs are really closed and they think they’re really unapproachable. People assume we don’t talk or want to be spoken to – we might look reserved, but that doesn’t mean our personalities are.
It’s 2018, a lot has changed!
There are so many cool and interesting Muslim women who wear headscarves and burkas out there now. There are so many interesting bloggers, Youtubers, Instagram public figures, makeup artists. Things have changed so much!
We are still fun!
You can still do anything you want to do – it doesn’t restrict you at all within reason. I know that sometimes people look at girls with scarves on and immediately think, “Can I talk to that person?” “Can she partake in this?” It’s still a massive prejudice issue.
It really is a choice.
So, me personally, I’ve always been very back and forth with wearing the headscarf. I wore it up until I was about 15, decided to stop, just because I wanted to. Everything changed up until last year when I took part in Hajj, and now I’ve always worn it since. Hajj is an annual pilgrimage and spiritual journey, it’s an incredible, very peaceful event to take part in. It’s a real time to cleanse yourself and heal.
We are NOT under house arrest…
We go out, we have a social life, we’re not crazy and we certainly don’t go around killing people.
We have a sense of humour. Don’t be shy!
People will suddenly become incredibly wary around you, they’ll always second-guess whether they should or shouldn’t say a certain thing.
Razina Rocking ELVI Clothing
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t…
So, now I wear a scarf after taking it off because I didn’t feel comfortable not wearing one anymore – I will now get judged for that. Which is obviously so unfair. “Why did you wear a scarf for so long, and now you’ve taken it off?” “You should be wearing a scarf!” “What’s the point, you wore one for so long and now you’re not wearing one at all!” But, then again, I do understand as part of religion you should really be wearing one. It’s personal choice, once again!
We don’t sleep in our hijabs.
Why would you even ask that?
We do NOT shower in it either…
That would just be weird.
Xenophobic behaviour is getting old now, guys.
You get people that make ignorant comments like Boris Johnson has all the time, even in this day and age, it’s ridiculous… Especially people like Donald Trump – they honestly do not have a clue! You must seriously have such a closed mind if you genuinely think someone could be a bank robber if they wear a niqab. How can you just put it down to that? To me, it’s just another reason to be prejudice. People like Boris Johnson are just trying to make it harder for us to wear scarves, burkas and niqabs, I mean, first of all, it’s got nothing to even do with you! What could a woman in a niqab possibly be hiding in her face? People who say things like that are honestly just making excuses to be prejudice. Plus, why are we focusing solely on exteriors, not interiors? At the end of the day, we’re all human… And it’s 2018, just get over it.