The Hijab and other forms of Islamic veiling are important social, cultural, and religious symbols that are central to the identity of millions of Muslim women across the world. However, despite the large body of literature that exists on the political and socio-cultural aspects of Islamic veiling, little is known about how the appearance of women wearing the hijab is perceived by other Muslim women within their native Muslim country. To throw light on this important issue, the current study focussed on the effects of the hijab on female facial attractiveness perceived by practising Muslim Emirati women living in their native Muslim country (the United Arab Emirates) who themselves wore the hijab as everyday attire. Participants were shown frontal-head images of women in three different conditions: covered (heads fully covered by the hijab except for the face), partially covered (heads fully covered by the hijab except for the face and the hair around the forehead) and uncovered (heads with no covering). The findings showed that faces in images where heads were covered and partially covered by the hijab were rated as equally attractive but both were rated as significantly less attractive than faces in images where heads were uncovered. These findings suggest that, even for practising Muslim Emirati females living in their native Muslim country for whom wearing the hijab is a normal aspect of everyday life, perception of facial attractiveness is compromised by wearing this garment. We argue that this effect of wearing the hijab is not consistent with a preference for one’s own cultural group (cultural endogamy) and may, instead, occur because wearing a hijab occludes external features, such as hair and ears, which normally contribute to the perception of human facial attractiveness. In sum, while wearing the hijab may be dominated by male attitudes towards suppressing female attractiveness towards males, the findings from this study suggest that female Muslims too perceive the negative influence of wearing the hijab on female facial attractiveness.
Hijab is not a piece of cloth on your head. It’s a way of life.
Just because some of the sisters have their head covered, they think that the requirement of Hijaab is fulfilled. They don’t realize that wearing a Hijaab requires much more than just covering your head.
Actually, if you think about it, Hijaab is the way you talk…..the way you walk….the very way you carry yourself. In fact, Hijaab is an attitude in itself. Its a whole way of life.
“And say to the believing women to lower their gazes, and to guard their private parts, and not to display their beauty (zeenah) except what is apparent of it, and to extend their headcoverings (khimars) to cover their bosoms (jaybs), and not to display their beauty except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their womenfolk, or what their right hands rule (slaves), or the followers from the men who do not feel sexual desire, or the small children to whom the nakedness of women is not apparent, and not to strike their feet (on the ground) so as to make known what they hide of their adornments. And turn in repentance to Allah together, O you believers, in order that you are successful.” (Surat-un-Nur: 31).