My Friends Say...

>> Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I'm a simple girl. I hardly ever put make up on and I'm a little chubby. The truth is, it's really hard for me to feel beautiful. I only feel it when I wear jilbab and think about how Allah is pleased with my clothing and how I look like the beautiful Muslim girls I admire. The thing though is that when my friends and I have girl parties, I sometimes try and dress up a bit. My friends say that I look pretty then and that I should wear those kinds of tight sparkley clothes more and make-up. They say that I should dress up like that wherever I go. It doesn't make me feel good. At all.I don't even see what they're talking about. I still don't feel beautiful and would rather wear a simple skirt and shirt to the parties. I just need to talk to someone. :(

Asalamu aliakaum wa rahmatullah wa barkatoo!

Sis, I'm really sorry that you find it hard to feel beautiful.  You are beautiful. You were created by Allah!! Of course, you're beautiful. 

Have you ever seen pictures of movie actresses without their make-up? Or the Dove Video on beauty? It shows how all those famous people look just like you and me.....It's just they have a little direction and help with how to bring out the best of their faces/bodies. 

But hunny, I want you to realize something. Much more important than your body, though is your soul. You have a beautiful soul...

I REALLY want you to read these two articles we wrote before about beauty: 

Whether you have make up on or don't or have a nice dress or not, this is about your self-esteem and how you view yourself. Girl, you have to respect yourself. You have to keep reminding yourself that you are someone honored in Islam, worthy and precious...someone beautiful and with a LOT to offer. 

As for your friends....

Imagine that you were in a room, looking through some pictures. Every time you landed on a picture of a woman wearing a short pink skirt or a tight outfit, a voice automatically came on, saying "That's beautiful". Whenever you flipped to a picture of a long and loose dress, though, you would hear nothing, though. Just imagine.

Flip to a loose outfit: nothing.

Tight dress: "That's beautiful."

Imagine that happened every single time.

What do you think would happen?

Let's take a not so wild guess. Most likely, your mind would form some sort of association or link with "beautiful" and "short/ tight clothes". If this kept happening to you, you would find yourself soon automatically saying with the voice "That's beautiful" whenever you saw such a picture...

Unfortunately, that's what's happening with a lot of us (i.e. your friends). With movies, billboards, magazines, advertisements, and cosmetic products, etc. all advertising a certain"look" as beautiful, many of us today have been brainwashed into thinking beauty is a certain size, color, shape, style, etc. Even if we don't actually say it out loud, we actually do have some seriously distorted definitions of beauty floating around in our subconsciousness minds. A definition that is based on the terms the fashion and cosmetic industries tell us.

And that's the thing.

When your friends look at you and tell you to dress "in tight sparkely clothes" or with clothing that is "more in vogue" and to "put on make-up", they're not telling you that because they think that you are ugly. They're doing that because they have knowingly or unknowingly, bought into the media's idea of beauty. When they tell you to dress up in that way, they do so because they see "beauty potential" in you. They see "hidden beauty" and they want you to show it to others. They've basically bought into the message "If you've got it, flaunt it".

Of course, I'm not saying you should do that, though. I'm just saying that your friends don't think you're ugly and they genuinely do mean that you look beautiful. They're just influenced by the definition of beauty they have been told.

But yes, back to the part where we left off. The whole "you shouldn't flaunt it if you got it".

You're doing the right thing, sis, by dressing modestly:)

Islam is totally against the message of flaunting it.

Islam teaches us that we are very precious. You wouldn't throw a pearl on to the street, would you? You're far more precious than that pearl.

Islam doesn't denounce your beauty but says that your beauty is reserved for only certain individuals to see. Not every random stranger on the street deserves to see/ gawk at your beauty/figure.

Instead, you're just like a queen who allows only certain individuals to enter her royal court and meet her.

So yeah..whereas your friends say that "you should wear the same thing everywhere you go", the reality is, that isn't really true. I mean, let me ask you a question: would you wear the same thing you would attend a slumber party with to a meeting with the principal of your school?

The truth is, who you're with, the situation you're in, the rules of the place all dictate what we wear. Schools have uniforms....Workplaces have dress codes...even some restaurants have a dress code (such as, must be wearing shoes/shirt).

The one with the greatest rights upon us-Allah subhanoo wa' Tala- has the greatest rights to dictate what we should wear and in front of who.

Allah subhanoo wa' Tala is the one who clearly said that you are allowed to dress in a certain way with some people and not allowed to with others. Since Allah created you and me, He knows what's best for us.

And say to the faithful women to lower their gazes, and to guard their private parts, and not to display their beauty 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 (elderly men), 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 the faithful, in order that you are successful[Surah-An Nur, Ayah 31]

So what should you do?

1. Don't succumb to peer pressure. You're doing the right thing!

2. Tell your friends that you choose to dress differently depending on who is going to "be there"/whether it's mixed or not/ etc. because Allah told us to do that. Explain that you would appreciate their support in this and it's really something important to you....and that you feel really beautiful when you feel like your clothes are pleasing to Allah.

Here are some other points and tips to keep in mind from a similar post here:

One thing I am going to tell you about your friends telling you to put make up on is that although I used to be anti make-up, with time, I realized that make- up can be a tool (we're talking about all girl's parties). Make up experts actually study how to enhance certain features and make others stand out/ not stand out.  Basically how to let your beauty shine more. So just learning a tip or two can sometimes make all the difference. I know that my friends compliment me so much more when I have kohl on: the kohl enhances and brings out the shape of my eyes more. It doesn't mean that I am ugly without the kohl. It means that the kohl helps make the beauty stand out more...

Here's an article for you, too, about a girl who undergoes a complete transformation just by putting some make-up on :)

Again, though, it's just a tool.Whether you use it or not, you are STILL beautiful =) Just remember that.

I hope the other sisters can also add their own input, inshaAllah.

2 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

in the falling leaves September 25, 2012 at 11:06 AM  

The Little Auntie makes a wonderful post mashaAllah tabrakallah. I just wanted to add, for arguments sake that you are a sister reading this who well and truly fails to see themselves as beautiful in any light.Even though i refuse to believe this is the case lets say I agree . Lets say that you are not physically beautiful . Does it really matter. Our lives are short and beauty begins to fade as soon as it came . Wouldn't it be better to smooth out the edges of our soul rather than the lines under our eyes , wouldn't it be be better to see than eyelashes reaching infinity, wouldn't it be better to just be rather than searching to become . Our beauty regardless of how much or how little we may think we have shouldn't be linked to our self esteem. Sis this body is the a cardboard box and we don't want to spend our whole lives wrapping it up nicely only to find when we open it on judgment day it was empty all along. Please forgive me if I've said anything wrong or anything that has upset you , I just wanted to add my two cents

khadijah September 25, 2012 at 11:26 AM  

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu... I read this post and really had to jump in.

Dear sister, just by the way you speak from your question/concern with your body image, shows that you have such modesty and shyness which is absolutely the most beautiful thing. The more shyness you have the more beautiful it is, especially in the sight of Allah. I bet so much noor emits from your face that all the girls feel jealous and wish that the only way they can outshine you is if they told you to cover your natural glow with makeup.
Sis, I am a revert and I used to do some modelling part time before Islam. But prior to that I was very overweight and my family made fun of me leaving my self esteem very battered and scarred. My family said that if i gained more weight nobody would ever marry me, so it resulted in me suffering from a minor eating disorder. i was emotionally scarred and my self esteem was always low. I later lost the weight and I also was a fashion student and loved to party and dress out. I always put on makeup and dressed fancy every time I went out or did some fashion shows/ photo shoots. I want to tell you, the ugliest thing about looking beautiful is the makeup and the clothes, because by the end of the day the makeup comes off and the clothes is put in your closet just hanging there. I would look forward to taking off the makeup after my days end because i felt like I couldnt breathe with all that excess goo' on my face. Remember, makeup and fancy-tight clothes is something that is not natural. The most beautiful thing about a woman is her natural beauty, no matter WHO says that makeup is beautiful. It is made to enhance our beauty and remember, makeup is made to cover up flaws...and the more makeup you need to wear, the more flaws you have (inner and outer). The fact that you don't like makeup shows that you don't need to cover up anything and you prefer to be beautifully natural, just the way Allah created you masha'Allah.I wanted to give you my advice mainly because I've been well immersed in that fashion world and after awhile, the makeup gets old and so do the tight clothes. You will not go to the grave with these things and you should mention to your friends that you are here on this earth to please your Creator and not the creation. Wearing makeup and "sexy clothes" out in public, and imagine the angel of death came to take your soul that very day? Is it worth it?
As auntie said, you are Allah's creation and all His creations are beautiful no matter in who's eyes. In the sight of Allah, that is more than enough. :)
you are more than welcome to talk to me any time you want. I know how you feel because I've been through it before!!!
xoxo Khadijah (

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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