Proper Coverage: Why The American Eagle Hijab Is So Important To Muslim Hijabis

Proper Coverage: Why The American Eagle Hijab Is So Important To Muslim Hijabis

They showed everyone, who we are and what we represent through our own people —​ not how we are seen as by others who are befuddled by the negative perceptions they've been fed for so long.

As a hijabi who owns more scarves than shirts and pants altogether, I would say I've got a knack for collecting scarves. My favorite hotspots include the sales rack at Kohl's in autumn, the spring accessories corner in Stein Mart and the occasional out-of-season lucky strike hanging by the handbags aisle at Target. Scarves are everywhere, and you'd think it'd be a hijabi's dream come true to find so many — except, I usually can't wear any of them.

Those scarves aren't made for Muslim girls like me in mind.

They're beautifully designed on short strips of sheer, patterned that also happens to be frustratingly slippery, so getting them to cover my hair takes a lot more manpower than a hijab cap and pins can offer. Besides those scarves, there aren't many options I can turn to for hijabs, except a couple plain fall-winter scarves made of viscose, cotton and certain polyester blends, which can get irritatingly hot mid-summer. So, I take what I can get, sigh and move on. My pipe dream dissipates in the face of the clear, harsh truth: Muslim girls and hijabs are just not seen as marketable, so most stores don't care to cater to us. We have to make do with whatever's left over from what the majority population prefers to wear. What I can buy, what I can wear and the very cloth I can express my individuality with — all of it is suppressed by an industry that couldn't care less about my existence.

Then this summer, something changed.

American Eagle (AE) debuted their first-ever hijab made specifically for Muslim women! No other prominent clothing retailers in the U.S. have ever marketed modest-style clothes for the 3.3 million Muslims living here, let alone thought to manufacture headscarves for Muslim women who cover. The fact that a major brand name store not only thought to cater to our demographic but to flaunt that openly in the day and age of Trumpatania is something I find absolutely awe-inspiring.

And better yet?

They hired a real Muslimah model to be the face of this new line, and honestly, they could not have picked a more talented, beautiful young lady than Halima Aden. Instead of falling in line with the media that twists the connotation of terrorist and Muslim to seem as though they're two sides of the same coin, AE stepped up and threw the spotlight on us, showing Muslims in a friendly, positive, normal setting rather than on the news in some foreign land an ocean away. Their creation of an original headscarf and collaboration with a hijabi to promote has set American Eagle apart from every other brand. AE did something unique that all other American brands have failed to do: they showed everyone, who we are and what we represent through our own people and through our own eyes — not how we are seen by others who are befuddled by the negative perceptions they've been fed for so long.

They didn't think, hmm, what can we do to make our company seem inclusive? Instead, they asked Muslim women: what can we do for you? What is it that you need that we can help provide? This speaks volumes about their values as a company and their view of us Muslims.

Seriously, hats off to you American Eagle. Hijabs stay on, but hats off to you.

If you haven't seen this ingenious denim style yet (who knew denim could be made malleable), check out the cloth below!

Many people on Twitter are celebrating AE's public recognition of Muslim women as ordinary, average Americans. This is only the beginning, but even this small show of inclusion that hijabis exist, matter and are here to stay is a heartening gesture. I applaud American Eagle for taking this step forwards in promoting and accepting the diverse America that exists today.

It's also a brilliantly played marketing move on American Eagle's part and so far, the ads and promo have been incredibly thoughtful. Famous brands like Nike are now taking a page from AE's book by designing the Nike Pro Hijab to debut in spring 2018. Brands with international strongholds like DKNY and Spain's Mango have also turned their sights on marketing to the growing generation of Muslim millennials around the world by releasing their fashion collections prior to the holy month of Ramadan.

As a Muslim millennial myself, I'm looking forward to the new fashion and clothing standards this will bring to U.S. retailers and the world. The generation after us may grow up in a world where you can purchase hijabs at your local Walmart, but we older generations will never forget the struggle of perusing foreign online retailers for deals and waiting for spring scarves season in the States to grab whatever's available. It was fun, and while it certainly hasn't come to an end at the drop of a hat, I'm already looking forward to the better days ahead.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.

It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semi-colon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.

2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."

3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.

4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."

5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."

6.Greek symbol of Inguz: where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."

8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya)

9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty and artistic creativity.

10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love and creativity or to put yourself in to whatever you do.

11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from the Hobbit. It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.

13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength & stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.

16. A glyphs means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."

18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe & the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can reminds us of the inconsistency of life. It is also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.

SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos

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Get The Most Out of Your Trip To The Thrift Store

Tips from a self-proclaimed thrifting expert.


If you know me, you know I love thrift stores. Sorting through racks of clothes, filling my basket up with dozens of different pieces, and walking away with a couple of different things is always so satisfying. Some people go for the vintage items, but I'm there to find the best over-sized t-shirt around and maybe yet another pair of shoes to add to the dozens I already own. Every time I go, there is a different selection of clothes for me too look at, so I end up going there all the time to see what's new! The bonus of thrifting? You can get a bunch of new styles without spending a bunch of money. To make the most out of your own trips to the thrift store, here are six rules you should follow.

Try on EVERYTHING that catches your eye


We've all had those moments where we see a shirt we like at the mall, but then decide it might not fit, or it's not in our usual comfort zone, or it's too expensive, so we skip right over it. Not the case at thrift stores. If you like it and you think it might fit, try it out. I've gone into thrift stores and tried on fifteen or twenty things, some of which are just t-shirts but others that are interesting tops that I normally would never pick up. Sometimes those different clothes end up being my favorite, and since the prices are low it's the perfect way to test out a different style without dropping a lot of money on a shirt you might not wear more than once.

Bring a friend


If you're going to a big store like Savers, there can be an overwhelming amount of racks to go through. With a friend, you can look for each other and end up with outfits you like that you might've not seen by yourself. Last time I went, my friends found a ton of UMD gear for me to try on! Going with a friend means double the finds.

Scope out different locations


College gear is all over the place at thrift stores. Have you seen the price of a sweatshirt at your college bookstore? Check for something similar at the thrift store before you snag that $50 crewneck. If you're going to an instate school, there is a solid chance your local thrift stores will have gear for your school so you can show your spirit without breaking the bank. Some of my favorite college t-shirts are from thrift stores and they were under $5 each. For out of state schools, hit up the thrift stores in the towns close to it.

Read the label

Where else are you going to get an authentic Longchamp purse and a Southern Marsh fuzzy pullover for $3 each? Expensive brand names at ridiculously low prices are one of the hidden gems of thrift stores. They are rare finds but totally make going to the store with it. Make sure to check the shoes, too!

Look for deals

Many of the major chain thrift stores offer 50% off at the end of the month for one day only, if you're a rewards member. The rewards programs are usually free and sometimes include early access to sales or bonus coupons after shopping a certain number of times or spending enough money.

Give back


Got clothing in great condition that doesn't fit anymore or isn't your style? Donate it and make room for your new clothes while doing something good at the same time! If you aren't bringing it to the thrift store, look into non-profits or organizations around you that will take what you don't wear anymore. Many places will take books, shoes, and furniture, so bring those on your next trip, too. Donating is a win for people and the planet!

Whether you hit up the thrift store all the time or you're just starting out, thrifting is the way to go if you want to revamp your wardrobe without spending a ton of money!

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