Monday, June 4, 2007

Hijab, Scarf, Veil- Famous Women, Who Wear/ Wore It

Some people argue against the veil, hijab, or scarf, on the basis of thinking it's totally related to Islam. Well, the wearing of the scarf, is also or has been highly fashionable. You can wear it in many different ways and as a girl growing up, I remember magazines full of photos with Marilyn and others wearing totally cool scarfs with huge sunglasses. But, I guess that was a different time. It was considered "continental style," - you know - European. Well, now the Euros have disavowed the veil, scarf, hijab, what have you and it's become a stigma to them. As a matter of fact, I'm working on a post called, "Are the French Hypocrites?" all regarding the veil. Hey, I'm loosing my hair - all I need to do is throw on a scarf and voila! - bad hair day, all gone! But that's not the issue. The veil has become something of a symbol - an object of fear and loathing; of submission; freedom of religion, and a also a fashion accessory. Oh, and I'm adding bandanas, 'cause I love 'em and I think they're relevant, besides the fact that not only I, but every member of the family wears them (thus the "Jay" photo.). If you can wear skin tight clothing with gobs of make-up and a hijab, then not wearing make-up and loose clothing with a bandana should be pretty much equivalent - don't you think?

Also, I did not add Nancy Pelosi to the photographs becasue I was afraid her big, bulging eyeballs would shatter my computer screen. Btw, Nancy's wearing of the veil when she met with Ahmadinejad was met with scorn and derision by the Republicans. Ooouuueee! Take a look below and see where they stand on this issue.

Okay, if you insist, you can see Nancy Pelosi and Condoleeza Rice wearing the hijab here: The Mahablog

So who the hell wears a scarf?

Spies do: Valerie Plame

Politicians do: Laura Bush

Nancy Reagan:

Hillary Clinton:

Jackie Kennedy

Royals do: Queen Elizabeth

Princess Diana

Princess Grace

Actresses do: Marilyn

Bjorq and Catherine Denueve

Elizabeth Taylor



Jay(?) - Okay, he thinks he's a "lady".


  1. Well I don't know where is this original post "Are the French hypocrites ?" but here are my two cents on the topic :)

    1. The law in France is directed towards ALL RELIGIOUS SYMBOLS IN SPECIFIC PLACES AND CIRCUMSTANCES. That's something many people, even in France, forgot, but when the law was issued, more than a hundred years ago, catholics screamed that is was directed to kill the catholic church and practice.

    2. So what are these circumstances ? Places or offices which are related to the state. You are not authorized, when you are a civil servant, to display anything that relates to religion, because you represent the state, and the state is secular. The state has no religion, and as long as you act in the name of the state, you have no religion neither.
    Is that racist ? No it deals with religion only. Religion has nothing to do with a race, has it ?
    Is that discrimination ? No, it applies to all religions. And also to non-religions, in that sense that you are not allowed neither to advertise against religion.
    It's not discrimination, also, because it does not require that you have no religion. It requires that you act in a certain way. When a Muslim chooses not to enter in a restaurant that serves alcohol, does he consider the restaurant is discriminating him ? No, he made a choices based on his religion. In the same way, he (she) can choose to apply or not for a civil servant position, knowing what it implies.

    3. Regarding school, the interdiction applies to children as well as to teachers. As well as it was forbidden to have political discussions inside the school. What belongs to private beliefs or opinions must not b advertised in schools, where children are young and can be impressed, by a teacher, but also by a friend they admire (or on the reverse... think a little bit about the bad impression a little girl can have when seeing a friend suddenly veiled, and what a drawback it can be).

    So here are the principles, and I firmly believe they are good. They are also applied in Turkey, for example :)

    What I also think is that it was not necessary to make a new law, and taht was stupid. Laws can be forgotten when they are "not necessary", and no catholic child would go to state school with a large cross... I think it was necessary to remind the principles of our secular state (which was one of the very first to offer freedom of religion to all) but htat could have been done without a new law.

    Now regarding whether the headscarf is or not a religious symbol... all the pictures your are posting here are NOT Muslim headscarfs, they show hair and you know that is prohibited for Muslim. So they are not the same :) and it's quite easy to identify a religious headdress. (and by the way Camilla was in a Muslim country when wearing it).

    The scarf, or headdress, was a civility, a custom shared by many religions and populations. But what it is now ? It is a religious symbol. Just when refusing to remove it because of religion is making it a religious symbol.

    When a young is asked to remove his cap, he accepts it, and removes it in school When a girl is asked to remove the veil, she refuses because of religion. It's her very own refusal taht makes it a religious symbol.

    Where is the hypocrisy ?
    France is a secular state. It prohibits display of religious symbols by its civil servants, and in schools. It has been strongly reminded to all people refusing to obey that (including the wearing of kippa, or of sikhs turban).
    It is not polite, it is contrary to our customs to have the head covered in front of one's teacher. Covering head in general is not accepted inside schools (that also even applys to the hoods of sport jackets). When someone refuses to apply this rule because of his religion, that's perfectly acceptable that he wants to stick to his religion, but then out of state school.

  2. Thank you for your comments. This is exactly the sort of debate I wanted to promote on my blog, even though I'm still working on the one you're responding to and I haven't posted it yet. I look forward to hearing from you again.

  3. this is a great post ,I love it and I like Jackie too ,I guess one of the pictures was in her visit to India
    about the previous pardon that I will comment her ,I think what is going in Palestine is just a nonsense ,with my all respect the Palestinians are having enough trouble now so some group comes and threats the Tv presenters who don't wear veil with death oh boy give me a break , if they are so powerful to reach for those ladies why don't they go after those corrupted bastards in their government

  4. zeinobia: I agree with you about the group threatening the female broadcasters. I think it just goes to show how petty their grievances really are or maybe where there priorities are. Also, I just bought some old cards with photos of women from the turn of the century, in Egypt, with veils and plenty of hair showing which I hope to either make photographic copies or scan in and post. But I love the ones of Marilyn and Princess Grace. They just remind me of when women wore a scarf, wrapped around the neck, that was fashionable, very becoming and had no stigma associated with it.