Fashion, Lookbook

I used my religion as an excuse to hide my body – until now

Yes, I still dress modestly. No, it's not strictly due to Islam.

I’m tired of people thinking I dress the way I do because I have to. 

Yes, modesty is a key part of Islam, but I like to dress modestly for so many reasons. I’ve never felt confident in my own skin, and after so many years, I finally feel comfortable wearing what I want to. And I don’t care what you have to say about it. 

I’ve been on the petite side for as long as I can remember. I never minded this though, because my body image wasn’t my main concern when I was younger. The past few years of my life have been hard, however, mainly because I hated the way I looked in the clothes that I wore. I couldn’t wear tank tops because my arms looked borderline skeletal. I hated wearing leggings because of my huge thigh gap and untoned, scrawny legs. 

[bctt tweet=”I couldn’t wear tank tops because my arms looked borderline skeletal.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Overall, it was difficult for me to find clothing that was not only modest, but also complemented my figure. I resorted to loose t-shirts with baggy cardigans that made me look frumpy. Although these clothes were modest, I didn’t feel good in them, nor did I look good. I hated going to school everyday feeling downright ugly. 

The comments started in middle school. I’m sure many of us can relate to our peers calling us out for wearing jeans 24/7 or not being able to wear a tank top in the summer. At the time, it got to me. I always justified myself by telling myself and others that it was because I’m a Muslim, and I’m not allowed to. But truthfully, it’s because I don’t feel comfortable exposing all of my body.

[bctt tweet=”I hated going to school everyday feeling downright ugly. ” username=”wearethetempest”]

When I was in middle school, I longed to wear scandalous clothing like shorts and skirts. Although I could’ve just gone to school and changed into that type of clothing, I really didn’t think it was worth the struggle to go behind my parent’s backs. My parents were never super strict about what I wore, but there definitely were limits. 

Entering high school four years ago meant maturing and understanding the importance of dressing modestly. There are times I wore whatever I wanted to wear, regardless of what my parents thought – not to rebel but simply because it fit into my definition of modest. 

I’m not an angel, I’m well aware that I have a different definition of what’s modest and what’s immodest. And that’s okay. I’m allowed to wear what I’m comfortable with as long as I don’t push my limits. And to be quite honest, I don’t care what anyone has to say about the way I dress. You think I dress immodestly? Here’s a gold star.

[bctt tweet=”You think I dress immodestly? Here’s a gold star.” username=”wearethetempest”]

I can finally feel comfortable in my own clothing because I learned how to dress modest and in a way that makes me feel and look good. The general consensus is that to dress modest you have to wear baggy clothing that shows no skin or the shape of your body.

But I disagree.

Dressing modest doesn’t mean sacrificing your confidence and self esteem. It means dressing appropriately regardless of the situation. 

I like to layer clothing in a way that keeps me looking skinny, but not too skinny. My favorite thing to wear during the summer time are jumpsuits, which are super easy to style modestly. You can throw on a crop top over it if it’s a tank jumpsuit or even wear a light jean shirt or a jean jacket over it. It’s simple and doesn’t make you look boxy. 

I could complain about all the comments my friends make saying stuff like “girl, you’re the only one wearing jeans in this weather,” or the typical “aren’t you hot!?” comments, but in all honesty, it doesn’t bother me at all anymore. When you make a comment like that to me, I just want you to know that I chose to dress like this, not because I necessarily have to. 

[bctt tweet=”I just want you to know that I chose to dress like this, not because I necessarily have to. ” username=”wearethetempest”]

After struggling with my body image in high school, it’s important to me that I came to terms with the way I dress, and knowing what is and isn’t okay for myself as an individual. I embrace my body.

And I have never been happier.