It won’t be long when the ‘Hijab’ becomes a fashion item because of an unexpected turn of events witnessed at the Miss England beauty hunt. It is for the very first time the world witnessed a Hijabi finalist. Although she didn’t win the title but getting this far without compromising religious values is a great achievement for the model.
The 20-year-old law student of Pakistani origin, Miss Sara Iftekhar became a finalist at the contest. This achievement can cause a serious controversy in the fashion world where top models are expected to show their body rather than cover themselves. Although the hijab does not cover your entire body, it does cover the head (especially the hair) and it is mostly associated with radical Islam. The hijab is misconceived as a cloth that hides a woman’s beauty.
Sara Iftekhar from Huddersfield went up against 49 other hopefuls none wearing a hijab at the Kelham Hall in Newark, Nottinghamshire. After winning the Miss Huddersfield 2018, Sara said it was amazing to make it to the finals but unfortunately, she was beaten by Alisha Crowe who won the title and is named Miss England 2018. The 20-year-old has pictures of herself in her traditional Pakistani dresses while adorning the hijab.
There have been hijabi participants in the past but none of them got this far. Sara even received a lot of hate and bullying online from people who believed the hijab is a form of oppression rather than understanding that it is a matter of choice. In her interview with the press after getting so close to winning the title, Sara talked about how beauty pageants shouldn’t be restricted and should be diversified regardless of religion, race, body shape or weight. She said her personal views motivated her to join the pageant.
Sara Iftekhar revealed she had a passion for makeup since her childhood. I did not expect to make history and now that I have done it, I feel proud of it. At the end of the day, I am just an ordinary girl who wears a Hijab but I am sure I have paved the way for the future. We may expect many more hijabi contestants in the future and surely someone will eventually win the title. While working as a makeup artist I thought I might join the beauty pageant just for fun.
Everyone is beautiful whether they wear a ‘Hijab' or not. It is time the world realizes that it is a matter of choice and not subject to oppression. Every girl should have the right to dress the way she desires and wearing hijab shouldn’t be looked upon negatively. Hijabi models are underrated but they are still inspiring a lot of women through their Instagram profiles and sending a message to the world about their style. Women who haven’t tried wearing a hijab can find a plethora of tutorials online where they can learn how to dress up beautifully and look stunning.