How do I look?
I grew up in America. We wear what we want there. We express who we are through our choice of clothing.
Looking around me, life is far from this. Almost every woman is wearing a version of the same long coat and head scarf. The only variation is the number of buttons and color. Everything is the same. Or so it seems. So how does a young American woman dress in such a conservative society? Do I tow the party line and dress like everyone else? Will it keep the men from touching me if I do? He will I survive the heat in those clothes?
And are they really all dressed alike? Upon further observation, I’m able to see so much more. Some women are completely covered with only their eyes showing. But then others are in long skirts and long sleeved shirts with some of the prettiest head scarves I’ve ever seen. I read once that when God created women, he made us to love beautiful things. It’s why we paint our nails and hang pictures on the wall. And here, even amidst the conservative rules for dress, women express themselves. They find ways of putting who they are into their clothing. It’s not as obvious, but it’s there. So my privilege is to go on a treasure hunt digging for their expressions of beauty. Then my next fun task is to take what I’ve learned from these beautiful women and develop my own sense of style. One that is truly me yet respective of the cultural norms. One that is bright and cheery yet subdued and respectful. I will be the embodiment of paradox. What fun!