My IG Hiatus – Why I Took a Break and My Honest Thoughts on the Modest Fashion Industry…

Hello hello and Salaam Alaykum (I wish upon you peace)!

Look who’s back to make her quarter annual appearance on the blog LOL. Unfortunately, this sarcastic comment is true, and I have no excuse for it. This blogpost is actually quite long-awaited and I have tried many times to write this, but have not been able to capture and convey my thoughts in the way that I would like them to be perceived.  As I am currently taking a break from Instagram, I have felt this hurry to publish this post. I owe it to my audience to share my thoughts and the reasoning for my recent absence from Instagram.

With this being said, I am  *genuinely* and *actually* excited about this. Not excited necessarily in the conventional happy way, but there is a sense of relief that accompanies this post. I feel like I can finally take a new step in this chapter of blogging.

If you have or have not noticed, and honestly, I did not really think people would notice, I have taken a break from Instagram and blogging for a little while. As this post is all about me being truly honest, I must share – I have actually been thinking about this for what seems like all of 2018. With the somber start of the Islamic new year as Muharram arrived, and as I started my ‘career’ job, I could not have asked for a better timing to have this hiatus. I have been using my time to focus on work and finding my feet in the adult world. I have also had the opportunity to reflect on why I started HijabiHeroes in the first place, what do I wish to accomplish with HijabiHeroes, and how I can stay afloat in what seems like a sinking ship (this ship being the modest fashion/hijabi blogging world, and I’ll explain more about what I mean).
I am truly grateful to the Almighty for giving me this opportunity and the insight to really take a step back and stay accountable to myself and my values.

So, the question that arises is – WHY did I want to take a step back from blogging?!

To cut the long story short. I think, at the CURRENT time, the modest fashion/hijabi blogging industry may be doing more damage than benefit.
Yes. I said it. As a blogger. As a contributor to this industry. As an influencer.

Now, of course, I have to add disclaimers to my above statement. Not EVERY blogger contributes negatively to the industry.
Do I think that bloggers and influencers directly or intentionally do negative things – no, not always. But, do I think we as bloggers have to accept and acknowledge how our actions can cause some negative outcomes – yes, of course. Please read this with an open mind!

The way I think about it is – I started HH to do something good. However, every so often, I have to analyze and reflect – Is this action of mine fulfilling its desired outcome? Does this deed have any other, unintended consequences? Is the medium I employ to share my love for modest fashion contributing to something greater than itself?
When I thought of these questions, unfortunately in my mind, I was only able to answer these questions with negatives. It was gut-wrenching. How could my baby, my blog of 4 years, my passion and soul, be a BAD thing?!? For surely I did not establish it with an inherently negative intention. Quite the opposite. Yet, I had to call myself out.

And most importantly, I had to be true to myself and my values.

Now, why did I compare the modest fashion/hijabi blogging industry to a sinking ship? It may be a bit dramatic, but for those of you who know me quite well, dramatic is a word often used to describe me 😉
Seriously, as someone within the industry, I see both sides of the coin.

I cannot deny that the wave of modest fashion, through bloggers and influencers across multiple social media platforms, has done amazing things. There are many more positive role models and there is more Muslim/Hijabi representation in the media, and it’s awesome. Growing up, many of us did not have any fellow Muslims or Hijabis to look up to in the media. Now, this is not the case.

But, what happens to the day to day life? Yes, it’s great that younger girls can open Instagram and find hundreds of tutorials on different hijab styles and can easily scroll to find ideas on what to wear. However, do we truly understand the message we are sending out? I spoke to some girls at my mosque about this (shout-out to Sakina and Fatema lol) and it was interesting to hear their perspective as well. Sometimes, when we as bloggers wear a certain clothing item or wear our hijab in a specific style, other people see this as “the acceptable thing” to do. Especially when there are hundreds of likes and comments, further validating and accepting this notion.
Of course, no one is perfect. I do not think I share the PERFECT version of hijab on my account, so no, there is no holier than thou perspective here. I share my posts with my own guideline of hijab and that’s on me. Many others obviously believe that what they are wearing is acceptable, and are sharing it.
With this being said, we are telling other girls and women that it is OKAY to dress this way or OKAY to wear your hijab in this style. When, sometimes, I really don’t think it is.

There is this popular phenomenon currently of this “you do you” notion. You want to do this and publicize it?! Sure girl, YOU DO YOU. You want to wear your hijab this way, of course, boo, that’s YOU. We are becoming the gauges for what others can and cannot do.

Now, a lot of people will say this is a lot of responsibility. They argue that they just have a public Instagram account to show their life and share their outfits.
However, once you promote one single hijab on your Instagram account, for example, you can no longer say, “well I’m just doing me and showing my style”. It’s quite the contrary. Once you receive a complimentary hijab or item, you are an influencer.  In my humble opinion, I do not think bloggers are recognizing this. Again, hear me out, as I am one, too. I am not just blaming people without understanding their points of view. It’s not easy to publicize your life on social media, but if you have chosen to do so, you cannot just take the freebies and opportunities without having the accountability.

I am not saying these things to hijab-shame. I truly believe that the over-saturated hijabi fashion industry is skewing our idea of hijab. And of course, it is not just the bloggers who do this. We, as the audience also follow things at face value, so we copy and paste what we see and implement them into our own lives. There has to be accountability on both ends.
But, when I see girls, who I have known for a number of years, start wearing a full face of makeup in middle school, or wearing shorter and shorter sleeves and trousers, I cannot help but reflect and realize my role in all of this. I may not have directly influenced this, but my blog within this industry has a big hand to play. I really cannot just sit back and watch this unfold without accepting my culpability for it.

There are of course some other things that upset me about Instagram, and these are in no way specific only to hijabi or Muslim bloggers. One main factor is this sense of a false reality that is created by bloggers.

As we all regularly see, bloggers will share inspirational quotes and their life stories with their audience, which is undoubtedly an awesome thing. It’s refreshing to look at this perspective and understand the struggles one has faced to reach their current state. With this being said, I have seen some bloggers do all of this and preach about being true to oneself, while they also blatantly LIE to their followers. This could be in multiple ways. They share a product in a way that they were sent this product by a brand or company when in reality, it was purchased by themselves or someone else. Or, they buy followers to make them seem more popular then they are.

Please, please, PLEASE, do NOT take everything a blogger says at face value, including myself! I know this has been said 10489275 times, but Instagram is truly a highlight reel.

INSTAGRAM 👏🏾 IS 👏🏾 A 👏🏾 HIGHLIGHT 👏🏾 REEL 👏🏾

People will go to great lengths to make their life seem perfect. Let me tell you – it’s not. It’s not. No matter how perfect it seems. IT’S NOT.

Again, this comes back to my aforementioned point. This is not a one-sided issue and the fault is not easily assigned. As viewers and followers of influencers, we have to also realize that everything we see is polished. That photo probably has 86 other similar photos that did not make the cut. That perfect and cute video probably took a number of hours to edit. We have to think critically and take everything with a grain of salt.

So NOW WHAT?
Honestly, this past little while, after not having a public Instagram account, it has truly been a breath of fresh air. I do not feel pressured when I go out to HAVE to take an outfit photo. In all honesty, I feel like I have a better attitude in life LOL. Normally, I’d get so upset when I do not get a good outfit photo or it does not turn out as I envisioned. But now, I do not have that worry. Yes, of course, I still think about taking OOTDs. But 9/10 times, these past couple weeks, I have NOT gotten my photo. And it’s okay. I feel like I am living in the moment because I do not need to take my phone out all the time to share with my followers so they can see what a great time I am having.

With alllll of this said, I do plan on returning to Instagram and blogging. I’m not sure exactly when. I know it may not be the best world, but I know I have an audience, and I can create a difference.

I started HH as a medium to share my narrative and experiences as a veiled woman, now working in the healthcare field, and to hopefully inspire others. Everyone has a way of connecting to the hijab, and for me, fashion is one of the ways I do so. I strive to empower and inspire my fellow sisters to love their hijab and hopefully get closer to their Creator through their hijab. I have used my platform to share light on real-life and even ‘controversial’ issues as well. I know I have built an audience, and hence, I should use it to spread good and share that which is not shared. And I will be accountable for this on the Day of Judgment.

I cannot change an entire system. However, I can change my role in the system. And I can challenge others to think about the system differently. Again, I am not throwing blame and I am truly doing what I think is best. For me, and to fulfill my responsibility. I have made my footprint in the blogging world. I have to make sure that it counts.

Gorgeous Gems + Sparkling Stones – FT. AlJoher Gems

Hey hey everyone!

I hope you are doing well and enjoying the summer sunny weather! I love the hot weather, although some days have been a little too hot for my liking, but alhamdulillah, no complains!

Recently I had a wonderful opportunity to model a beautiful custom ruby ring by AlJoher Gems and let’s just say, I didn’t want to give it back! It was quite honestly one of the prettiest rings I’ve ever seen with intricate details and it sparkled all around. It was cutting-edge, quite literally 😉

The Only Gift List You Need! – Eid Gift Ideas – All from Modah!

Hey Salaam everyone!

I hope you are doing well! Here we are, more than halfway through Ramadan and I can’t believe it! I mean, I can feel the fasts for sure, but this month is definitely flying by. Which means, Eid is around the corner!!!

I know, it’s crazy! So, to make this easier on all of us, because we all know I need the help too, I’ve compiled a list of some great Eid gift ideas. This way, you can spend less time shopping and more time making use of the little time we have left of this Holy month! Yes I know, they don’t call me HijabiHeroes for nothing 😉

This list has something for everyone – the brothers, sisters, kids, and best of all, you can get all of these things from one convenient location: Modah, in Mississauga. It’s gonna be your one stop shop for all things Eid, and you can even pick something up for yourself. Quite handy, don’t ya think.

The first item on this list *just had to be* some LaModesty hijabs of course. If you know me, you know that 75% of my hijab wardrobe is from LaModesty. From chiffon (my personal favourite), to crinkle, and even the new modals for the summer, you’ll find a hijab, and material, for everyone. Or, you could always check out Modah’s big wall of hijabs as a perfect addition to your gifts.

If you have any hipsters in your house, or just a cool guy who likes to put his best foot forward, grab some funky socks from Halal Socks, available in kids and adult sizes! In my family, my brother and my dad LOVE some crazy socks. They have the brightest and coolest patterns, so I know they would appreciate some A1 sock game for Eid namaaz.

Another family favourite in my household (like I mean this product is in everyone one of our bathrooms) and something that’s great for everyone, is Oudlux body products and soaps! I’m not even kidding, my family has tried one of each of their products, from their body creams, hand soaps, shower gel, and even body sprays. They even have conveniently packed gift sets so there’s even less hassle!

For any new mothers in your life, I saw the CUTEST onesies that say “Eid Mubarak” or “My First Eid”. I know they have a good selection and variety of designs, so you can even gift a non-Ramadan/Eid design. Modah now carries onesies from Sidra Art Boutique, which are absolutely adorable and available in many sizes!!

Now this is something I personally have my eye on, so *cough cough* *hint hint* @ Momma HH/Dad/Broski/Other Broski/SIL/anyone reading this LOL. Modah has Black Orchid products, especially their backpacks!! They are probably my favourite product from their range. This is PERFECT for any boss lady you know, like I mean it. (Can you tell I really want this as well??)

This next product is actually super useful and a beautiful gift to keep the Ramadan spirit alive – it’s a Quran touch lamp, a product exclusive to Modah. It’s a great gift to give to any family and you’ll get your share of the reward when anyone uses it, so it’s a win-win! You can play the Quran and the translation in 15 different languages. I think anyone would love to have this in their home.

If you have a kid to give a gift to, then you’re actually set. Modah has so many kids toys and educational products. I wish I was a kid again just so I could play with some of these. One toy in particular that I love are the Muslim girl/boy dolls. As a kid, I would always play with my toy dolls, but I had to realize that I look different than my doll and I would always look different

Another perfect family and home gift is some art. I know, this may be a bit tricky, because you never know what will go with someone’s home or room, but I think a cool piece of art will always find it’s place. Especially if you get a neutral Islamic art piece from Modern Art, their canvases will not disappoint and it won’t break the bank either. Or you can always get something more specific for a kids room or office space.

This next gift is quite thoughtful and unique, and definitely nice for the reflective thinkers in your life. I have used the Dua Journal before and I appreciated its layout and prompts. It’s a great journal for connecting to God through gratefulness and understanding yourself. Another journal that Modah carries is The Journal for Muslims, which is similar in its aims.

A timeless gift option for anyone and everyone is a classic watch – YA GET ME?!?! But seriously, you can’t go wrong with a North Accent watch. Speaking from personal experience, I really love these watches, especially for their quality and design. My silver stainless steel watch goes with everything and they have different styles for everyone’s taste.

And if all else fails, just pick up a cute Eid Mubarak card and some Halal Gummies (peach rings for the win) for a simple and sweet gift, literally. I mean, who doesn’t love a handwritten card? I love writing notes and cards for my friends, it’s a nice way to express how much they mean to you and that you appreciate them. The gummies are a great snack for reading the said card, but depending on the content of the card, you may want to include a pack of tissues as well.

I hope you found this blogpost helpful! But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you gift or get gifted on Eid. What’s most important is to remember each other in our duas and encourage each other to keep up all of the progress we have gained in Ramadan!

 

Talk to you soon,

Malikah
🎀~Where Style and Modesty Save the Day!~🎀

Instagram

Wake Up, Make Up, Repeat – How Instagram is Killing our Expectations and Standards #MalikahsMind

More and more, I’m seeing the SAME exact thing on IG. Literally. On my explore page, I find myself thinking “Am I looking at the same person?”, when I’ve actually seen pictures from 3 different accounts. That’s how similar everyone looks. Blame it on the IG algorithm, but this is definitely a more prevalent issue, now more than ever, and will get worse with time to come.

Malikah’s Mind – 2018 #GOALS

Hello there,

I hope you are doing well! Happy New Year! Wow, 2018 is here!

I thought I’d share some of my goals for 2018 with you all! In no way is this an all-encompassing list, but these are some major themes that represent a lot of my goals within them, inshallah.
And let me know some of your goals, too, that way we can be accountable to one another 😉

Princess Pink Dress – FT. Laki Studio

Hey Salaam everyone!

Hope you are all doing well and hope all those who are currently in exam szn are surviving! Inshallah all of your exams go well 🙂

With the end of the year (I was going to say holiday season but I guess end of the year is more encompassing), I find myself having to go to a lot of events. Parties, banquets, birthdays, and yes, weddings are back. With all of these occasions, I definitely need to add some more dresses to my wardrobe. You know, I’m totally here for mixing up and recreating outfits with pieces I already own, but something new here and there doesn’t hurt 😉

Styling Brighter Colours – FT. Ghazala Fashion

Hey hey!

I’m slowly trying to get back into the groove of regular blogposts! It’s definitely harder than I remember, to be honest. Definitely, appreciate all my fellow sisters hustling and achieving their dreams. You go girls 👏🏽

This week, we are styling some bright colours and prints. My style has totally changed since I’ve started HH. Two years ago, I definitely wore a lot of prints and bolder colours, but more recently, I’m drawn more to the neutral hues, because they are so easy to style and versatile. However, I want to prove that brighter colours aren’t a challenge, but they can literally bring your outfit to life.

I have two outfits to demonstrate this. The first is a neutral outfit with a trendy POP of colour. Brighter colours are definitely “in” right now. The second is a mixed print outfit that even I was nervous about at first, but I was pleasantly surprised at how it turned out!

Malikah’s Mind – University Life – Nursing 101!

Hey everyone!

Hope you’re all doing well!

Recently, I’ve been getting many questions about university life and especially about nursing! As I am almost done my final year of nursing school, yay yay yay, I feel like I can finally give some sort of advice about it. I am planning on doing a blogpost about my university experience while living at home and all the fun that commuting entails, but I wanted to do this one first. Just keep in mind, I am answering these FAQ according to my experience and the university that I attend, so this may not be applicable to all nursing programs!

So grab a cup of tea or coffee and find a comfy spot and let’s get started! If there is anything I do not end up addressing in this post, feel free to message me on IG (@hijabiheroes) or even email me (malikah@hijabiheroes.com)!

How I always create *NEW* outfits – My Favourite Outfit Equation!

Hey hey hey!

I hope you’re doing well! It’s been a while since I last wrote a fashion related post just for kicks. Seriously, it’s been ages since I’ve been on here to really share what I’M truly passionate about, other than the Zanzibar post of course! I’ve been feeling a little lost with what I want to really achieve with this space and I’m starting to recover what this blog is all about. With that being said, look forward to some new content coming your way inshallah! And as always, you can catch me on YouTube  (I actually have some lookbooks up there!!!) and on Instagram (I post on the daily, you already know) *shameless self promo* hehe.

ALRIGHT, class in session. The NUMBER 1 QUESTION I get asked, and I am not exaggerating in the slightest is: How do I always have new outfits or How do I always create new outfit combinations? People think I have 896,042,135,785 articles of clothing that I sift through to come up with outfits for events and shoots. Now, as much as I wish that was true, or slightly true, it is most definitely not! I don’t go shopping 24/7. I’ve actually barely gone shopping this year, after my primark excursion in May because, well, PRIMARK. It’s actually come to a point where my Mom is *pleading* with me to buy new clothes! I know, who would have thought that day would come.

Zanzibar – Trip of a Lifetime!

I’ve been meaning to write this post for over a month. Seriously. I went to Zanzibar in mid-July, why am I just getting around to this? Well, school just started back up after the last long weekend of Summer, and I’m already dreading it. The work is piling and stress levels are rising.

On my first day of class, bright and early this past Tuesday morning at 8:30, we had to do the usual introductions for our problem-based learning nursing class. One thing we had to include in our introduction was one of our goals after nursing school. I mentioned how I went to Zanzibar this summer and how I would like to continue travel nursing in the future. And that short anecdote brought back so many memories.