Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Becoming less modest

A bit over a year ago, I was wearing only long sleeved pants or long skirts, absolutely nothing that showed leg skin and rarely anything shorter than my elbow and I hardly showed any neck, often had a scarf covering the whole neck. I had a few tops and pants that were slim fit that I was phasing out. 

Then I got pregnant. I didn't have the money or motivation to get a new wardrobe for pregnancy so I went with things that were comfy and cheap like Old Navy clothing that was on clearance or sale or things given to me that I just worked with even if it wasn't ideal. I also became hot so easily while pregnant so I got myself a knee covering length jersey skirt to try that I ended up loving. I got 2 more colours. I started wearing other things in that length. This combined with tops my cousin gave me that had a lower neck that I was used to change my level of modesty of dress.  

A typical outfit was a skirt just below the knee with a large minidress that worked as a shirt covering my bump. Then the birth and winter came along and I wasn't quite able to wear most of my old clothes yet so I wore the maternity shirts which were quite loose on me, making me show more skin than normal.

And now, I decided to continue wearing knee-length skirts and recently went to a lake not with my regular semi-islamic bathing suit but with just above the knee pants and a regular 1-piece bathing suit underneath (basically showing more skin than  regular tank top). And I was perfectly comfortable! It wasn't a packed beach but there was another couple families there and meh - it was just fine.

I guess I've gotten less strict with my own way of dressing over the past year, little by little. 

17 Comentários:

Maryam said...

And your point is? Because you are comfortable uncovering your body it's islamicly acceptable? Some people walk around half naked and still feel and think it's acceptable.
If you are Muslim, there's hijab, not the scarf, but the way to dress that directs our dress code.I'm not saying you have to wear clothes from another culture but covering your body is the aim .

LK said...

Clothes are clothes. How you feel inside is what counts. Plus by your country's standards you are still dressing rather modest indeed.

Susanne said...

LK makes a good point. You sound modest to me. I see SO MUCH SKIN where I live. :)

Amber said...

I don't know if it's becoming less modest so much as it is becoming less focused on a specific idea of what clothing-modesty should look like. From the way you describe your clothing, they're still (imo) very modest.

And, again in my opinion, I think the internal comprehension of modesty - the behavior and mindset - rather than specifics of clothing is the most important thing.

Standards of modesty in regards to dress are very much cultural and they change from generation to generation within a culture.

Hebah said...

God help you.

Anonymous said...

I feel I've become less modest too. I went from wearing abaya when I was pregnant to wearing long skirts and long shirts in neutral colors to wearing maxi dresses and cardigans in bright colors. Sometimes I wear 3/4 sleeves (gasp!). For me how I dress is really a reflection of my spirituality at that point. I've become less concerned with rules and more tolerant of different interpretations of Islam. I'm not completely happy of the way I dress , but I know I will never go back to wearing exclusively one style of dress.Or telling other people how they should dress!!!

Candice said...

Maryam: I have no "point". I'm not saying I'm doing bad and that people should make sure to stay modest and I'm not saying I'm doing the right thing and that people should take off a layer. I'm just saying it's right for me right now and sharing this about myself - no "point".

People get so riled up about women's clothing it's ridiculous.

Heba: I need God's help in much more important ways than showing half a leg every few days.

Amber: Your comment is pretty much exactly how I feel! I still believe that modesty has importance but it's not all about clothing, it includes behaviour. And that it changes depending on the time and place.

LK: I very much feel modest but less restricted and more "me".

muslimathome: Makes sense to me! There are other ways to be completely proper in dress than an abaya. said...

I don't have anything to say because LK said it the best. And hey, here's a very random question: Do you speak french? because I see in the 'about me' that your French-Canadian :) If you do, then that's awesome! :D haha, excuse me. I have a bit of an obesssion with languages.

Hebah said...

Are you muslim or not? if you are muslim, you should be covering like islam, tells a women to cover, that's all i have to say.

Good luck with everything.

Candice said... Yes, I speak French! I'm here in Quebec and have one anglo and one franco parent. Our home language was mostly French but I did most of my schooling in English except for the last two years of high school which I did in French. It's a big mish-mash of both languages in my life. My work is in English but socially we all speak French together. Home with my husband is English but French with the kids for the most part. French with daycare but English with my daughter's new school. Anyway!

Hebah: I'm trying to read your comment with the kindest and most open-minded and tolerant voice I can find, but I still feel like you're judging me. I guess it doesn't matter - I learned a long time ago that true Islam is not the same thing as Muslims project.

Anisah said...

Candice, you are doing what is right for you. I applaud that.

I don't know why people get so pissed if a woman shows skin. What about so many men who abuse their wives, or abandon their families? They don't seem to get so pissed over things like that that are sooo much more important than a bit of skin. Good grief!



Hebah said...

I am not trying to judge you Candince, I'm just asking you a simple question.
How you dress should be based on that answer.

May Allah be with you, either way.

Candice said...

Anisah: I completely agree. I get so angry when I see women telling an abused woman that she needs to be more careful with her husband and try doing more around the house, being quieter, shutting up when she has something to say that could upset him, not going out, try seducing him at night, etc. etc. All the things an abused woman could do to avoid being abused. As though she's the cause of this abuse and not a victim! WTF is wrong with the Muslim community sometimes?!

Amalia said...

I feel the same sometimes. I used to wear my scarf in the 'proper' way when I first started wearing it because that's what everyone told me.
My husband later told me he didn't like the way I wore it and he'd rather I took it off. I wear it in a different style now as a compromise and still cover my neck with it but the sides of my face are not covered. Sometimes I wear 3/4 length sleeves because the heat here is incredible and it's hard to wear so many layers.

There are so many different ways to be modest. I don't worry so much these days if my sleeves don't reach my wrists or a tiny bit of my neck is showing. Maybe in the future I will be more modest - who knows.

Candice said...

We'll evolve into whatever we're supposed to be! Maybe I'll wear hijab someday too, who knows? :)

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom,

What you're writing about here isn't your Islam. It's your connection to the mainstream culture; your familiar ways. This isn't your own way of dressing modestly. Actually, this is not modest. It's the same as everyone else. Being modest feels differently. We ladies in hijab dress differently because we are not allowing ourselves to fall into the trap of showing our bodies to the world. We show them to our husbands only. If your husband has not stopped you, then it's time to question why. A real believer for a husband would stop a wife from following her nafs.

The fact that, as I stayed on your post about atheists, that you blog about it means that you are trying to gain acceptance for your actions AND you are trying to pull others into your ways. Astragferallah. May Allah forgive you. If you honestly think you are doing something so great, then you are mistaken. If the other women commenting on her want to applaud you then they are not helping your Islam but rather your ego. Egos love to pull us away from God. Egos want us to feed on the dunya and forget about Jannah.

I realize that I'm not an appreciative reader. I know that you might not want to post my comments or even think of me kindly. Up to you. However, as your sister in Islam I could not read what you have written and not comment. That's part of Islam. It is not all about accepting you as is. No, we help each other to be better---and not better by my own criteria but by the Islamic principles. Once you accept Islam you do not get to ver off the path without others stopping you.

May Allah guide you and all the sisters who commented without thinking that the real commitment to modesty is a commitment to Allah.

Candice said...

Yosra: I have no reason to not post your comment; I posted other similar comments after all so why not your's? I've also seen your comments on other blogs and read your blog so I know a bit about you and your style to know not to take it the wrong way.

You are always very direct but you don't have a very good grasp of what is good, necessary, polite and direct and what is harsh, inappropriate, judgmental and direct. You do a bit of both and I can see the positive in that about half the time you say things that need to be said that others (like me) might not say directly but would like to say.

RE: This comment.
You're seeing a lot of things in my post that I never said and imagining all sorts of intentions that I may or may not have (who are you to know?) You've even gone as far as to judge my husband when I never mentioned him at all in all this. Your comment on my other post was borderline calling me a non-Muslims which wasn't exactly appreciated but this comment goes even further into inappropriate territory by bringing my husband and my intentions into it when you simply do not and cannot know. All you're doing is imagining.

My suggestion to you is to put more emphasis on what you probably know but don't apply well enough (in my opinion): God knows all things and you comparatively know nothing.

Don't pretend you know my husband, don't pretend you know my intentions, don't even pretend that all your Islamic beliefs are actual fact because the fact is that it could be, or it could not be and only God knows.

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