Femininity, Empowerment and Headwear
Posted on 16 March 2017
Bullying in grade school, non-existing self-worth and self-confidence, and anxiety were simply some of the things that affected my learning and development. Since I was young, I never believed in myself. Then, when I found Islam and became a Muslim in 2008, my heart found safety, peace of mind, and accept.
In 2010, I had a minor bout with depression where my anxiety increased. I couldn’t go out and I isolated myself completely. Everything changed slowly after completing a 2-year treatment for anxiety, where I had acquired lots of new strategies and methods to minimizing and containing my anxiety. At the same time, I grew closer to God by establishing a trust in Him and remembering the life is a path full of trials.
I have learned to accept and be satisfied with myself as I am. I have learned to accept that others will find faults and insufficiencies in me, BUT that I DON’T need to change to please them. NO! I need to be happy with myself. I have worked as a volunteer for the Red Cross with team United Aid with Syrian refugees. Volunteering brings me joy, and to top it all off, I love to work with all kinds of people.
I was like the caterpillar that hadn’t yet transformed into the butterfly it could be due to societal norms, media bias and repressive labeling. Because the truth is that I am a strong woman with lots of qualities, competencies, ideas, passion, and love for other people.
As a woman wearing a scarf, I am proud of who I have become. Life is what you make of it, "What doesn't kill you, indeed makes you stronger." – My scarf gives me an identity and it is my strength! I am a forgotten role model to the world, but I am blooming like a butterfly, and I will keep doing that in sha Allah (if God allows).
Linda Fatima Ali
Studying nursery teacher
The portrait series "Femininity, Empowerment, and Headwear” is a collaboration between Helen Latifi Headwear and United Colors of Denmark