Wearing a hijab can seem restrictive to those of us who are not of the Muslim faith. However, the truth is the vast majority of women who wear the hijab wear it by choice. Whether their choice be influenced by their religion or their culture is a counterintuitive point, as we all make our decisions from the influences in our lives, be they religious, cultural, or stemming from our peers.
We are the sum of our parts and each part influences what we do, where we go, and what we wear. To argue that a woman cannot make an informed choice about what type of clothes or coverings she wears is to propagate a much more damaging narrative than a woman choosing to cover her hair for her faith.
Omaya Zein’s YouTube channel is primarily for makeup tutorials, but she also uses her platform to normalize Islam and provide education and understanding. With recent events, like in Portland, YouTubers like Omaya help to bridge the gap between fear and understanding of our many different global cultures and can help initiate conversation by allowing us into their lives.