Research paper

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In response to concepts of ‘Muslemwomenhood’ built within a neoliberal environment, especially aesthetic codes, what it means to be a Muslim woman is regularly defined and reinvented by society. More particular, the importance of the veil within these aesthetically created ideas of ‘Muslim femininity’ illustrates that the hijab is regarded as total and repressive in the classical oriental images.

The veil is often seen as a marker of subjectivity, and women’s subjectivity within Islam is under constant scrutiny (Pham, 2011; Britto and Amer, 2007; McCloud, 1996; Ghamari-Tabrizi, 2004). Within the Islamic culture industry, however, you see Muslim women navigating the market and online media in conjunction with their expressions of piety, creating an Islamic consumer culture that allows religious adherence to coincide with consumerism.

The purpose of this research is to gain a broader perspective on how Muslim women have become acclimated to the online fashion market in a way that affects their roles within the Islamic culture industry; to identify how certain products, particularly religious clothing items and accessories, are represented within the online fashion market, specifically visual blogs like Instagram, and thus figuratively and literally sold to Muslim women as fashion items. How these women consume “Islamic fashion” as well as “non-Islamic fashion” (and how they combine the two) is just one aspect of their embodied performances of identity. The ability to negotiate the market as a consumer is a right that many in the West feel obliged to act on in order to ensure their sense of belonging, and Muslim-American women are no exception.


My interest in this project is settling on content analysis through blogs,due to the limitations on time. This blog analysis, however, will be a crucial starting point to what will hopefully be future research; the blogs laid the foundation understanding the visual discourses within hijabi online spaces. I asked the questions:

  • How the following blogs in Instagram are contributing to creation of this authenticity (@ascia_akf, @yazthespaz89, @velascarves, @dalalid, and @phkidaily).


Consequently, this resulted in such an aims and objectives, which are :

  • To Review literature on how the authenticity affects the people and how the bloggers are affect too
  • To Find out how the authenticity created online
  • To Explore how different segments of people react , and what they think about the authenticity that is created online.


The oriental preconceptions of the veil which describe the hijab as ugly, repressive and conforming, make it antagonistic to fashion. The idea of hijab as a sign of modesty can also operate against common perception of the trendy. Contrary to these beliefs, the Islamic fashion industry, however, focuses on a discreet attention to the veil as a useful fashion item to create a fresh Muslim woman’s portrait. This will direct my studies, questions and thoughts.By scanning the five blogs and looking at the mix of photographs, I can see that each user is distinct in his visual discourse with a particular concentration on each woman’s respective fashion and living style. The Codes will also help me to understand how each blog perpetuates, by its own way, western ideas of consumerism while at the same time establishing in the online fashion world new places for Muslim women in which they have a strong sense of taste and branding. I want to further broaden my study on this identity-making process. In this research, the Instagram blogs serve as a basis for an understanding of how hijabis women utilize their social media positions (race, social and economic) as chances to network and flourish and open places for more Muslim women to mainstream mode.


[1]  Pham, Minh-Ha T. (2011), “The Right to Fashion in an Age of Terrorism.” Signs, Vol. 36, No. 2: 385-410.

[2] Britto, Pia R.: Amer, Mona M. (2007) “An Exploration of Cultural Identity Patterns and the Family Context Among Arab Muslim Young Adults in America.” Applied Development Science, Vol. 11, No. 3: 137-150.

[3] McCloud, Aminah. (1996). “American Muslim Women and U.S. Society.” Journal of Law and Religion, Vol. 12, No. 1: 51-59.

[4] Ghamari-Tabrizi, Behrooz. (2004), “Loving America and Longing for Home: Isma’il al Faruqi and the Emergence of the Muslim Diaspora in North America.” International Migration, Vol. 42, No. 2: 61-86.

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