This post is all over the place – I apologise in advance:
So if you’ve been following me since the beginning you’ll know that I never used to show my face in my pics initially- this had alot to do with islamic reasons- slowly as I got caught up in the instagram world and also finding it hard to review scarves/ scarf styles without showing my face, I got a bit lax. I also got alot more lax in my dressing- I used to wear abaya or maxi dresses when I started my page.
In the last few months I have been feeling so uncomfortable everytime I have to pose for pics for instagram- I started feeling like nothing more than a model ( except models have stylists, photographers, hair and makeup people and actually get paid) and I don’t like feeling like one. The first reason is that I know being in hijab means to conceal and not display your beauty especially so publically – When I started my anonymous page @southafricanhijabi , I had no intention or desire to be a blogger. The second reason is that I really don’t like the public life – ie, I had started sharing too much on social media and I would really like to change that. I cringe when people recognise me when I’m out and about.
I don’t want instagram to feel like work and with the amount of products I was receiving it really wasn’t fun anymore. Another thing that I noticed is instagram makes one into a narcissist- its all about feeding the ego. Taking 20 selfies in search of the perfect one for instagram generally makes me realise this.
You want people to respect you and your opinions- people become fame monsters obsessed with getting more followers and likes at any cost many times this includes sacrificing/ compromising your religious beliefs or even trampling over the next person or buying likes or followers. I look at many of the bloggers I looked upto that have been blogging for years and remember what they used to be like in the beginning and how they are now and it frightens me. I would like to progress spiritually and I feel like the more ‘famous’ you become in the instaworld, the harder it becomes because you feel you HAVE to be cool- so be it lip fillers, microblading, fake eyelashes, tattoos, shorter and shorter clothes, more and more hair being revealed- you do it for the likes/attention – I get that everyone is on their own journey with their hijab and I’m not judging anyone I’m just highlighting that instagram/ social media fame brings with it the stress to conform to what’s cool/ be different to stand out and sometimes as muslimahs we go beyond the limits set out by our religion.
I’m not perfect, infact far from it but I do want to grow as a person, as a Muslim and instagram holds me back from that. So if you’ve noticed I’ve deleted about 200 fashion posts because focusing so much on looks/ fashion makes me personally feel shallow- we shouldn’t spend so much of time/ money / effort on our appearances nor on instagram- this is not why we were put here and be sure that Allah will be questioning us on how we spent our time and sad to say, so much of our valuable time is spent scrolling or on content for instagram- Some of it I guess is beneficial- I do appreciate those who have been inspired by me in some way to wear a scarf or dress more modestly but in the same breath can you only be inspired by me if my photography, makeup and posing is on point? I don’t want to be pretentious, I don’t want to feel like I’m showing off or have people envy me or my life. I know social media does make people feel ‘less than’ when they look at other people’s perfect pics and I don’t want to be a source of another person’s sorrow/ heartache- I want more realness- this does not mean I want to share details of my trials or struggles/ share more of my personal life – I just don’t want to be sooo staged and perfectly made up because thats not me and that’s not real. Fame/ thousands of followers is not something I ever desired and It’s not a life goal of mine- instagram fame means nothing to me, It’s just something I think many people do to appear popular or to make money (I don’t need a second income), what I personally love is the ability through my page to promote local/home businesses and to make a difference. Be it the weseeyou campaign or highlighting things like mental illness/infertility/bullying- The change in mindsets and the removal of stigma is more possible with a greater following.
So having said all of this, I will be sharing much less reviews, alot less fashion posts- alot less posing and worrying about perfect pics and curation- I will however be posting adverts, things I like/that catch my attention, speaking about topics close to my heart and having fun again with my page without worrying about whether it fits into anyone’s ideas of what an an instagram page should look like/ be like. Haha and don’t worry I’ll keep you updated on my babies, my doggies too.
Many people may not understand this- there is alot of fakeness in the instagram world- do you think that people send you expensive items expecting negative feedback/reviews. Do you think that if you give a product a bad review that the company will be inclined to send you more items in the future? Think about it… honest bloggers are few and when you’re caught up in the need to get more collaborations/ recognition by brands/ more paid gigs or freebies you tend to buy into the need to exaggerate a products worth.
We want EVERYONE to think hmmm she’s so great in the kitchen, wow she’s so stylish, I wish I could travel as much, I love her reviews /opinions, I wish I had her makeup skills, i wish i had her wardrobe/car/ makeup collection- her life? Don’t kid yourself we are all guilty or else we wouldn’t put so much effort into it- we want that recognition. True value, true recognition does not come from strangers online- infact you’re sacrificing your time away from loved ones to attend instagram related events/ spending valuable time online or in curating content to build up that online persona- why? And I keep asking myself why? To be famous? Why? What will fame in dunya bring you? Is this why we are here? Is it to be so famous that you get the most amazing freebies, paid holidays, a car? Nothing is free dears- everything has strings attached and for me personally I’m content with what I have, I don’t need more.
Instagram feeds my shopping addiction and makes me feel like I need certain items because they will look good in a pic- wear something once and post the pic and now you need a new outfit because everyone’s already seen that one- it makes us super wasteful and greedy. You convince yourself that you need those fancy dishes to plate your food because it’s going to make your food pic ‘the bomb’ – ever done this? I have.
I understand that everyone may not be this way and that there may be many people with huge followings that have managed to stay true to themselves / haven’t succumbed to the hype to have a ‘social media presence’ but this is my experience and this is what I would like to highlight- There are many amazing things about social media, instagram in particular but I have always been weary about what I put out there and not leading people towards evil as I don’t want / need a share of their sin on my head but at the same time I am human and have been guilty of putting out content that sometimes was not in my best interest or that of my followers.
So from now on I will be putting alot more heart and thought into what I decide to put out. I will occasionally do outfit posts if I feel like but without the pressure of having to make it great because I have a business that I feel I ‘owe’ a great picture to because they sent me the item. I will review stuff I buy and occasionally if contacted by businesses and I feel like this product needs the exposure/ Fits in with my new journey then yes I will review it. Everything in my time and on my terms , as it should be.
A big thank you to everyone that I’ve worked with in the past for everything you’ve sent my way and for also understanding the struggle that I always faced with being a ‘public figure’/blogger/just being out there. And I appreciate that many of you were so ready to allow we to remove your clothing reviews off my page .
Some of you may decide to leave and thats okay, some may stay and I appreciate that ❤️ All I hope now is that I can stay true to what I really want.