No matter what your views are on the Hijab, you should see Nike’s ‘What Will They Say About You’ campaign. Reserve your judgement about the fact that this is a woman in a Hijab – because there are two, diverse schools of thought about women wearing Hijabs – and no matter what side you are on, there is one thing to appreciate here and that is the fact that a brand has taken a clear stand on an issue which concerns women and minorities (in a post-trump, post-Brexit, right-swinging world, I think it’s a positive step). Sure, it’s a great marketing idea, but my point is – if it’s a great marketing idea and is also a great one for women and minorities, then why the hue and cry? (there’s been a sort-of backlash on social media, but that’s hardly surprising.) In today’s world of, you-can’t-wear-hijabs-on-our-beaches, I think it’s a bold, positive step.
The fact is that there are brands that indulge in serious gender stereotyping and do that whole pink-blue thing till they go blue in the face, which is revolting, if regressive. Not to mention ads like the ones Gap released last year, which tell little girls how to dress like a “social butterfly” and little boys like the “little scholar” (ugh).
So, contrast that with a brand that’s taking a stand, a very visual, pro-women (Muslim women at that) stand in today’s xenophobic environment. Not sure what the problem with that is. Yes, there’s the argument that this reinforces stereotypes and the whole, should-women-wear-hijabs thing. But that’s not a straightforward issue – are some women forced to wear Hijabs? Do some wear it out of choice? Do such Hijabs encourage more women to get into sports? Like I said, it’s not a simple argument.
Not sure what you think, but comments, on both sides, are welcome. Just keep it civil.
Tough questions to answer, not because I cannot deal with them or explain but because I thought these would come much later, not when she is four. But it only tells you how conscious kids become these days and how early.
I was bathing my four year old and she said that she wondered what colour God was, just out of the blue. Ouch. I said to myself. I was not in the mood for an explanation at that point, had a lot to do, twins(have eight month old twin girls) needed attention, but I didn’t want to just let it go and ward her questions off, not this one. So, briefly, I told her all the right things, to the best of my ability, about colour of the skin not mattering etc etc, about God not being one and of a single colour. She nodded then added “but lighter is better, isn’t it?” I squirmed, then said “no”, and patiently told her some more about what mattered more, about good deeds and good human beings rather than superficial things like skin colour. She didn’t questions any more and I am not sure what she took away from our conversation, which I am going to revisit in a few days when I have a little more time to explain better and after, frankly, I’ve given it a thought myself, about what I am going to say!
I know I must be prepared as a parent to face all sorts of questions, and a lot would depend on what I say, so I must be careful. But what disturbed me was the fact that colour of the skin mattered to her, and she could not have picked this up from the house, since I am very particular about such matters and like to say the right stuff in front of the kids. And it’s not like she’s partial to fairer people either, which is why I was surprised and a little upset. This tells you about the limited control you have over what your kid learns and picks up, sooo many factors influence them, and you have to constantly counter or reinforce these, as may deem necessary. Scary.
Parenting is not easy. I just hope I have the answers as the questions come along..