The average British woman spends £140,000 on hair and cosmetics over the course of her life.

Let that sink in. £140,000. One hundred and forty thousand pounds.  That’s over $180,000 at today’s exchange rate. This is definitely not chump change!

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I think it’s fair to say that the average woman spends a blameworthy portion of her budget on beauty products. These beauty products are frequently designed to make her look more Eurocentric. On top of that, a significant number of them are harmful to her health.

What is of even more concern to me is the number of Muslim women jumping on this bandwagon of overspending on beauty products. I’m an old enough woman to remember the first hijab tutorials on YouTube. Looking back, it unfortunately did not take long before the “Queens of the Wrap” started posting makeup tutorials and even diet and exercise advice!

I don’t necessarily blame the YouTube hijab stylists, however. Many of them started out with the intention of showing the rest of us Muslimahs how to be modest without being frumpy (I totally agree with this). Unfortunately, a lot of Muslims nowadays are trying to balance both the religious rulings and the demands of modern society simultaneously. The two unfortunately cannot be bridged and we wind up with women piling on pounds of (often toxic) makeup and other products while wearing what has largely become the symbol of being Muslim in the West – the hijab.

Hijab is so much more than a cloth on our heads, though. Hijab is a complete way of life. Expressing hijab solely as an object to be worn turns a beautiful act of ibadah into mere consumerism. The resulting tight-rope performance that accompanies these misguided beliefs is a reflection of the hearts of Muslimahs everywhere, and I do not want to scream at women for doing this wrong but instead I want to show them a better way.

We do not have to be frumpy to be modest, but that we also cannot embrace this Western obsession with how we look as our primary reasons for living. We are female alhamdulillah, but we are more than our bodies, more than our sexuality.

Let me show you the way, bi idni Allah….

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