Sports Hijab Makes TIME Magazine's Best 25 Inventions of 2017
Nike; Photo Illustration by Allison Schaller
It's that time of the year where TIME takes time out to applaud the best inventions of the year and it's kinda bizarre to see a hijab on that list this year to be honest. After all, Muslim women have been wearing the hijab for like...ermmm...forever?
Is it an attempt to be just like everyone else out there to include some form of "hijab-related" piece? Like the Pepsi ad that had the hijab-wearing photographer? Or did you spot the new hijab-wearing intern in the latest Grey's Anatomy season? Everywhere you turn it seems like mainstream media is sprinkling a little bit of us here and there. Flaterring (and empowering) as it may be, sometimes it makes me laugh to see how "forced" it feels sometimes. Like there's this conscious effort to make the hijab-wearing Muslim woman visible. I mean don't get me wrong, I'm all for inclusion. I was grinning from ear to ear when I spotted the new hijab-wearing intern on Grey's (with a fist bump in the air no less). This is great stride. We deserve to be seen and seen as normal human-beings at that as well. After all, that's what we built GAYA for. Then again I can't help but sometimes feel like this a full-on marketing campaign of sorts. Perhaps it takes some getting used to.
Anyway back to the topic at hand. So Nike's Pro Hijab made it to the list of the Best 25 inventions of 2017, sitting alongside Fenty Beauty, Fidget Spinners and the Apple iPhone X. The article calls it "A Hijab That Empowers Muslim Athletes". Whilst this is a great win for all of us, the sports hijab by Nike isn't the first sports hijab in the market. We've covered this in our previous article here.
As we had mentioned in that article, we give props to Nike for catering to us Muslim women and more so, working with Muslim athletes to develop it. Well done, Nike! And great job for making the list.
As much as I feel happy and empowered as a Muslim woman to see a hijab on the list (like it's about time that we are seen as normal, right?) I can't help but feel a little disappointed that this didn't emerge early on by other brands. I think what I am trying to say is, I hope to see the day when an invention which empowers Muslim women on that list that was developed and made by a Muslim woman.