Diva Talks Culture: Nike Unveils Hijab Pro + Social Media Backlash

Hallelu! I'm off the sick and shut in list! If you follow me on Instagram (which you should be), you know I've been sick as a dog the past seven days. Because I've been still hacking up a lung while going into my day job, I definitely crashed and doped up on sinus and cold meds when I got home. This meant an unintended blogging break. While I'm not back to 100%, I can now lift my head without it feeling like it is been weighed down by a ton of bricks. Because keeping up with pop culture is a prerequisite to being a blogger, here is what I've been keeping up with on the world wide web!

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With an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims across the globe, one can pretty much guess more than a few will become athletes. Wearing a hijab should not deter from showcasing athleticism. People should be able to honor their faith and rock it in the sports arena. Nike just gets it!

"Nike’s new pull-on hijab is made of light, stretchy fabric that includes tiny holes for breathability and an elongated back so it will not come untucked." CreditAaron Hewitt/Nike 

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Source: NY Times 

Since it's unveiling, Nike has received backlash on social media. Critics are saying that the company is "normalizing the oppression of women"  (Teen Vogue). My thoughts?? Women are being oppressed whether they wear a hijab or not. A hijab is not a sign of oppression, but religion, but women who wear them do face oppression. Get where I'm going? The same goes in America where women's reproductive rights and feminine care are being threatened. ALL women, not just Muslim women. This, too, is oppression. There are Muslim women who are proud to wear their hijabs because they are unashamed of their faith. While the move can seem opportunistic with today's cultural climate, there are also an increased amount of Muslim athletes gaining notoriety and competing at elite levels. Amna Al Haddad,  Zahar Lari, and Ibtihaj Muhammad are just three notable hijab-wearing athletes. They, along with others, serve as inspiration to young girls in sports who once thought there was no space for both their athletic abilities and their hijabs. 

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