Anglicare News

Fashion, frocks and frivolity

Recently Anglicare Tasmania’s Social Action Research Centre hosted the highly regarded ‘My Dress, My Image, My Choice’ event for the first time in Hobart.

The women-only event was a way to educate the community that Muslim women are no different from any other Australian women—we all enjoy fashion, music, food and frivolity.

The women who came to participate in the ‘My Dress’ event ‘modelled’ many of their own clothes. Not only was the audience impressed by the beautiful fabrics these women wore and the way they adapt normal Australian fashions to suit the Islamic dress code, but they were also impressed by the intelligent discussion that was had about Islam and the choice to wear the hijab.

Many people think of the veil (hijab) that many Muslim women wear as oppressive.

The Australian Muslim women who presented the ‘My Dress, My Image, My Choice’ event in Hobart this month wished to make the point that they wear the hijab with pride and joy.

They wished to point out that to choose to wear it, or not to wear it, is an individual’s right, and within their faith tradition, it is part of their personal journey. A woman chooses to wear the hijab as her own personal demonstration of her faith, a choice that is between herself and her God.

Many Muslim men actually oppose the wearing of the hijab in Australia because of the racism many Muslim women experience on a day-to-day basis.

The women who presented the ‘My Dress’ event were strong, articulate and funny.

The night began with a casual dress parade, what they would wear during the day at home, at work and for sport, right through to the most intricately designed evening wear and bridal wear, drawing many ooohs and aahs. The hijab was just a part of their amazing fashion.

Tickets to this event sold out very quickly and so many women had such a wonderful time that there were many requests to come back. The ‘My Dress’ women were just as impressed by their reception in Tasmania.

The event included dinner which featured traditional (and tasty!) Middle Eastern food prepared according to halal principles by a local Hobart restaurant.

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2 Muslim women in colourful hijab

Two of the Australian Muslim women who presented the 'My Dress, My Image, My Choice' event in Hobart. Photo Amanda Erskine