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What an American Christian Learned in a Muslim Country Part 5: Modesty is Beautiful.


Head covering has gotten a bad rap in the western world. Modesty for Moroccan women runs the gamut from western style dress and no head covering, to a simple classy Parisian head scarf wrapped around the hair and neck, to women who appear to be all fabric. (Men also generally wear more clothing in public than they do here!) I confess that when I would see the women who are covered head to toe in draping thick black cloth, gloves, eye slit veil and all, I would wonder if they were happy under there, or if they chose it freely. At the same time, it started to feel shocking to see what some western women tourists would walk around wearing in a Muslim country. It felt disrespectful and embarrassing - especially as westerners are generally assumed to be Christian. Then coming home to America to find a trend of leggings worn as pants with short shirts covering up none of the clearly defined middle section didn’t only strike me as unflattering, but as unnecessarily immodest. Call me crazy or half-Moroccan I guess, but I don’t mind a bit more mystery. When I visited my close Moroccan friend in the privacy of her home, it was fun to get to see her beautiful hair uncovered. Though there can be sad reasons for covering (fear of men), there can also be something beautiful about wanting to be a bit more private in public and more open and free with those we know and love most.

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