If I walked into a community event, I'd be labelled as dressing 'provocatively.'
If I sat in a room with my father or brother, I'd be asked to cover it as not to be disrespectful. But you see, it's just skin.
Our bodies are sexualised to such an extent that we can't even exist inside them anymore. It's like we don't have control of our own limbs due to carrying the weight of them being seen. I have to be so consciously aware of every inch of my skin, of whether it's covered, of whether the clothes that guard it are too form-fitting, of whether I look appropriate enough to leave my room to be inspected by my mother.
After wearing the hijab/abaya and covering myself entirely, I realised just how much weight was being placed on my body both in religion and within my culture. Veiling it almost perpetuated the notion of the body as something to be hidden, ashamed of.
As soon as I reached puberty, I was treated differently. I had to start wearing longer garments, maintain a distance between myself and male relatives. Everything was hypersexualised.
But this skin, these limbs, these skeletal fragments, are they all not just vessels into ourselves?
The soul, that is what I'm here for.