How I Chose to Wear a Scarf

Food for thought

'She wears a scarf...she must be lovely. She wears a scarf, she will be so closed-minded.' A pendulum of stereotypes constantly swinging.

My gut instinct has been pretty loyal to me all these years, and I hope it continues to be so. Call it 'Women's Intuition' (pah!)

When I decided to start wearing a scarf, I was pretty shocked...and scared and confused and excited all at the same time. How had this come about? I never thought I' inspired. After all, I was pretty proud of my tom-boyish short bob-cut when I was a kid, and as I grew up, tying my hair up in spangly clips and diamonds (90s kiddo here). We were preparing to go to Umrah and I just said to my Dad, 'I think when we come back, I want to start wearing a scarf.'

'Your choice. No pressure.' And that was that. My parents aren't Super Duper strict, and it wasn't a symbol to 'prove' I had made the lesser pilgrimage.

But, it just felt SO right, that I wanted to roll with it.

I remember the first time I was getting ready. Neurghhhhhhh. The scarf had strangled me! Too tight!! Phew! *breathe* Oh lordy...the way the material flapped liked that looked so pathetic :/

How did it feel walking into a wedding for the First Time Ever donning a scarf? I felt like I had grown an extra head. People WILL talk. Simply speaking. As with any change that occurs in ones life. Obviously, wearing a scarf is such a visible change. Smiles. Judging eyes. Some were really supportive 'Wow! It looks good.' 'You've started to wear a scarf?' 'Congratulations!'

But unfortunately,  and I'll be completely blunt, wearing a scarf also had its fair share of judge-y, underhand, and spiteful comments. There were times when I thought if all the negative attention was worth this material? Whispered 'Hah! It's going to come off in a year or so's time...just you wait. She'll get tired of it...' *wink wink*

The one time my scarf did come off was during my Year 11 prom. I was 16 and had my hair curled and pinned up in a updo like Hermione Granger's at The Yule Ball. But my relationship with, and what my scarf meant to me, was different then. And I'm sure it'll continue to change.   

I've overheard someone say 'Well, now she's wearing a scarf, none of the modern boys will be interested in know what boys are like these days. They like a girl who's fashionable and open-minded.' 

A) That's an insult to truly modern and open-minded guys. An open-minded guy won't run a mile when he sees a scarf. Although, I do appreciate there are lots of assumptions we all make when we see someone dressed a certain way.

B) By Aunty's logic, if you wear a scarf, you are closed-minded. Who's the closed-minded one now ey ey?

Stay true to your principles, and as a result, I've refused to take my scarf off at weddings in the 'Oh-But-I-Want-To-Attract-A-Dude's-Attention' way. After all, I don't want to become a Social Chameleon. Would I agree to be with a guy who cannot see beyond a scarf? Or respect any choices I had made long before I had met him?

'Traditional.' 'Backwards.' 'Uneducated.' Labels, derogative labels everywhere. It's sad that people come out with these labels regarding 'Scarf Girls'; they have clearly not seen the millions of 'Scarf Girls' who ARE educated. Are bright. ARE smart. Are forward-thinking. That it's a piece of cloth, yet so more than a piece of cloth. But, it IS just a drop of her identity.

Wearing a scarf certainly brings about a whole myriad of assumptions attached to it. Yes. I DO worry that women are only interested in me because Shai/Shy Scarf Girl will be a Pushover Passive Personality. I'm not a mouthy girl. In fact, I think I am pretty soft and naïve. But at the same time, I do still want to be treated fairly and equally, scarf or no scarf. My intellect, opinions and views don't suddenly blow away in the wind at the donning of my scarf, (even though the tail of my scarf sometimes does lol)

Ultimately what matters is that you're an awesome soul first, despite your clothing preferences. I have some truly great friends who wear a scarf. I have some truly great friends who don't wear a scarf. What matters? That they are, specifically more recently, showing me time and time again how awesome they are :)

I also have the misfortune of knowing Professor Umbridges who wear scarves. And Professor Umbridges who don't wear scarves. They're both Professor Umbridges though :( 

Whether you're going to be wearing a scarf or not, a veil, or simply dye your hair the colour of the rainbow; promise yourself one thing. You're doing it out of choice and not to conform to society's expectations. 

That is when you will truly see it as your crown and not your noose. You are your own person. No one has the right to force you to wear, or not to wear, a scarf.


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