Does My Abaya Offend You?

Let’s reflect on this. This picture is from the “Glow Photo Series: Philly Edition.” I purchased my Abaya in preparation for the Dubai Blackout trip last year. When I wear my Abaya I feel beautiful. I feel empowered. I feel LOVE.

Wearing my Abaya is a personal tribute to that little black girl lost that finally found herself. At 14-years old when I was raped I had on a similar outfit. It was Forest Green. Loose fitting. Long and flowing. Oftentimes when Rape victims share our stories the first question is: “What did you wear?” It’s classic “victim blaming.” The assumption is if you wear certain clothing (short skirts, tight jeans, revealing clothes, etc.) you are “asking to be raped.” This is FALSE!!! The truth: Rapists Rape. It doesn’t matter what you wear. Time of day. What you look like or any of the many assumptions people come up with to victim blame and shame. Unfortunately people still ask intrusive questions and think this way. If you do it please stop asking these questions it’s extremely offensive and insensitive. 😔😔😔

I’ve periodically posted pictures in my Abayas of various colors. I love the way they flow and enjoy the vibrant colors. Each time I post I get comments or inbox messages saying: Why did you wear that? You look fat in that garb. 😑 Are you Muslim now? 🤔 I’ve even been told I can’t dress and need a fashion consult because of my Abaya. 😫 It’s a shocking what people freely feel the need to say. It’s rude and offensive.

I proudly come from a predominantly Islamic family, it’s a large part of Philadelphia and our history. The Nation of Islam is very prominent in my city. I’m Christian. I’m troubled that it concerns others so much what religion I am or what I wear. Why? Why is it necessary to comment on someone else’s attire? Does my Abaya offend you? Are you uncomfortable that I’m comfortable being fully clothed in my garb? I love who I am and what the Abaya represents: Beauty, Confidence and Love. 💛💛💛

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