Styling strength. Pious fashion and fitness on surviving hijab

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3 Scopus citations


In 2014, amid anti-Islamist sentiment in Egypt, the athlete Manal Rostom founded a Facebook group to support hijabis. Intended as a space of internal discussion and solidarity, it grew into one of Facebook’s largest groups worldwide. Analyzing posts on this forum and its offshoot Instagram page, this article examines digital repertoires of Muslim women’s self-styling as both pious and liberal. While the women-only Facebook group reproduced existing religious norms in contemporary language, the Instagram platform generated self-modulated performances of fashion and fitness, blurring lines between liberal and Islamic feminism. The article analyzes the use of digital platforms to construct both a hijabi support group and an influencer platform, arguing that this two-pronged project signified hijab as an ethical and performance practice. As a symbol of self-discipline that moved between the worlds of style and sport, hijab in this digital forum supplemented representations of religious consumerism with competitive performances of strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-116
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Middle East Women's Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies


  • Digital media
  • Fashion
  • Fitness
  • Hijab


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