Confessions of an Egyptian Fashion Blogger: Am Just Different! Deal with It!
Confessions of a Fashion Blogger in Egypt: Am Just Different! Deal with It! Have I mentioned before that being yourself is almost impossible in Egypt? Since we are born, our parents seem to do their utmost efforts to make you the miniature version of themselves, and suddenly you become their living incarnation. They expect you to think like them, behave like them and most importantly fulfill what they have once failed to achieve.
Then, you go to school and you get dressed in a tasteless uniform and you have to abide by the dressing rules along with the code of conduct, or else you will be marked out as a weirdo or as a rebel. You wake up every single day, get in a boring early morning line and do a stupid military-wannabe march. Still, you have to abide by the rules. Why? Because everyone has done, is doing and will be doing it till doomsday.
You try to choose what you want to do for the rest of your life and pick a university or even a scholarship, but Alas! Do you think you’re going to do what you really want? Seriously? Parents, family and friends will get in the way of reshaping your mindset to fit their own world.
Of course, I can go on and on with that depressing list and you’ll probably wonder what this has to do with anything related to Fashion. Well, it does. Not only do people seem to label you by your socioeconomic status, studies or lingo. But, they also make it very clear that the way you look should abide by their own beauty standards.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended my best friend’s wedding. For a whole month, I have been thinking, searching for and trying on different gowns to fit that one magical night. And I finally did choose a unique gown that I believe reflect my identity and the image I want others to perceive of me. I would not say that my gown was the typical sweet lacey soft dress that you’d find a typical Egyptian girl wearing. Not that I’m judging typical Egyptian girls for what they choose to dress, but I just wanted to go with my own fashionable flow instead of following the mainstream herd.
I got to the wedding and I had a few funny comments and some awkward stares. I sat to a table next to some bridesmaids and actually heard them giggling about my look. All I wanted to do at that moment was turn around, give them a very serious frightening look and say, “Hey bitch, I’m a Fashion blogger. Sorry if my taste doesn’t meet your bourgeois standards.” But, I just didn’t want to make a scene about me and just let my friend enjoy her big day peacefully.
A couple of days later, I was randomly checking some wedding albums on some photographers’ pages and I was struck when I noticed that most girls look exactly the same. If they are not hijabis, they would have very thick jet black eyebrows, sleek hair, daring cat-eye, hot pink lipsticks and shimmery short dresses to show off their legs. If they are hijabis, they would be typically dressed in long sleek jersey dresses embellished with lace around the shoulders and bust area, silk hijab wraps with a little hint of their dyed blow-dried bangs and the same thick brows eyeliner combo. Have I seen any different look that would stand out of the crowd? Honestly, not! What struck me even more is that people seem okay with the fact that almost everyone look the exact same as everyone else.
I have once written a whole post about Handbags Egyptian Women Should Stop Wearing, some people did not get the point and thought I was too picky or judgmental. I’m just quite bored of seeing the exact same looks every single day.
Individuality, people! Individuality!
I can totally admit that following your heart and flying away from the rest of the flock can be quite hard especially in a highly-conservative society. But, you just need to try, try and try. You were once unique. Don’t forget that!
As for my controversial dress, you might be curious to see it. I won’t be sharing any photo in public for the time being, till I attend a couple of future weddings and parties wearing it and enjoy the same shocking stares face to face 😉