Nigella Lawson’s recent small wave of excitement caused by her wearing a burqini purchased from Islamic Swimwear website Modestly Active is, as I interpret it, a bold feminist move. Many have questioned her motives for wearing an extremely unflattering garment, as it is definitely deviating from her usual sultry and carefully put together dress style, a signature fashion that is certainly a la mode. There have been theories ranging from Nigella having converted to Islam, to Nigella wanting to protect her delicate English Rose skin from sunburn, to the fact that she was even feeling cold.
Personally, I believe it can be deduced that it may not be any of these, but a much more cheekier reason, and definitely something to cheer. Who would not, after seeing in the media time and time again, be it the entertainment news writers or various magazines like Heat or OK!, as well as many, many more women’s ‘guides’ who are quick to point out the ‘flab’ on so many ‘slebs, want to avoid a similar fate? It can be agreed that while Nigella Lawson is a beautiful woman, she is not a size zero, and she is perfectly comfortable not being one.
The issue at hand here, is not women’s weight, but rather the idealised body image that the media is constantly bombarding us with. By not wearing the typical skimpy two-piece bikini, Nigella boldly and deliberately is flying in the face of usual conventions. Rather than submit her body to the usual and inevitable scrutiny imposed on other celebrities, Nigella has taken this out of the media’s control and instead played a joke on them.
As a young Muslim woman in today’s Britain, I am conscious of the changing fashions and trends around, and the fact that like it or not, we are always going to be bombarded with the attitude that we need to look, follow or have a certain way in order to feel successful or beautiful. Personally I am quite comfortable in the way I dress, I can keep it an eclectic style while being able to keep myself covered up in a way that I feel is appropriate for myself, without feeling as if I have to compromise on certain trends that I like to follow. So while Nigella may not be specifically promoting Islam and hijabed-women here, I think that the ideal she is showing fits with the modesty that many young women today would like to imbibe in their dress sense.
There has been several comments and judgements assessing Nigella’s choice of dress, concluding that this is one dress that won’t make the fashion rage, and this may be the case, certainly. But let us hope that Nigella’s attitude becomes more fashionable, and that more women, especially those in the media’s eye, follow the attitude that less does not always need to be more.
For those of you who are interested in looking at similar burqinis, Nigella Lawson purchased from this company: