Recently, a media campaign by Nike aired promoting the Hijab. However, these ads are a bit misleading if one does not understand what Hijab means. Hijab is a form of modesty. More specifically, Hijab does not merely entail covering of the head, but it is a concept that includes covering the whole body.
In Europe and North America, there has been a movement to ban the Hijab. From that standpoint, the Hijab ads by Nike are good. However, the ads can cause harm for young Muslims. Some might view the ad and believe that the actress in the commercial is someone to be emulated. That the character presented on TV is a great exemplar of how Muslim women should be. The commercials also perpetuate the idea that Hijab is just a covering of the head and there are not any other aspects to Hijab.
Another aspect where the Nike ad fails is that it features a woman wearing a headscarf, but at the same time wearing very form fitting clothing. This type of dress contradicts the entire purpose of Hijab. Islam does not teach that the purpose of Hijab is to hide a woman’s hair with cloth. Instead, Islam teaches a philosophy on how to live your life in a state of honorable modesty, which includes, but is not limited to, a headscarf.
Is Islam saying that women should not dress nice? Of course not, there is nothing wrong with dressing nice. However, beauty should not be a source of showiness, or debasement in order to please others.