Viral Instagram challenges get modest makeover

Veteran modest fashion influencer Dina Torkia posted her version on Instagram. (Instagram)
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Updated 07 May 2020

Viral Instagram challenges get modest makeover

DUBAI: If images of people strapping fluffy pillows to their bodies with a belt have flooded your Instagram feed, fear not. Your friends have not gone completely stir-crazy; they are simply playing a social media game that has attracted the attention of practically every aspiring fashion influencer struggling to come up with creative content while stuck at home. Dubbed the #quarantinepillowchallenge, there are close to 100,000 entries on Instagram, with most showcasing bare-shouldered, bare-legged women in stilettos. But while the challenge promotes a sort of sexy and revealing glamour, women who follow modest dress codes are jumping on the bandwagon too.

Veteran modest fashion influencer Dina Torkia posted her version on Instagram — an all-black outfit consisting of a high-necked top with bell sleeves, black jeans, sporty trainers, and a black pillow with an emerald belt. Hijab-wearing fashion blogger Aisha Altayeb wore a patterned pillow over jeans and accessorized her ensemble with a Gucci belt.

“I thought that the pillow challenge was funny given the current situation but scrolling through my feeds, I couldn’t help but think that I didn’t relate to these pictures. So I had to recreate my own version so that other modest dressers could relate to it,” Alteyeb told Arab News.

“Many people assume that dressing modestly means being boring but by taking part in such challenges, we show others that modesty shouldn’t be seen as limiting. It is rather a chance to be more creative. Also, being fashionable is not just about following a trend but adding a twist to it and making it your own.”

From showcasing barrette hair clips on hijabs to wearing bucket hats in lieu of headscarves, adapting to mainstream trends is a hallmark of the modest fashion blogging movement — and this has become increasingly evident through social media challenges.

The #dontrushchallenge is another social media trend that has gained global traction. Participants post videos of their makeover transformations, wearing elaborate makeup and outfits to the hit hip-hop song, “Don’t Rush,” by Young T and Bugsey. A group of prominent modest fashion and beauty bloggers, who also happen to be mothers, created the “Muslim Mom” edition, starring personalities like Hodan Yusuf from the Netherlands and Basma Kahie from London.

Modest fashion has steadily entered the mainstream over the past decade, rising through the ranks within the larger industry and cementing itself as a lifestyle, rather than a mere trend. It has become a multi-billion-dollar industry in its own right. Brimming with creativity and enthusiasm and celebrating inclusivity, modest fashion consumers and influencers fight the narrative that Muslim women are repressed and meek, or dress plainly.

While some may deem them a frivolous waste of time, these challenges offer a creative outlet and distraction from the dismal pandemic news. But more importantly, they invite all players into the fashion sphere without discrimination. Black or white, Western or Eastern, hijabi or non-hijabi, there is no modeling audition or prejudice involved — just a smart phone and an eye for style. 


‘On the Rocks’ — Bill Murray is a steal in this dad-daughter outing

Updated 25 October 2020

‘On the Rocks’ — Bill Murray is a steal in this dad-daughter outing

CHENNAI: Bill Murray is the most endearing aspect from “On the Rocks,” Sofia Coppola’s seventh film as writer-director. Behind his trademark deadpan expression, Murray still has twinkle and mischief in his eyes. And he brings out the same kind of lonely wistfulness we saw in his earlier association with Coppola in 2003’s “Lost in Translation,” in which he and Scarlett Johansson meet in a Tokyo hotel and find comfort in each other. There was no romance there, as there is none in his latest outing as Felix. Daughter Laura (played by Rashida Jones, who has starred in “I Love You, Man” and “The Social Network”) is troubled thinking that her life is about to go into a tailspin. 

“On the Rocks” is now on Apple TV+. Supplied

“On the Rocks” — on Apple TV+ and set in New York — is just as sentimental and sweet as “Lost in Translation.” As Coppola’s latest adventure begins, we see Felix, who has made his millions as an art dealer, in the lap of luxury with a chauffeured Mercedes, first-class hotels and sensational magic in his persona. But having divorced his wife many moons ago, he longs to nurture the relationship with his daughter Laura, who is married to the very successful Dean (Marlon Wayans) with two lovely daughters. 

However, in a kind of mid-marriage crisis, Laura begins to have doubts about Dean’s fidelity, especially after he gets busy with his new professional venture that takes him away on frequent trips. His “leggy” assistant, Fiona, accompanies him, and Laura confides this to her dad, who weaves stories of all that could be happening between Dean and his assistant. Felix suggests that they follow the possibly philandering husband, and a troubled Laura gets talked into it.

“On the Rocks” has great moments, and is compelling to a great extent. Supplied

All this leads to hilarious situations with Felix always being in command, even when cops catch him speeding as he is trying to tail Dean’s cab. Wittily calm and composed, he is the sort of guy who will unabashedly say to a passing stranger that she looks ravishing and get away with it, much to his daughter’s consternation.

“On the Rocks” has great moments, and is compelling to a great extent, with Murray engaging us with full-of-life banter. Jones matches up to him, a nervous wife tottering on the edge of what has been a great marriage. She hides her angst with remarkable alacrity, trying to play a good mother to her kids, while her dad leads her up the garden path. “On the Rocks” is happily no weepy tale, and Coppola spices it up.