Just yesterday, I had my first taste of what's it like to be a model at a studio photo shoot. My husband, photographer-in-the-making and his group of colleagues from his photography course had rented out a studio in Shah Alam for their photo assignments. It was at the spur of the moment that my hubby asked me to model for him. He hadn't anyone else in mind and he desperately needed to complete his assignment. So I got together a few outfits in a rush that morning. We headed straight to the studio with our 4 year old son in tow and spent a whole day (and a little more) there.
For me, it was an eye opening experience. My husband chose the Muslimah concept. His colleagues didn't. I don't blame them. The western influence is so deep rooted when it comes to fashion and model shoots. From the dressing to the poses, all were based on what the west did. Why do I say it as if it's a bad thing? Well because these influence causes us to forget the Islamic principles. Which to me is rather sad.
A photograph can speak a thousand words. It can influence, evoke emotions and create impact. If that's the case, then photographers play a certain role in shaping our society's thinking and way of life. A photograph in a way is like a campaign, telling onlookers that yes they should be like this and not like that. The person being photographed, the model is indeed a role model. These models that we feature in fashion magazines, they are being emulated. People admire the pictures and want to be like them (or not want to be like them?).
If more and more muslim photographers took interest in photographing muslimah models in their proper attire and decent poses, then perhaps our younger generations will have a better role model to look up to and try to be like them.
I applaud local muslimah magazines like 'Nur' who try their best at capturing the essence of a muslimah (although at times they do have a few models who are 'dis-overly' dressed). At least they try. Their feature articles cover the issue of 'aurat', at the same time they try to get across the message that you can be a muslimah, covered and all yet still look confident and feel and be beautiful.
In 'Nur's' latest issue (November 2010), they're looking for a new generation of muslimah models. I am so tempted to send in an application. I feel the need to get a message across on the 'being of a muslimah'. What better way then to be in the industry itself. To create influence, to inspire others, to show them that yes, this is how we muslimahs should dress. Now all I'm waiting for is for my hubby to edit and print out the best full length and close up shots before my application can be sent. I hope the windows of opportunity are open wide enough for me to slip in. Till then, I'll just keep on writing and hopefully be able to inspire through words..