As one of the most discussed new entries in the Nike Pro collection hits the market, many young girls, as well as grown up women, are lining up to get their own Nike Pro Hijab.
Despite what certain newspapers have claimed, this product is about to embody a revolution. It is going to open doors, build bridges and portray the idea that outfits do not matter in sport. Opening the Nike website to find first the slogan “Time to show the world what you’ve got” and second a woman wearing a headscarf, specifically designed for practicing sport, still seems like a dream.
I have been wearing the hijab for almost a decade and working out without a suitable head covering is not an easy job. Some hijabs might slip forwards or backwards, others need to be pinned to your shirt and in some situations, it creates an amusing scene for passersby. Not to mention those stares telling you to take it off since it is making it so hard for you to exercise.
However, I have never given in and I continue to work out in public. Why? Because I have always hated this idea present both in the East and in the West, that when you decide to cover you have to renounce certain things, such as sports. People are so unaccustomed to seeing women of religion playing sport, to the point that they think that they do not belong there.
This is exactly why, when six months ago I heard that Nike was launching a hijab for sport, I was so excited that I followed the development of the product as close as possible, until it hit the market last week.
This is why, on December 1st, when I bought the Nike Pro Hijab, I was not buying just a piece of clothing. I was buying a revolution made in fabric, centimetres of inclusion and possibilities.
This new addition to the Nike Pro line is shouting to every girl out there who wants to play sports and observe her religion at the same time, that she can do so. She can show her potential to the world.
But most importantly it is normalising the presence of Muslim women on track fields, gyms and all the other sweaty environments you can think of, by changing the narrative into us wanting to cover and not anyone making us doing so.
It is the demonstration that there are no impossible dreams, for even this one has become true.