A woman had been invited to her co-worker’s wedding, which would strictly follow Muslim values. This included a strict Islamic dress code, and the woman quickly became uncomfortable with what was expected of her.
The Dress Code
The woman explained how she was expected to dress at her friend Aisha’s upcoming Muslim wedding: “She has asked all guests to dress ‘modestly’ and wear clothes that cover the shoulders, arms, knees, and so on.”
The Woman’s Style Clash
In contrast, the woman typically enjoyed wearing sleeveless dresses and knee-length skirts to weddings. She found herself at odds with the expected dress code, which she already knew would make her feel uncomfortable.
In an attempt to navigate this situation, the woman reached out to Aisha for clarification. “I tried to see if she could make an exception, saying that it’s a bit out of my comfort zone to dress that way and that I look and feel my best wearing a dress and skirt,” she recounted.
However, Aisha replied by emphasizing the cultural significance of ‘modesty’ in her community and its importance for her wedding. She also made it clear that the woman was under no obligation to attend if the dress code posed an issue.
Colleagues’ Wedding Preparations
Back at the office, the atmosphere buzzed with excitement about Aisha’s wedding. Colleagues eagerly shared their chosen outfits, with many opting for Middle Eastern clothing for the first time or having their Western attire tailored for ‘modesty.’
The Woman’s Research
Attempting to compromise, the woman did some research into Lebanese dresses, Aisha’s home country, and eventually bought an attractive outfit that she thought would align with the dress code. She thought her dress was beautiful, and while slightly revealing from the back, it did come from Lebanon.
However, when the woman presented her chosen dress to Aisha and her colleagues, she noticed a disapproving look on Aisha’s face. She requested a private conversation.
Defending Her Choice
In the private discussion, the woman attempted to clarify her choice, explaining that she had selected a dress from Lebanon, Aisha’s home country. However, Aisha felt that the woman was rudely disregarding her previous communication, explaining that not everyone in Lebanon is Muslim.
Shopping with Aisha
In an effort to resolve the issue, Aisha accompanied the woman on a shopping trip and helped her select an appropriate dress. Eventually, they found one that would meet the dress code requirements and respect Aisha’s cultural background.
The Woman’s Perspective
Despite Aisha’s help, the woman still believed that she had not been rude in her initial dress selection. She had merely attempted to choose an outfit from Lebanon as a gesture of respect. However, she claimed that she did recognize the importance of respecting Aisha’s wishes and the significance of ‘modesty’ on her special day.
The Internet Chimes in
The woman posted her conundrum on an internet forum, hoping to receive validation for her actions and attitude. However, validation was far from what she received. “Are you 5 or something?” sarcastically questioned one reader. “Why must you get your way? If you don’t want to dress a certain way then don’t go, even the bride told you this.”
Blowing it Out of Proportion
Everyone agreed that the woman was acting completely unnecessarily. “It wouldn’t kill you to respect the dress code,” agreed another reader. “She is asking for you to dress to what she considers ‘modest.’ You won’t melt away if you wear sleeves and a long dress for a few hours one night. If the issue is you don’t want to buy a new dress, then don’t go. Problem solved.”
Entitled and Thick
The woman was horrified to read the hate that came her way. “You’re making it all about you when in reality, it’s about her… It’s HER WEDDING!” one commenter exclaimed. “She’s been incredibly nice in trying to educate you, but frankly, you’re coming off as entitled & kind of thick.”
One reader however showed empathy for the woman. “I understand your confusion tbf, in the US and UK modest doesn’t actually mean covering your body completely, and I can see why you would be uncomfortable with this expectation. The easiest thing to do would be to make a polite excuse and not attend, while your are understandably uncomfortable with the dress code it is unfair to disrespect your colleagues religion and culture approaching her wedding day.”
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