Hijab cosplay is here to stay

  • People
  • Thursday, 27 Jul 2017

Ange, a young Indonesian Muslim cosplayer dressed as the Kamen rider Gaim in April. Photo: AFP

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="312313" img_size="940x439" add_caption="yes" style="vc_box_shadow_3d"][vc_column_text]After donning a blue Cinderella dress, Sind Yanti carefully arranges her pale yellow hijab, or traditional headscarf, into folds that resemble hair.

“Wearing a hijab should not be a barrier for anything. We are free to be creative,” said the 24-year-old Indonesian designer after posting selfies of her latest cosplay outfit.

She is among a growing number of young Muslim women in South-East Asia who are taking part in hijab costume play or hijab cosplay, finding creative ways to incorporate the head covering into colourful fantasy costumes.

Yanti’s fashions are inspired by Disney and Japanese anime characters, with artful hijab designs that resemble wigs or hoods. She can express herself while preserving the Islamic requirement of modest dress for women, Yanti said.

Her made-to-order designs cost between 250,000 rupiah (RM80) and 500,000 rupiah (RM160) each.

The fashion play is also popular in neighbouring Muslim-majority Malaysia, where young people dressed as superheroes, warriors and princesses flocked to a cosplay show in Kuala Lumpur, the capital.

Muslim cosplayers prepare for a cosplay event at a mall in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, in early July. Photo: Reuters/Lai Seng Sin
Nursyamimi Minhalia getting a friend to put the finishing touches to her costume. Photo: Reuters/Lai Seng Sin

Among them was 20-year-old film student Nursyamimi Minhalia, who wore a black hijab cut to form a fringe with two buns on either side.

She did not include the hijab when she began cosplaying in 2012, but was later inspired by others wearing the headscarf.

“It’s quite challenging. Usually I pick a character that covers most of my body, so it’s easier for me to wear it in the Muslimah style,” Minhalia said, employing the Arabic term for Muslim women.

Costumed roleplay, which can feature revealing outfits and elaborate hair styles, has long been part of the fan culture linked to Japanese anime, manga and comics.

Hijab cosplay is a new phenomenon that appears to be growing in appeal among the wider Muslim community.

Sharifah Maznah Syed Mohd, 48, whose son is an avid cosplayer, said the role-playing hobby was acceptable as long as participants stuck within religious boundaries.

Yanti says hijab cosplay has helped her stay true to her faith even while enjoying the cosplay experience. “If I took off my hijab just because of cosplay, I’d feel sorry for myself,” she added.

“It would feel like there is a conflict inside my heart.” – Reuters/Yuddy Cahya and Ebrahim Harris[/vc_column_text][vc_images_carousel images="312310,312311,312312,312314" img_size="660" mode="vertical" speed="3000" autoplay="yes" wrap="yes" css_animation="bounceInRight"][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Next In People

A centenarian tells the tale of two pandemics
Bali's 'trash heroes' are cleaning up paradise, one beach at a time
Malaysian IT manager arranges free meals for Covid-19 patients at local hospital
Malaysian builds his cats a Swiss-inspired chalet using discarded wood
Lebanese group provides home away from home to healthcare workers
Hard-hit restaurants feed Covid doctors, nurses to survive
Bye Erasmus, hello Turing: Britain's one-way exchange programme hard to crack
Two local personalities share the story of their love Premium
Afghan journalists, targets of violence, face 'undeclared war' on free press
A German supermarket's singles night takes off during the pandemic

Stories You'll Enjoy