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Author Topic: Headscarf in the Monster High universe?  (Read 963 times)

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Online VoidChilde

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Headscarf in the Monster High universe?
« on: January 17, 2018, 10:47:27 PM »
I don't want to start any sort of debate or controversy and I know religion is a very sensitive subject and I also know we're supposed to avoid it as per the rules so if this goes wrong, I'm fully aware this thread will disappear. It's just that I'm making an OC who is going to wear a headscarf because she comes from a mostly Muslim country and it fits with her character and everything (also headscarves are beautiful).

Thing is, I don't particularly like the idea of weaving religion into this universe and I'm looking for a different reason she might want to wear a head covering. The only reasons I've encountered were religious (not only Muslim of course, a lot of religions have or had some sort of head coverings) and since there aren't any monsters wearing some sort of symbol like this, I'm struggling to find a way to make this believable (which ultimately doesn't matter because she's my OC and not an actual character but I'm a perfectionist x-x).

I mean, the monsters from other countries wear traditional fashion (Jinafire's fashion is very Chinese-inspired, Skelita wears a lot of Mexican clothing, Batsy's style is reminiscent of Costa Rica, Lorna is obviously Scottish, etc), but none of them has religious symbols I think, except maybe Skelita's shrines to her ancestors but I'm not sure if that enters in the realm of tradition or religion. For a little more information, she's a Turkish werecat girl from "Istanboo", she's a fashionata and she's very proud of her culture (think Jinafire and Skelita in Scaris, talking about their country and family and traditions, etc), I just don't know how to explain her headscarf without getting religious?

Offline Kara Zor-El

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Re: Headscarf in the Monster High universe?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2018, 08:20:56 AM »
First off, this is a really interesting discussion point and I hope it's allowed to remain on the board.

It's your monster, which means you make the rules of the design.  If you want her to wear a headscarf to honor her culture which her religion is a large part of, then that's what you should do!  Monster High is all about accepting the students from different cultures and letting them show off their culturally accepted looks in fashionable ways.  Like you mentioned, Skelita and Jinafire have a lot of Mexican and Chinese culture woven into their identities and appearances.

Another character that comes to mind, although a bit more controversial, is Isi Dawndancer.  Some of the imagery associated with her IS religious for Native Americans, and there was much discussion about whether the character design was insensitive due to the mixing of imagery from different tribes.  The creators seemed to come from a mindset of 'we don't want to risk offending a culture by getting too focused on one tribe's imagery, so we mixed a lot of different Native ideals in the character' without considering that in a way, that might be considered insensitive too.

I would suggest, if you are Muslim yourself, that you trust your desires to represent yourself in your character and give her a lovely headscarf.  If you are not Muslim, I would recommend speaking to some people who are, and ask them what the most respectful way to depict your character would be.

Back in 2009, I had the opportunity to travel to Istanbul from the US, and it was amazing!  I was nervous going, not wanting to be disrespectful to the culture, so I was sure to bring only long-sleeved clothes with no prints/advertisement on them, and brought a head scarf with.  When I arrived, I was surprised to see that, although there were women in full hijab and more, that there were also a lot of women whose dress wouldn't look out of place in the US at all!  I even saw Superman tee shirts in the streets.  I had way overthought things.    :blush:  I know some things have changed over there as in the last decade the people in charge have become more conservative, but I'm happy to have had a chance to visit someplace so different, but still so familiar to me.

Rather than search for an alternative reason for her to cover her head, I would say that you should embrace the culture of Istanboo and, if you want to avoid specifically talking about religion, use the term 'cultural.'  Like I said before, the Muslim religion is a foundation of the culture of Turkey, and just like how Skelita taught her friends about Mexican culture, your character can teach them about Istanboo.
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Offline Simply Indescribable

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Re: Headscarf in the Monster High universe?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2018, 11:37:10 AM »
Agreeing with the post above, but if you'd rather it be a non-religious reason, perhaps it's used to keep her from "transforming", like some vampires use umbrellas for sun protection? Clawdeen and her brothers were shown to be able to change at will but as far as I know, the werecats are just girls with cat features, and have not been shown to go full cat, so you can make your own reason for transformation. Maybe instead of it being at night or a full moon like for werewolves, it's a random time of the day since cats typically sleep so much?

Online VoidChilde

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Re: Headscarf in the Monster High universe?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2018, 07:28:28 PM »
Thank you both for your answers!

I'm not Muslim myself but I've always been fascinated by the practice of covering one's head for religious purposes and I've done a lot of research on the subject (I'm passionate about theology and mythology, I read religious texts just like someone would read a novel ^^"). The OC could have been from anywhere but I'm making a long-haired werecat girl with white fur, which lead to the Turkish Angora cat and then to making an OC from Turkey. While I've seen all sorts of fashion trends when researching Turkish culture and traditions, I fell in love with the elegance and beauty of several outfits worn with hijabs (I think it's been called "Muslim Chic"?). And then I just knew it was a challenge I had to take on, because I love diversity in representation and while Monster High is originally aimed at kids/preteens, as an adult I have a more...I don't know how to explain it, a desire to have something bigger? Like how I don't headcanon all the characters as straight and cisgender for example (although I won't get into that much either to avoid conflict).

Folklore isn't clear on what are werecats unlike werewolves, they don't necessarily transform at any particular time and most tales talk of witches and sorcerers, shamans or even priests turning into felines of various sizes but we know the Monster High werecats aren't any of those things, they're just cat-girls, so I think I might sort of go with both explanations: Kadri wears a headscarf as a cultural symbol and as a practical thing to avoid getting her fur in a tangle since she's long-haired? Catrine, Catty, Toralei, Meowlody and Purrsephone have been seen with long hair but they seem to be short-haired cats as far as body goes while I imagine my Kadri as having a fluffy tail, fluffy ears and a fluffy head of white fur. I might give her some more fur depending on how these areas go (I'm waiting for my wefts to dry right now before I start putting them on the doll) but she'll definitely be more hairy than the other werecats.

Online Ameyal

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Re: Headscarf in the Monster High universe?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2018, 07:40:51 PM »
While I agree that is your character and ultimately your decision on how you portray her, I would also like to point out that wearing a headscarf, or covering her head can simply be part of her "Killer Style": something she likes to wear.

Online VoidChilde

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Re: Headscarf in the Monster High universe?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2018, 07:58:41 PM »
Oh she definitely wears it because she likes it too but I love giving explanations as to why my characters do or like certain things. For example, Margot, my puppet OC, absolutely despise Physical Deaducation, not because she hates sports but because it's really hard for her to keep her balance and run with knee joints that can bend backwards! Sybil, another one of my OC, is very vain and has an obsession with painting autoportraits, which comes from being the daughter of Dorian Gray (she's frenemies with Amanita, because they're both convinced they're just so beautiful and great). My characters are always very detailed and I want them to fit in properly with the universe so I do a lot of research and such to make sure they make sense in the MH universe.

Offline FangedPisces

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Re: Headscarf in the Monster High universe?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2018, 05:33:06 AM »
I've actually been looking since October for a Cleo without bangs specifically so I can give her a headscarf. There's a youtube tutorial on how to make a doll with a hijab. They're so pretty; I really want one, but nearly every Cleo has bangs and I don't want to cut them off.
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Re: Headscarf in the Monster High universe?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2018, 05:59:34 AM »
@FangedPisces
Oh, she would be lovely! I looked up the Cleo dolls and I found a few versions without bangs: the one from the Comet-Crossed Couple 2-pack, Dead Tired Cleo, Garden Ghouls Cleo (though she has wings and I'm not sure if they're removeable?) and Cleo from the Family Pack with Lux and Sandy. There's at least two more but they don't have articulations. I wish more monsters had visible ethnic diversity (ex. Honey Swamp would obviously be black if she was human but she's the only one with the really curly sort-of-wiry hair)!

Offline rianif

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Re: Headscarf in the Monster High universe?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2018, 06:31:37 AM »
If you are looking for reason for the headscarves, why not heat?

Istanbul has a desert and for desert dwellers, cover-up is super important. The worst danger of being in a dessert, or most places that are hot, are sunstroke and dehydration. So their fashion would reflect this.

Scarves to cover up the head, long sleeves to cover any piece of exposed skin to slow the rate of dehydration from sweating, scarves over mouth to slow the rate of dehydration from your breathing, bright colours for easier spotting in distance in case of lost in the desert.

And as a werecat, your character would probably try her best to be comfortably and cool (furs and puns).

And then when the night falls and temperature drops, the scarves can be unwound for extra layers against the cold.

It sounds a bit counter intuitive to cover up as much skin as possible in hot weather, but I can testify that this tactic works very well. Went to a tropical place without much preparation (cause it should be like summer, right) and oh the agony! Thank God for scarves. Seriously.

Cheers,
Rian
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 06:36:23 AM by rianif »

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Re: Headscarf in the Monster High universe?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2018, 12:58:20 AM »
[Inflammatory comment removed.  ~SaelaVe]
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 09:28:05 AM by SaelaVe »
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Online VoidChilde

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Re: Headscarf in the Monster High universe?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2018, 01:54:13 AM »
@rianif
Actually, Istanbul is part of the Marmara region, which is bordered by Greece, and the closest desert is the Syrian Desert, which covers a part of Syria and is the country bordering Turkey from the southeast, opposite of Istanbul. The climate is similar to Los Angeles according to the Köppen climate classification. But it's fiction so we can be a bit creative and it's true that proper covering helps against the heat!

@Sakuya
I don't agree but in any case hijabs aren't niqabs, they cover the hair only, not any part of the face (except a bit of forehead). It's no more offensive or strange than the head wraps popular in the 20's and 30's or the vintage Hollywood style of the 50's that Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly wore. It's just worn for religious reasons rather than just a fashionable accessory or a way to keep hairstyles in place.

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Re: Headscarf in the Monster High universe?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2018, 02:54:18 AM »
[Inflammatory comment removed.  ~SaelaVe]
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 09:28:13 AM by SaelaVe »
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Re: Headscarf in the Monster High universe?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2018, 06:59:52 AM »
I don't want to have that debate either but my thread wasn't about whether or not people agree that my OC wears a hijab, it was about how to explain the hijab in Monster High, a universe where religion isn't really talked about.

I want to thank everyone who gave me ideas, in the end, I chose to go with modesty. Kadri wears a hijab and modest clothing that covers most of her skin/fur (long sleeves, long skirts and pants, close-toed shoes and boots, etc) because in her family of beautiful, fluffy Werecats, they believe that showing the full glory of your fur should be reserved to people who have earned your trust and are close to you, such as family and best friends.

Since my question has been answered, mods can now lock this thread if they wish to.

Offline SaelaVe

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Re: Headscarf in the Monster High universe?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2018, 09:37:50 AM »
This thread was allowed to stay open only as long as it did not devolve into an argument about the Islamic religion.  The OP asked from the beginning that debate and controversy be kept out of the conversation.
Due to inflammatory comments, the thread is now being locked.

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