Modest Swimwear is in the headlines

Orignial Post By Fabienne Faur (AFP)

‘Modest’ swimwear sheds its mothballs in US

WASHINGTON — Modest bathing suits have shed their mothballs and come back in style in the United States, with a clientele spanning the religious, the curvy and the sun-sensitive.

“Definitely, there was a need for it,” said New York fashion designer Regine Tessone.

“There are a lot of women who need to wear one, including myself,” added Tessone, an orthodox Jew who calls her line “original kosher swim wear”.

While still a niche industry, modest swim wear is experiencing a boom as retailers see a steady stream of new buyers eager to snap up their four — yes, four-piece swim sets, cover-up dresses and body suits.

With sales ranging in the thousands to tens of thousands of items per retailer, industry representatives say these suits fill a gaping void in an industry projected to bring in overall 2.6 billion dollars in 2012, according to market research company IBISWorld.

Zeena Altalib, who owns the Primo Moda boutique in Sterling, Virginia, said she started “out of frustration of things not being available”.

“I had to look until I found something I would be satisfied with that looked nice and stylish but was also cut modestly, especially for the summer,” the practicing Muslim said.

Alongside dresses and athletic wear, Altalib sells swimsuits that conform with conservative Muslim customs: long sleeves, ankle-length pants, headscarves — all in synthetic fabric made for and approved by public pools.

She said that for Muslim women the “lifestyle is changing,” explaining that they “want to and need to participate in everyday activity” as well as “participate in canoeing, go to the beach, enjoy what God has offered us.”

“As long as we have the appropriate clothing, we can do all of this,” she said.

An image on her website shows a woman clad in a beige headscarf, tunic and pants playing basketball.

Tessone, meanwhile, wanted to offer clients — including young girls — the possibility to “shop modest, swim modest and be modest.”

She launched her online label and New York shop Aqua Modesta about 10 years ago in response to a lack of options for women seeking to avoid unwanted ogling by men at the beach and gym.

Her four-piece swim sets include a skirt with briefs and a fully lined sports bra beneath a top with three-quarter sleeves and abide by Orthodox Jewish dress codes of “tzniut” modesty.

“Everything that I learned as a designer, I had to do the opposite in creating my own line,” she laughed, calling herself somewhat of an outcast in fashion school.

“We were taught always to emphasise the breasts, the hips, all the sensual areas of a woman — and here I have to detract,” she said, explaining that under tzniut guidelines a woman can be beautiful but should avoid eliciting sexual desire outside the bedroom.

The idea is echoed by Jen Clothing, which targets Mormons with bathing suits that are modestly cut in a 1950s style, revealing less of the thigh and gathered high up at the bust.

“Is exposure really all that sexy?” the group asks on its website, promising its clients “a bit of mystery and class”.

But Muslims and Mormons are not alone in seeking modesty. Some more conservative Christian women — especially evangelical and born-again Christians — and even a secular crowd of older and plus-size women, in a country with a growing problem of obesity, are also joining the trend.

“I see a lot of women who would never walk around in their undergarments and then do just that on the beach! It is crazy,” a user who went by the name Nicole commented on Christian blog Created to be His (

Amber Gray of Simply Modest clothiers spoke of a “backlash” against the kind of feminism that “promises freedom, but in reality locks women into thinking that they have to fit a certain idea of what a woman is — and part of that is showing off her body to whomever cares to see it.”

She and her sister Heather, who were home-schooled by their parents, purchased the business in 2009 because “we believe God meant it when he commanded his women to dress modestly,” according to their website.

Joan Ferguson, founder of Oregon-based WholesomeWear, said her customers are not all motivated by their faith.

“A lot of it is for religious purposes,” she said.

“But I have noticed I have gained customers over the years that are buying my suits for weight issues, to stay more covered from the sun, and as a woman ages, she is more self-conscious in a skimpy suit.”

Others may have skin diseases or want to cover up scars from surgery.


Nur Suryani Mohammed Taibi Pregnant: Olympic Shooting Competitor Is Due After Games

Original post

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As Nur Suryani, 29, takes aim, she will offer up a silent prayer to Allah that   her unborn baby desists from kicking at the moment she pulls the trigger.   Her baby is due in September and, in order to compete, she has

to squeeze her bulging abdomen into the heavy body suit and jacket worn by   competitors to aid stability.

Nur Suryani has travelled to the Games with her husband, Marhazli Mohtar. He   is, in her words, a “low-ranked” policeman who had to secure government help   to get his plane ticket to London. She says her husband has supported her   Olympic ambitions throughout, although some of her friends and family have   openly questioned why she is doing it.

“Most people said I was crazy and selfish because they think I am jeopardising   my baby’s health,” said the 29 year-old. “My husband said grab it as this is   a rare chance which may not come again. Also, I am the mother. I know what I   can do. I am a stubborn person.”

Nur Suryani has already named her unborn daughter, who will be her first   child, Dayana Widyan, and recites verses from the Koran in order to soothe   her.

“Every morning I talk to her and I say: ‘Mummy is going for training. Please   remain calm. Don’t kick.’ But if the baby kicks I have to breathe easy and   let her calm down before shooting.”

Nur Suryani is ranked 47th in the world and won a gold medal at the 2010   Commonwealth Games and a bronze at the Asian Games in the same year.

She has combined her shooting with being a navy logistics officer. She has   continued to train despite suffering from morning sickness and has had to   adjust her stance slightly since she became pregnant, although she says the   extra weight has improved her stability.

The Malaysian shooting manager, Muzli Mustakim, says she does not believe   being pregnant will hinder Nur Suryani’s chance of success at the Games.

“She is very well prepared mentally. It has not affected her at all, so she is   exceptional in that respect. Some people say she shouldn’t be here, that she   should be at home if she is pregnant.”

Asked about Nur Suryani’s chances of winning Malaysia’s first ever gold medal,   Muzli says: “That would certainly make history. The mere fact she is   competing at eight months is amazing enough but [a gold medal] would be   fantastic.”

Nur Suryani herself is not getting up her hopes too high for Saturday. “I just   want to perform my best at the Games. If gold comes, thanks to God and my   baby. Who knows? Miracles can happen.”

Muslim Hijabi’s in the 2012 London Olympics

A must watch video presentation by photographer Brigitte Lacombe

Photo exhibition Hey’Yah — Arabic for let’s go — shows female athletes from the Arab world

Videos are on the link provided, it is a MUST WATCH, very enjoyable

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CNN) — On Friday morning, Wojdan Shaherkani will set a new Olympic record. By participating in the first round of the Olympic judo competition she will become the first Saudi womanto take part in any Olympic Games.

Qatar and Brunei are also allowing female athletes to compete at the Olympics for the first time, making these Games a landmark for Arab women. Celebrating female athletes from the Arab world, a photo exhibition called “Hey-Ya (Let’s Go!): Arab Women in Sport,” has opened in London.

Brigitte Lacombe took all the photographs in the exhibition. “It’s not a star-driven project,” she told CNN’s Zain Verjee. “It is our chance to see another face of the Arab Women — more modern and more engaged.”

Olympic competitors and non-Olympians alike. Lacombe says she hopes her portraits will inspire other young girls, who might become sports stars one day.

“With the inclusion of the two athletes from Saudi Arabia in London, I think it’s about to turn the corner for women too,” Lacombe said. “A really important corner.”

The exhibition is showing at Sotheby’s, London, until August 11.

Qatar runner Noor Al-Malki

Original post from Yahoo Sports

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