Time to be serious.
This post is thought provoking, and more than a bit depressing:
While, you should read the whole thing, the key part is this:
It didn’t matter that I was a nice person. All that mattered was that I looked different.
Yes. All that matters is the look. That’s what makes the instant first impression, and that’s what colours all our judgements.
To take a far more trivial example: during my publishing days, the company I worked for published a series of books that were quite truly terrible. The content was basic at best, inaccurate at worst, and read like it had been translated from Korean to English by someone who didn’t speak either.
But they had one thing in their favour: they were VERY pretty.
Good reviews flooded in. People instantly liked the books because they were pretty. Once that happened, it made no difference that the content was trash.
Back to Ela’s post – people are ALWAYS going to make snap judgements the instant they see a hijab, just like they’re going to make snap judgements the instant they see a bespoke suit, robe, man in a skirt, leather jacket or hipster glasses.
What we CAN do is influence the judgements made. People will stop judging a hijab to mean ‘terrorist’ just as soon as people stop seeing muslim and terrorist as synonyms.
I don’t know how to do that. If I did, I’d be running the UN, not writing a marketing blog. All I can do for now is say looks matter. Pay attention to them.