Segments in this Video

Converting to Islam (02:10)


A French woman discusses her decision to become a Muslim and describes a trip to Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

Overcoming Cultural Bias (01:26)

A French Muslim woman describes her involvement in the Palestinian issue, after being raised to accept the Israeli perspective.

Accessing the Women's Sphere (02:10)

A French woman talks about worshiping in the Dome of the Rock with Palestinian women, and how gender separation in Islam resonates with her.

Finding Religious Commonalities (03:12)

A French woman describes similar attitudes towards modesty and scriptural links between her Muslim faith and her Protestant ancestry.

Representing Islam in the West (01:39)

A French woman self censors her headscarves to avoid being associated with fundamentalism.

Challenging Cultural Norms (02:46)

A Syrian woman discusses her decision to wear the veil in Europe, inspired by a friend.

Sacrificing Opportunity for Religion (02:22)

A Syrian woman withdrew from music school after donning the veil. She describes frustration at social prejudices in Europe.

Remembering a Past Life (02:02)

A Syrian woman doesn't regret giving up her music career to wear the veil and be a housewife.

Spiritual Self Expression (01:46)

A Syrian woman believes the veil should be functional, rather than aesthetically pleasing—reflecting the wearer's beliefs.

Muslim Cultural Identity (04:32)

A British woman describes how she gained awareness of her faith, after experimenting with self expression as a teenager.

Finding Muslim Community (02:21)

A British woman recalls attending a Ramadan gathering and going to a mosque for the first time.

Empowerment through the Veil (04:04)

A British woman describes her decision to wear the hijab and cover her face in feminist terms. View the poem "My Body Is Not Your Battleground" by Mohja Kahf.

Credits: I Wasn't Always Dressed Like This (00:24)

Credits: I Wasn't Always Dressed Like This

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I Wasn't Always Dressed Like This

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



The veil is an object that tends to instigate profound and diverse feelings. Its practice and meaning have been greatly abused throughout history. Within the context of the West the question one might ask: “In a free country, why are women choosing to veil?” In a very intimate and meditative mode, three Muslim women reflect around issues of cultural memory, identity, self-censorship, feminism, politics and media. By appreciating the personal and experiential quality of veiling, this documentary is able to articulate critically and reflexively while challenging its popular perception. (31 minutes)

Length: 32 minutes

Item#: BVL56476

ISBN: 978-0-81609-033-4

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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