You may think Instagram is a great place to share your favourite #outfitoftheday photos, but for one retailer (and blogger) that wasn't the case.
Mimi Hecht and Mushky Notick, co-owners of Brooklyn-based modest clothing shop Mimu Maxi recently posted a photo of one of their customers looking fab in one of their maxi skirts. Normally, their photo would have garnered plenty of likes from their followers, but not this time. Instead, the photo, which you can see below, stirred up quite the controversy amongst the boutique's fans.
The photo features fashion blogger Summer Albarcha (who runs the Hipster Hijabis Instagram account) sporting a lime green maxi skirt, brown leather sandals and a matching bag. But what got people riled up was the St. Louis-based blogger's hijab, which was obviously prominently featured.
Initially, Albarcha had posted her outfit photo on her own Instagram account, and the girls at Mimu Maxi, who are Orthodox Jews, loved it so much, they decided to re-post it on their own social accounts. Their fans, on the other hand, weren't feeling the love.
Upon seeing the image, people left some pretty hateful comments. Followers called the image insensitive (due to the recent heightened conflict between Israel and Palestine); threatened to unfollow the shop, and even accusing the co-owners of putting their business before their morals.
The two responded in an amazing way, showing acceptance and support for Albarcha, and standing by their decision. They wrote on Facebook:
"Mushky and I are happy and proud to have "hosted" this blogger on our page, yes at this exact time, and we stand by this decision 100%. Summer is a modest fashion blogger from Missouri who shares some of our deepest values and did not deserve the ensuing response simply by collaborating with us on a beautiful shared cause that we are ALL meant to embrace...more than ever...especially now."
Albarcha admitted to the Village Voice that she expected "a lot more positive feedback from her followers."
Naturally, she was hurt by the comments, "especially because I hadn't taken any political stances through the photo. The criticism was mostly because of the assumption that my head scarf indicated my ties to Palestinian terrorist organizations."
And while she was hurt, the blogger is looking on the bright side.
"These comments were not discouraging at all, but rather empowered me to understand that there is a possibility for everything when posting on social media. I also gained a number of new followers from the Jewish community who were enthusiastic about my page and hijabi fashion," she told the Village Voice.
We think Albarcha looks great in the skirt, and we commend both her and the store owners for promoting a message of acceptance in fashion and in life.
What do you think of the photo -- controversial or simply beautiful? Let us know in the comments below.
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