*Disclaimer: If you hate generalisations, flee now, because I’m going to be generalising until the cows come home. Actually, I’ll probably be generalising way past when they’re safely tucked into their cow pens.
We all know that girl, or those girls. The ones who’ve been proposed to by the good guys, hit on by the not-so-good ones. Although I did put a pretty big disclaimer up there, my legal brain is urging me to say again: people are complex beings. I acknowledge that, and as such I’m only speaking in generalities here. But what I’m trying to do is to compose an ideal. If this girl was a food, she’d be chocolate i.e. appealing to the general populace.
In designing my Muslim dream girl, I’ve taken into account things I’ve both seen and heard in the Muslim community. It’s by no means a scientific study, but I think that my observations (and that’s all they are, observations) aren’t far off the mark. Without further ado, meet the Muslim dream girl:
Muslim guys love a girl who makes it known that she’s an observant Muslim. Since Muslims don’t often have large amounts of face-to-face contact, people are often forced to draw conclusions about each other based on their social media presence. Our Muslim dream girl will be inclined to post verses from the Quran, status updates from various shaykhs and general thoughts about her love for Allah swt and Islam. She won’t go into overkill with it because guys will find that a bit tiresome, but it’ll nevertheless be very clear that she’s engaged in the deen.
If the guy is from a particular group in the Muslim community, his dream girl will be slightly skewed towards his idea of what constitutes religiosity. But if our Muslim dream girl sticks to non-political topics, she may just be able to attract guys from all ends of the Muslim spectrum.
This one’s a no-brainer and not at all specific to Muslims. But with Muslims, the issue of looks is a little more complex than meets the eye. If a girl is good-looking, it’s a big tick, but if she’s too showy and overt about her looks then it’s a mark against her. Too much make-up, flashy clothing and even too many photos of herself on Facebook seems to be a turn-off to the average Muslim guy, even if she looks really good while doing it. Therefore our Muslim dream girl is careful to only hint at her good looks, not exaggerate them.
The funny thing I’ve noticed is that some girls who might be seen as ‘too much’ in this regard take pains to simultaneously display their religiosity on social media. I’m not suggesting it’s a conscious strategy, but the message it sends to guys is ‘I may be glamorous, but at heart I’m just a good Muslim girl!’ Interesting stuff.
c.) 18-23 years old
Our Muslim girl dream girl is somewhere in this age bracket, which extends from the time she leaves high school to the time she leaves university. As I’ve previously mentioned, youth is closely tied to marriageability in the Muslim community. This age bracket caters to the tastes of most Muslim guys. At the one end, he can choose the bright, perky girl straight out of high school, and on the 0ther end, he can choose the savvy yet youthful university graduate.
d.) Intelligent, but not necessarily ‘intellectual’
If I didn’t put this one in, I’d be severely underestimating Muslim guys. Certainly, I don’t believe that Muslim guys are after a bimbo. This is especially true as the average Muslim guy tends to think about what a potential wife will be like as a mother, and no one aspires to raise children with a brain-dead partner. Muslim guys also generally like to be able to discuss politics and community developments with their wife. But from my observations, the cream of the female intellectual crop in the Muslim community often get overlooked as potential wife material.
The unkind explanation is that Muslim guys are intimidated by girls with more degrees and earning potential than them, but I don’t think this is always the case. It’s more to do with the perception that these girls are simply ‘too much’, just as the girls who are overtly glamorous are. Too much noisy intellect, too many vocal opinions. Perhaps it’s less about them being intellectual than it is about them making the perception that the latter is such a defining feature of their persona.
e.) ‘Fluffy’ and earnest
This is one I’ve mentioned before in the context of Facebook. I’ve noticed that girls who appear to be ‘soft’ and ‘cutesy’ seem to get a lot of attention from the average Muslim guy. Our dream girl probably has flowers, the side of her face or some Islamic phrase as her profile picture. She often wears floral hijabs and loooooves cats, baking things and Islam! She makes it known that she also loves her family and her close-knit group of gal pals, thus appealing to the family values of Muslim guys. She speaks in soft tones, favours skirts and dresses over pants and is a giggler, not a cackler.
I have to clarify that the appeal of this characteristic diminishes somewhat as both the average Muslim guy and our dream girl get older. An older Muslim guy isn’t as likely to look for a ‘cutesy’ girl, while the cutesiness that was so appealing in a 20 year old girl isn’t as appealing in a girl in her late 20s.
Modesty is emphasised in Islam for both males and females, but it appears to be especially attractive in a Muslim girl. In fact, each of the ‘excesses’ in the above categories can be reduced to a perceived lack of modesty. A girl who’s too showy about her looks? Immodest. A girl who’s too noisy about her smarts? Not modest enough. Even youth can be tied to modesty and its close relative, innocence.
The trait of modesty also ties in with not being too ‘visible’. I’ve heard Muslim guys being given the advice to look for a girl who isn’t necessarily that well-known in the community; they’re seen as ‘hidden gems’. Therefore, our dream girl isn’t going to be regularly engaging in fierce Facebook debates, nor will she constantly be updating her profile with photos of herself and her comings and goings. That would be seen as undignified, and our dream girl has plenty of dignity.
So there it is, folks. Guys, do you think this is accurate? Girls, have you noticed these types of girls being snapped up?