Cosmopolitan Veiling in Paris: Young French Muslim Women in Transition

in Youth and Globalization

This paper focuses on the beauty and sartorial choices of young French Muslim women in the Paris area. Through biographies on their morning rituals, this article questions the notion of cosmopolitanism when it comes to their veiling practices. Research suggests that these young women, through their double presence in the world – as French citizens and as global citizens – are powerful agents of change of the dominant material culture and consumption. Their varied beauty and sartorial choices help them construct a coherent inner and outer self and manage social and gendered interactions, facilitating circulation. It is argued that wearing the hijab can be conceptualized as a new form of cosmopolitanism, neither ‘from below’ nor ‘from above’: it reframes a Eurocentric view of conflicts between religious and secular discourses in postcolonial times, as well as French fashion.

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