Photo by Jeanne Malle/ The Choate News

Purefoy-Craig says that her hijab now meshes into who she is.

You’ve probably noticed Medina Purefoy-Craig ’20 on campus — and maybe not just because of her radiating personality and exquisite acting talent, but also her stunning collection of hijabs.

“I remember being a freshmen and always feeling kind of weird because I was new, and had another thing that set me apart. So it was strange in the beginning, but it’s totally fine now, because it just kind of meshes into who I am as a person,” said Purefoy-Craig happily.

Purefoy-Craig wears a hijab because she is a Muslim. A hijab is a a head covering worn by Muslim women. Some religious codes within the Muslim faith demand that a hijab be worn, but not all Muslim women choose to wear one.

The sophomore’s overall style has developed throughout her Choate first and second year at Choate, for she no longer has the obligation of wearing a uniform.

She explained that her recent purchases of hijabs directly correlated with the evolution of her fashion sense: “The thing is, when I was younger and first starting to wear my scarf, I always matched them with my outfits. I would usually wear a black or blue one, very neutral colors, because my uniform was khakis and a white or blue shirt. Very basic but it matched. And then when I got into middle school I had another uniform, which was crimson and grey and white, and so I just updated my collection of hijabs to match my  school uniform.”

Here, at Choate, Purefoy-Craig is free of a uniform, and therefore has more freedom to experiment with her hijabs. She said, “Over the summer, I bought some really cool ones. I decided that I wanted to have brighter colors and so I bought a yellow one, a bright blue one, and then I got a polka dot one.”

Purefoy-Craig has worn a hijab since she was 12 years old. She explained, “It’s something that my mom brings up sometimes. Like when I go to a different place she asks me if I want to wear it, or if I’m fine with it. Usually I just do it because I made the commitment, so I might as well follow through with it. So it wasn’t something that I thought about, like ‘am I gonna wear it at Choate, or not?,’ it was kind of like a ‘I’m gonna wear it.’”

Purefoy-Craig’s personal decision to put on her hijab everyday can be further explained by the fact that she made her own choice to convert to Islam. “I did convert when I was 12,” she said. She explained, “I was Christian for most of my life, but I decided to become Muslim because my mother converted when I was about four, and then my dad converted a little bit after. I was kind of raised in a Muslim-Christian household, because my grandparents are Christian and the rest of my family, too but not my mother and father.”

With age and experience, Purefoy-Craig has found her favorite way to tie her scarf many times.

She explained, “When you’re younger, it’s kind of like a scarf that you just pull over your head. It’s already in the shape of your head. But then when you get older, I guess, you’re able to do it, so it’s just like a square of fabric, and you just fold it and pin it however you want. You kind of get more freedom with it. My mom taught me how to tie it, so I wore it the way she did. I struggled with it at first, so I kind of developed my own thing. I remember when I was in middle school, I always had it over my eyebrows, and it would be really tight on my neck, because that’s how you’re supposed to wear it. And so then I decided to pull it back a little bit so that my eyebrows weren’t covered anymore. Now I just take off the pin that’s usually in the middle so that it hangs out into two parts.” With time, she has developed ways to experiment with her looks.

Purefoy-Craig’s fashion sense has been noted by every student on campus. Over the course of her next few years at Choate, it will be exciting to see her style develop.

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