A Life Without Veils

The true story of a girl that strikes us deeply and makes us reflect on what is happening around us.

Student Commentary

By Annalucia Scotto di Clemente / Matthew staff || Edited by Ilenia Reale

Audrey Hepburn, a world-famous actress, often quoted a poem called “Time Tested Beauty Tips” by Sam Levenson that recited: “The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.” 

Despite living in the 21st century, society still does not seem to have understood this concept. Media outlets often release news on women who are forced to abandon their loved ones because of domestic violence, abuse, or simply for living in a society that is too outdated and closed-minded to keep up with the times.  

There are hundreds of stories to tell, but the story which currently resonates the greatest with the masses is that of Mahsa Amini. It unites us all in a common struggle for our rights, our freedoms, and why not, in a shared battle for a much better world where there is room for all religions, skin colors, nationalities, sexual orientations, and passions. 

But let’s take a small step back. Mahsa Amini was an Iranian 22-year-old woman who, while walking on the streets of Tehran, the capital of Iran, was arrested by the Guidance Patrol also known as morality police, a special unit that monitors compliance with the strict dress code imposed on women. All women are required to wear a veil or hijab, and according to the police officers who stopped her, Mahsa was not wearing hers properly.  

Picture a girl just like us. Mahsa was first arrested and taken to the police station where she lost consciousness. She was then taken to a hospital where she died allegedly following a cardiac arrest. But are we really sure the cause of her death is too weak a heart? Are we sure that the death of so many women does not depend above all on ideas that prevail in the social context we live in? 

Let me be clear, no one is here to pass judgment on this issue because no one has the power to do so. But this is a sobering story that is worth telling. Sometimes, we don’t really realize how lucky we are on a daily basis. We were fortunate enough to be born and raised in a society that, with all its limitations, is still a free society. 

Let us use this freedom to create something even greater. Let us concretely realize our ideas. Let us embrace and support each other. Together, we can create a supportive, united world where everyone can live according to their dreams and instincts. We can create a world where everyone lives a life without cover, a life without veils and full of love.