I’ve considered this.
The thing that makes me uncomfortable is, the reasons for wanting to cover up are usually negative: the woman has been taught that her body isn’t beautiful enough, or it’s inherently sinful and bad, or it’s a temptation to men (which is the main justification I’ve seen from Muslim clerics). So it’s not the covering up itself that’s the problem, it’s the misogyny behind it.
On the flip side, yes, there are equally bad reasons to expose your body. Compensating for thinking you’re not beautiful enough, pandering for attention. Misogyny there too.
As an atheist, I see women covering up mostly for religion, so that makes me more uncomfortable than anything. I feel bad for those Muslim, orthodox Jewish, Mormon and other conservative Christian women because their religions have beat it into their heads that there is something evil about their bodies.
When it truly is a woman’s choice to expose or cover her body, no, there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s her comfort, her expression of her body.
I just hope she’s thinking about it and making the choice for herself, and not doing it purely out of social or religious pressures.
Now if it were up to me, we’d all be naked all the time. But that’s me.
I had bookmarked this for later to type up my own criticism of it, but you’ve nailed it perfectly. I completely and utterly agree. I struggle with the hijab/burka/veil etc. On the one hand, as a feminist, I believe we should have the right to choose how much to cover up. On the other hand, when the reasons behind covering up are a) your whole family/community does it so you would be the outsider, or b) you have been convinced to believe you will get sexually harassed if you don’t, or c) your body is a vessel of sin and should be covered, or d) tradition, or a mix of all three, I see a problem.
I have been thinking this over a lot recently, and have more to say on the topic, but I’d better not get into it now, I have too much to do >.< This whole concept of ‘choice’ is a very tricky one indeed.