Written by Yasmine Rachidi
I feel like a lot of people think that just because Muslim girls cover up, we don’t have to face some real life problems like body image issues; and that — trust me — is absolutely not true.
I love body positivity and its concept — but it’s hard to practice it daily. After all, I’m just a human being.
I struggle with body image issues. I’ve struggled with some eating disorders — but of course, nobody ever knew about my fight against myself; so I had to deal with it all alone, with God’s help.
Being a Muslim girl who wears a hijab leads you to wear looser clothes and not show your silhouette because it’s all about modesty, which kind of helped me with hiding myself under big clothes.
I’ve been fat shamed once by one of my peers who used to tackle my double chin and say, “What’s that?” smiling at me as in, “I’m just kidding.”
Well, let me tell you, that episode marked my entire life. Nowadays, in order to see if I’m fat or if I lost weight, I’d tackle my double chin and see how much of skin I can “grab.”
Although I was never fat shamed again by any of my classmates or friends after that, I’ve still been fat shamed by some of my family members — but that’s a whole other story.
Whenever I went shopping, I almost never found my clothes size — and it just got me down. I ended up hating shopping and stayed at home. After all, if I’m alone at home, I really don’t care about how I look — plus, large t-shirts and pants are the best to dance and sing in your room, right?
Thankfully, I’ve now come to the stage of simply accepting myself and saying, “I’m a plus size girl and that’s fine, as long as I can find clothes to put on and it doesn’t influence my health.”
But I’ve never been a skinny girl — this shit is genetic, man!
Thank God I found hashtag movements like #ASOScurve and re-discovered how to shop. I found my size for literally every item I liked — and, sure, when there’s no sale; it’s all a bit expensive. But you gotta do what you gotta do.
Right now, I’m definitely not 100 percent at the “embracing” stage, I definitely need to put more effort and work on myself to achieve my goals for what concerns body image.
Still, though, I do believe in body positivity — which has NOTHING to do with “promoting being fat.”
It’s actually all about loving yourself for what you are and what you have at the moment and not waiting until you achieve that specific size to love and embrace your body and mind.
Of course if you wanna get skinnier or want to tone up your muscles, feel free to do it –but because you love yourself, not because you hate your body.
You’re covering it for God, not for people. Remember that.
I just want to tell all the young girls out there: just because society puts so much pressure on how we should look in order to be considered pretty, it does not mean you need to follow these unwritten “rules.”
For my hijabi Muslim girls out there, I wanna say: just because you have to dress a certain way, cover up your silhouette and dress modestly, does not mean you shouldn’t love yourself. Think about your body as a temple, as something you should love unconditionally.
Love yourself more, each and every day. I know firsthand that it’s quite a hard path to tread, but you’re not alone — I’m not alone.
We’re all gonna do this together!