Body Image and Muslim Women

Source: via Jillian on Pinterest

My older sister wanted to share her thoughts about how Muslim women are not immune to unrealistic images of women in the media.

It could not have come at a better time since I have a bully in my life. She, like most bullies, think its okay to tell people unflattering and just mean things. It’s not.

Her latest thing to talk about is my weight. At first, I was hurt. Then I tried to be proactive and watch what I ate and exercise. Then I realized, “Screw this bully!” She probably is cranky because she wishes she could enjoy life like I do! (Plus I really enjoy food and was getting annoyed saying no any time someone offered me something to eat). Here is what my sister said:

“We all have fellow women (and men) who try to impose unrealistic ideals on us. What can we as practicing Muslim women do to help this situation? First we must believe that this body temporarily houses a far more beautiful thing called the soul. How beautiful this soul is depends on our deeds and actions and not some arbitrary thing like genetics. We must believe our bodies are an amanat or trust from Allah and as such must put pure and halal food into it and make sure it’s done in moderation.

We must also make sure we are exercising at least 30 minutes a day. This can be done and maybe sisters can start a walking club. Even sisters at home can do tons of exercise that don’t require special equipment. Learn to love and embrace your self. I read somewhere about stretch marks– I am a tiger that has earned her stripes.”

So I still watch what I eat and exercise, but I would much rather be known for my beautiful soul. And let’s all pray that this bully starts to change and focuses on having a beautiful soul herself.

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