"Do You Shower in That?" and Other Questions About the Hijab Answered

January 25, 2010
By Fayrouz SILVER, Fargo, North Dakota
Fayrouz SILVER, Fargo, North Dakota
9 articles 12 photos 364 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Only dead fish swim with the stream"


I do not shower in my hijab, nor do I sleep with it. I do not have a bomb under my headscarf either; the slight bulge is my hair wrapped in a bun. Hair loss is not the reason I cover. Trust me, I have hair. Sometimes, you just have to believe in things you cannot see. I cover because I believe in modesty and it is not just my hair; the rest of my body, with the exception of my hands and face, is included. Yes, I am a Muslim (good observation). My hijab is not an on and off kind of relationship; it is a commitment. While I wear the hijab full-time now, I have not worn this headscarf my entire life. This is only my second year covering my hair and I am 16 years old.
Yes, I do speak, write, and read English fluently. I understand all those bloated, big words you say and the insults you mutter in vague whispers under your breath that you assume I cannot understand or hear. My hijab may cover my hair, but it does not cover my brain or clog my ears. So feel free to use your hoity-toity, highfalutin talk with me (in fact, I know a few big words myself). You might be afraid of me, but what scares me is the ignorance some people have. On airplanes, people sitting in the seats around me look absolutely terrified out of their wits, as if they would rather jump out of the plane now than endure a flight with me in the same aircraft across the ocean. In elevators, they sneak little looks as they take notice my scarf and hope nothing explodes between the first and second floor. If you are going to stare, at least try not to get caught.
I am a normal 16 year old girl that enjoys a hilarious joke, lime sherbet, hanging out with friends, and a good debate about Twilight. I write and read for fun, and tackle the daily struggles of a high-school student. I play tennis, watch movies and go shopping. Even though I cover my hair, I enjoy trying new products and new styles on it. Swimming is no biggie. I just use a swim cap. I want to go to college, which I am already planning for. My mother went to college, too. In fact, college is where my dad and my mom met.
My father does not wear a turban, nor does he have a beard. No, he did not beat me or force me to wear the hijab. I am not oppressed and for the record, I am allowed out of the house. I do not have any brothers. We are a family of four women and our father loves us just the same and does not feel disappointed at all that he has no sons. My father is not a tyrannical radical and he respects my mother. He consults her opinion before he does a lot of things, such as which tie she thinks looks better on him or which watch he should buy. They cook food together, cheer while watching soccer games on TV and they like to watch comedy movies.
A common introduction Americans have with my religion is through bold, capital letters that stir panic about terrorists and conspiracies. If a picture can speak a thousand words, then the images of men in turbans with guns and wailing women in black only yell out loud at the reader. Captions with words like Islamic radical, terrorists, Jihad, and Muslim extremist further inform the reader about who is the bad guy. The article finishes off with disturbing details about who bombed whom. I will tell you who was bombed: Islam was bombed by Muslim terrorists.
I am not a terrorist, nor do I agree with what the terrorists are doing. If the terrorists claim they are Muslims, they are not because Islam forbids the killing of innocent people. Innocent people should not die. Do not be afraid of me; fear the people who want to kill others. I do not hate America; I love America. I was born in America, but I also enjoy my Egyptian and Turkish heritage. I cheer for both the Egyptian and American Olympic teams. I love both pizza and rice stuffed grape leaves. Truly, it is the best of both worlds. The same goes for my hijab.
My hijab does not put me behind in anything or bother me and keep me from wearing what I want. It gives me a way to be creative and further express myself. From sparkles and embellished paisley designs, to dots and flowers, I have scarves in every color and design imaginable. I can wrap three scarves together to create a unique look and there are many different ways to wrap the hijab. As well as receiving compliments from random strangers about my headwear, I have also received disdainful stares and not so pleasant gestures. Still, I continue to wear it with pride every day. For me, it is a fashion statement that my religion gave to me.
Some people may ask if I miss feeling beautiful and if I am sad because I am not allowed to have a boyfriend. What? Whoever said I miss feeling beautiful? I feel beautiful right now! When people talk to me while I wear the hijab, it is because they take me seriously and respect my opinion. It is not attraction when a man is interested in a woman because of her body. That is his satisfaction. Wearing the hijab has not subtracted from my beauty, but actually protected it. Finally, I refuse to be an exhausted and used teenage girl who is dumped and recycled numerous times before she finds a real man that will actually respect her, a man that will love and admire the inside just as much as the outside. I am not the least bit disappointed that I will never be like that.
I realize you have questions and I do have the answers. I know that the media makes you confused and I would not blame you either. With the images you see on TV, it seems contradictory that my religion is all about peace. If there is still any confusion, just ask because I want to clear up any misunderstandings you might have. I enjoyed answering your questions. However, no, you cannot have a peek at my hair, so stop asking.

The author's comments:
I was inspired to write this article when my peers started asking me questions about my hijab ever since I wore it. If you still have any questions, leave them here in the form of a comment and I will respond! Thank you very much for reading this :)

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This article has 146 comments.


Aliha said...
on Feb. 7 2017 at 10:41 pm
But some muslim girls actually are forced to wear hijab and are oppressed, and have more men in their family. YOU just happen to be the few of the lucky ones who don't have to put up with that. Dont get me wrong though i agree with everything you said :)

on Dec. 2 2015 at 12:52 pm
Qudsia PLATINUM, ALIGARH, Other
23 articles 0 photos 39 comments

Favorite Quote:
bravest of you are not those who can defeat a lion but the ones who can defeat anger

Right Girlie. We aren't flowers so that every bee comes and sucks our juice away and our exposed beauty is lost. We are buds, still beautiful inside our cover and sorry, not public property.

Hebasyaed said...
on Jul. 30 2014 at 11:01 pm
She said that it's her second year in wearing hijab and she is now 16 meaning she wore it when she is 14 :) she said that she wasn't forced to wear it and it was her choice too :) and people In our religion of course don't want non-Muslim girls to wear hijab because they are free in what they want to wear just as we are in wearing hijab. What they wear is thier choice.

on May. 22 2014 at 10:03 am
VampanezeLord13, Bowling Green, Kentucky
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I think it awesnome-sauce that you, actually stood up for yourself. Most girls won't do that. You keep rocking that hijab, girl!

on Mar. 31 2014 at 2:38 pm
NaomiHallS PLATINUM, Ventura, California
26 articles 0 photos 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If they cut off both hands, I will compose music anyway holding the pen in my teeth." -Shostakovich

This is wonderful! I have always wanted to read about hijabs from a teenager's point-of-view. Best of luck to you and your headscarf. I'm sorry people stare and act so ignorant. 

Sonza SILVER said...
on Mar. 24 2014 at 2:48 pm
Sonza SILVER, Bhubaneswar, Other
5 articles 0 photos 41 comments

Favorite Quote:
An apple a day, if well aimed, keeps the doctor away. - P. G. Wodehouse

LOVED IT, GIRL!!! U write sooo beautifully. Its really weird how ppl dont understand other ppl. Hope this lil article ofurs helps all d ignorant ppl around here... ;)  

nadia98 BRONZE said...
on Feb. 18 2014 at 10:39 am
nadia98 BRONZE, Paris, Other
1 article 0 photos 9 comments
Lovely piece, very eye opening I have a Muslim friend also and I wonder if she feels the same way as you do

Missxoxox said...
on Jan. 2 2014 at 3:55 am
Missxoxox, Harare, Other
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
you only live once

Quite touching :)

on Jan. 2 2014 at 3:03 am
mereCat PLATINUM, Horsham, Other
45 articles 0 photos 188 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I am finally colouring inside the lines I live between"

It's tragic the way that a whole culture or religion is judged by the actions of a few members. I love the line: "islam was bombed by muslim terrorists" Thank you for sharing this wonderful, proud and, inspirations piece of writing. So many people could do with listeding to you/reading your writing about beauty. You can be a beautiful person regardless of what you look like (in my opinion, anyway)  Thank you once again for smashing the stereotypes.

ihoopshy said...
on Dec. 30 2013 at 9:02 am
you write incredibly beautifully. there are some lines in this piece i wish i could hug forever. thank you for sharing this.

on Nov. 21 2013 at 8:51 pm
NightOwl SILVER, Anacortes, Washington
5 articles 3 photos 15 comments
Hello. Thanks for your article. I was wondering, How old were you when you first started wearing the hijab or have you always worn it? Did either of your parents tell you to wear it or was it your choice, first? I know that you may have both agreed on the decision, but who brought it up first? Are you Sunni or Shia/Shiite? (sorry, I'm not sure which word to use for the shia/shiite) Do you, and others in your religion wish that non-Muslim girls would wear them too? Thanks for the info

on Oct. 7 2013 at 1:42 pm
TanviKusum DIAMOND, Gurgaon, Other
89 articles 4 photos 201 comments

Favorite Quote:
All men who have achieved great things have been great dreamers.
Orison Swett Marden

"The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." - Anais Nin

we speak in hushed voices so as to not wake our memories

This was beautiful!

on Mar. 17 2013 at 9:56 pm
theatregirl PLATINUM, Lathrup Village, Michigan
30 articles 12 photos 212 comments

Favorite Quote:
"To thine own self be true," -from Hamlet, a play by Shakespeare.
"I have sworn on the altar of god eternal hostility against all forms of tyranny over the mind of man." - Thomas Jefferson

This is a great article. It deal with a serious and disturbing issue with humor and I really like it. It was captivating , and I was hooked at the humorous tittle "do you shower in your hijab?" . You Great writer, keep writing. :)

on Mar. 4 2013 at 7:01 pm
MaccabeePreiss, Blasdell, New York
0 articles 0 photos 5 comments
Pretty inspirational. I'm Jewish and I've never been able personally to wear my kippah in public, so your courage is very commendable. 

on Mar. 3 2013 at 12:53 pm
SaphiraBrightscales DIAMOND, Islamabad, Other
75 articles 16 photos 1143 comments

Favorite Quote:
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
- Maya Angelou
When i was little/I used to point a chubby finger toward the dark sky/And ask my father/why some stars moved and others didn’t/He would laugh and explain that some were airplanes/I still wish on them today ~ Laugh-It-Out
The feathers of a crow are black/The ink of my pen is blacker/The pain of my heart is blackest~ Mckay
If love produced a blossom/I’d take it in my palm/What a blessing, the bright color!/How soothing, such a balm!/I’d keep a petal for my own/The rest, drop from my hands/For such a flower would multiply/And populate the lands~ thesilentraven
And I began to rival legends/Long entombed before my birth./But for all my much envied fame/The lust for more would not abate./The plaques and prizes with my name/Will, like all things, disintegrate. ~ TheEpic95 now known as Helena_Noel

You don't mind if I take a printout, do you?

on Mar. 3 2013 at 12:52 pm
SaphiraBrightscales DIAMOND, Islamabad, Other
75 articles 16 photos 1143 comments

Favorite Quote:
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
- Maya Angelou
When i was little/I used to point a chubby finger toward the dark sky/And ask my father/why some stars moved and others didn’t/He would laugh and explain that some were airplanes/I still wish on them today ~ Laugh-It-Out
The feathers of a crow are black/The ink of my pen is blacker/The pain of my heart is blackest~ Mckay
If love produced a blossom/I’d take it in my palm/What a blessing, the bright color!/How soothing, such a balm!/I’d keep a petal for my own/The rest, drop from my hands/For such a flower would multiply/And populate the lands~ thesilentraven
And I began to rival legends/Long entombed before my birth./But for all my much envied fame/The lust for more would not abate./The plaques and prizes with my name/Will, like all things, disintegrate. ~ TheEpic95 now known as Helena_Noel

I'm gonna tell everyone about it!

on Mar. 3 2013 at 12:48 pm
SaphiraBrightscales DIAMOND, Islamabad, Other
75 articles 16 photos 1143 comments

Favorite Quote:
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
- Maya Angelou
When i was little/I used to point a chubby finger toward the dark sky/And ask my father/why some stars moved and others didn’t/He would laugh and explain that some were airplanes/I still wish on them today ~ Laugh-It-Out
The feathers of a crow are black/The ink of my pen is blacker/The pain of my heart is blackest~ Mckay
If love produced a blossom/I’d take it in my palm/What a blessing, the bright color!/How soothing, such a balm!/I’d keep a petal for my own/The rest, drop from my hands/For such a flower would multiply/And populate the lands~ thesilentraven
And I began to rival legends/Long entombed before my birth./But for all my much envied fame/The lust for more would not abate./The plaques and prizes with my name/Will, like all things, disintegrate. ~ TheEpic95 now known as Helena_Noel

Sweetheart, I can't tell you how happy I was as I read this, my heart almost came out of my chest pumping in joy :D

on Mar. 3 2013 at 12:46 pm
SaphiraBrightscales DIAMOND, Islamabad, Other
75 articles 16 photos 1143 comments

Favorite Quote:
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
- Maya Angelou
When i was little/I used to point a chubby finger toward the dark sky/And ask my father/why some stars moved and others didn’t/He would laugh and explain that some were airplanes/I still wish on them today ~ Laugh-It-Out
The feathers of a crow are black/The ink of my pen is blacker/The pain of my heart is blackest~ Mckay
If love produced a blossom/I’d take it in my palm/What a blessing, the bright color!/How soothing, such a balm!/I’d keep a petal for my own/The rest, drop from my hands/For such a flower would multiply/And populate the lands~ thesilentraven
And I began to rival legends/Long entombed before my birth./But for all my much envied fame/The lust for more would not abate./The plaques and prizes with my name/Will, like all things, disintegrate. ~ TheEpic95 now known as Helena_Noel

I felt so overwhelmed as I read this! Really, it was beautiful and fierce and I loved it and well I go on and on and on...Simply put: I'm proud of you! This deserved to be in the magazine! SO so so truthful and honest and I love every part of this article.

on Dec. 22 2012 at 12:05 am
TheNerdGirl PLATINUM, Glen Ellyn, Illinois
26 articles 28 photos 36 comments

Favorite Quote:
Shoot for the moon because even if you miss you'll still end up among the star's

I mean i give props to you guys. You guys cover up to show modesty for your religion. That takes some guts. I felt really bad for my muslum friend though because she didnt get a part in the school musical because her hijab didnt fit the part. You guys sacrfice alot for religion.

Fayrouz SILVER said...
on Dec. 21 2012 at 12:15 pm
Fayrouz SILVER, Fargo, North Dakota
9 articles 12 photos 364 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Only dead fish swim with the stream"

Hey Genya :) The hijab is supposed to be worn when a girl becomes a woman (aka menstration) because at this point, her body is physically mature. It took me time to transition to dressing more modestly, wrapping scarves, etc but I ultimately wore it because 1) I felt it was right for me since I am religious and I felt that obeying a religious requirement made me feel right 2) I had good role models who wore the hijab (ex. my mom, family members, etc) who all lead satisfying lives and still wore the headscarf--so that was encouraging. 3) Separate from fulfilling a religious requirement, I liked the concept of the hijab. The idea that the body's private parts shouldn't be something for public admiration and that people (both men and women) who cover up show others respect and that they want to be respected held true for me. Those are my three main reasons :) Thanks for reading and commenting!


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