BUG Off!

12

tiara

Girls and their insecurities. It really is a bigger problem than some people realize. Worries of acceptance and self-esteem haunt a lot of female minds.

It affects women and girls in hijab, too. Some of them even associate their insecurities with hijab, and it stops them from wearing it, or is a constant concern on their mind.

And maybe you or someone you know is one of them:

She sat glued to her seat, while the other students milled around the room, enjoying the brief permission to move around, talking, giggling, and slowly settling into groups. It was English class, and even though she was an amazing writer, she knew she’d end up in the group of “social outcasts,” the loose ends who didn’t have any friends and didn’t really fit in anywhere.

It wasn’t that she was a bad student, because she wasn’t; besides, a lot of the worst students were getting together with friends, forming groups for the writing project they’d be working on for the next few weeks. And it wasn’t that she wasn’t interesting and funny and creative, because she was; people realized this, even though she rarely spoke up at school. But could the loose clothes she wore and the scarf tied around her head mark her as a “leftover” partner in every class, for every project, like it had already all semester long? It seemed so.

There’s no escaping the sarcastic remarks, hurtful jokes, or sideways eye-rolls that occasionally come with wearing hijab (or being in high school).

However, what you may be surprised to know is, there are ways to combat the “I’m-so-popular-and-you’re-not” bullying other than simply ignoring it. In fact, you can face the problem so that not only will the comments no longer tread on your feelings, but they will cease to exist, insha’Allah!

What’s the special secret, you ask? It’s a series of life-changing thoughts, attitudes and behaviors. And it all lies in a simple phrase I like to call BUG Off!

B – Be

Why are women so hard on themselves? They really are. In fact, women can be meaner to themselves than they are to others of the same gender. Would a girl call her best friend stupid, fat, or ugly? Probably not. But do girls go around calling themselves those names? Sadly, they do. In fact, some girls will call themselves “stupid, fat and ugly,” over and over again.

Imagine that your friend gets a low mark on a school test. What would you do? You’d spend some time trying to cheer her up and telling her that things were going to be ok. But if it had been you that had gotten that bad mark, you would have persuaded yourself into thinking you truly were an idiot. Why so cruel?

Another example: Think of a time when your friend moaned about gaining weight and you told her not to be silly, she looked great. Put yourself in her shoes. What would you have been calling yourself? What thoughts would you have been thinking?

So next time you almost fall for a self-directed, “heart-stabbing comment,” whether it’s about your clothes or anything else for that matter, think twice before accepting it. Imagine the comment was being told to your friend – how would you have talked her out of believing it was true?

And here comes the bigger question – would you ever encourage your friend to wear something that wouldn’t benefit her in the hereafter? So why would you do it to yourself? Be your own best friend!

U – Understand

An essential fact to moving on with your life is this: Understand that no matter what you do to try and change yourself to fit in, “they” will never accept you unless you abandon your faith.

“And never will the Jews or the Christians be pleased with you until you follow their religion” [2:120].

Another question: What sounds more appealing to you – a) wearing a ___(insert inappropriate piece of clothing here)___ for a couple of hours (in which, chances are, you will feel extremely uncomfortable); or, b) wearing something you are relaxed in and winning a beautiful cottage on the shore (in which you will live in forever and ever)?

I don’t know about you, but I choose the dream vacation!

G – Get

Get a hobby. Easy as that. Really.

Find something that interests you, whether it’s sports, baking, knitting, art, fashion, or whatever it is – find something you love doing, and either join a group or even start a club of your own! What is the definition of trend? Isn’t it the number of people who follow a certain style that form one? What’s stopping you from becoming the next biggest trendsetter?

Start putting your energies into something beneficial, something you love, something you excel at – and watch as your insecurities melt away.

Off!

Keep in mind your Creator, who formed you into the best of fashions, as support, and off you go! Nothing can hold you back with Allah on your side.

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