With the winter months coming, hijabs will soon be a cozy way to "conveniently" not hear the people we don’t want to talk to. Yet all many of us know the immense struggle of a *hot hijab* in sweltering summer months (including those delightfully unsolicited comments about how hot it looks).
The title of Huda Fahmy’s newest book, Yes I’m Hot in This: The Hilarious Truth about Life in a Hijab, and her Instagram of the same name, hit the nail right on the head.
But the book does something an Instagram account simply cannot, which is provide a continuous narrative that flows seamlessly (and humorously) through every emotion experienced by the modern woman wearing hijab. From the “hijabi catcalls” (go back to where you came from, why does your husband make you wear that, etc. etc.), to the myriad responses you think of the minute you make it back to your car, Fahmy illustrates her experiences with amiable, unreserved honesty.
The book is an incredibly enjoyable read, too. Fahmy breaks up her stories with little quips, some of which involve placing herself in the place of a character in pop culture, like Luke Skywalker from Star Wars or American Horror Story. (My personal favorite was the Pennywise bit – I actually had to take a hot second to move my chair back because I was laughing too hard. Trust me. You’ll know what I mean.)
Humor aside, what makes this graphic novel more than just another Calvin and Hobbes book that I secretly read before bed (weird... who, me?), is how Fahmy manages to express all of the struggles she experiences with unabashed zest. She doesn’t shy away from the sad reality that these problems have been normalized in modern society. At the same time, she asserts that she (and every other woman who chooses to cover) isn’t defined by these struggles.
Rather, they write their own story.
Some of them, quite literally.
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Have you ever responded to someone’s criticism of you in an empowering way? What was it like? Share in the comments below!