The novel, ‘Does my head look big in this? ,’ written by Randa Abdel-Fattah the main character had the challenging decision to wear the hijab which came with not only advantages, but disadvantages. Amal was concerned about her appearance and what others’ thoughts. Amal feared being judges by others and she also was concerned that she wouldn’t have the necessary courage to commit to wearing the hijab. Furthermore, she really did not want to have to justify her decision whenever she went out in public.
Amal managed these challenges in a mature way by talking to others about her problems. One challenge Amal faced in wearing the hijab is being judged by people (at school). Tia and her friends made nasty racist comments and teased. The manager of the fish and chip shop didn’t allow Amal to be hired because she was wearing the hijab, Amal then doubted or decision on whether it was a good idea to wear the hijab. Judging and comments made Amal feel insecure and doubtful about her decision.
Another challenge Amal faced to decide whether she was able to stick to her decision. She realised there were many disadvantages in wearing the hijab as a full-timer, having to justify to teasing, racist comments and pressure. “Mum, maybe I shouldn’t have worn it…Maybe I was stupid…Where am I going to go now? ” Amal cries to her mother after she is rejected for her interest in a job. Once you wear it, there’s no backing out, Amal has many doubts if wearing the hijab was a good decision or not.
A challenge that Amal faced was the likelihood of racist comments when she wore the hijab in public. Tia and others in her life were rude and disrespectful towards Amal. Another challenge was having to explain her decision to everyone. Her class thought because Amal was Muslim, she was an impact on the Muslim terrorists. Mr Pearse was thoughtful towards Amal and was always lending a hand if she needed any help. When Amal started wearing the hijab at school, everyone stared and thought differently about her.
Amal tried to make it clear, that it was her decision, not her parents, especially to Ms Walsh and her Aunt and Uncle. Amal is Australian, and it was her choice to wear the hijab as a full-timer because she thought it respected her religion and beliefs and everyone has the right to make their own choice. Amal’s friends and most of her family, respected her decision and supported her through the tough times. Amal realised she wasn’t wearing it for attention, she was wearing it because it’s what made her feel comfortable about herself and she is proud of it.