Amanda used to wear hijab to represent her culture and Muslim faith. The hijab in Arabic means modesty, and by covering the hair, arms and legs and chest, it makes the statement that the person is modest.
“It’s just a way to represent myself and who I am because I can’t do it just by my looks, I don’t look Middle Eastern. It was kind of a mask in a way or a sign to show who I am. It was really empowering because people would approach me and say you don’t look Muslim, tell us about yourself, tell us about your religion. It was a way to communicate with the people and tell them who I was both verbally and non-verbally.”
Then September 11th happened and Amanda’s father asked her to take it off so she wouldn’t become a target.
When Amanda stopped wearing her hijab, it was obvious her hair style was in need of a fresh look. “It was down to my butt.”
Amanda’s hair was beautiful. But maintenence became a burden and she decided that it was time to try something new.
Amanda has even more daring plans for her hairstyle in the future.
“I have actually thought about cutting it really short and perming it into a Medusa-like thing. I went to a wig shop with my mom and tried on a bunch of hairstyles. I tried on short black wigs and everyone at the wig shop told me to cut my hair and dye it black and I was like, ‘No, I can’t do that, that is too drastic.’ I have to go in stages, but at least now I’ve got the courage to experiment a little.”
Even though she lost one form of self expression through the hijab, it seems that she has gain another in hair styles. Although the two are different, one can always find joy in the smallest and largest changes. Sometimes it’s nice to just make yourself over.
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