“My Body Is My Own Business” by Naheed Mustafa
The voice of “My Body Is My Own Business” is that of 21 year old Muslim Naheed Mustafa. She puts you in her shoes, as she faces prejudice and battles anorexia. As a young women, she speaks with such wisdom and experience. To me, it seems she is trying to share her experiences, so that other young women do not suffer as she did. The main idea is to be yourself and not to let anyone change that, because frankly it’s none of their business.
Naheed’s essay is speaking to young women who are growing up under some prejudice. I found this to be very interesting topic as a male I have never faced some of the things she has faced. She writes from experience and I think that young women would accept some of the advice in this essay. Throughout the essay she tells the story of how she grew up in Ontario, and was challenged with racism, sexism and struggling with her self-image. She talks about all the “gamut of strange looks, stares and covert glances”. The hijab, as traditional Muslim garment for women, was the main source for the looks. As a society we have to stop judging people based on what they wear or how the look. It is part of the Muslim culture and gives them the ultimate control of their own bodies. Like she says in the fourth paragraph, “the only thing that makes one person better than another is his or her character”.
The tells her message through her own personal experiences. As a Muslim growing up in North America, her customs were thought to be weird or strange to the local people. As she grew up in Canada and with all that we have, why would she want to cover up. “It gives me freedom”. And what gives us the right to question that? It doesn’t. This is one of the many vivid details that she portrays in this essay. They do a really good job of opening your eyes to a world that we have very little understanding of. A lot of us have a very negative connotation towards Muslims and the Koran. I think if we took the time to learn more, we might see things a little less objectively.
Overall I found this piece to be very interesting and eye-opening. The message is a very strong one and is very relevant these days. Naheed’s experienecs and wisdom will help young people realize, it’s not about what you wear, or look like. It’s about who you are as a person.