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Muslim Women and Body Image: Body Conceptualisation Beneath the Veil

Chabdu, Naeemah (2018) Muslim Women and Body Image: Body Conceptualisation Beneath the Veil. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)


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Building upon past research, this study aimed to explore body image among Muslim women who wear the full-face veil in the UK. Five Muslim women who wore the full-face veil aged 22-30, participated in a semi-structured interview. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was conducted to analyse the interview transcripts. The themes that emerged from the interview transcripts include: 1. Veiling and the importance of modesty, 2. Protection from Western body image pressure, 3. Battling stereotypes of the veil and 4. The veil and Islamic identity. The findings and literature review reveal that many Muslim women conceptualise their body differently to the dominant ideas in Western society. The group of women in the study viewed covering with full-face veil as a fundamental part of Islamic dress and as a religious responsibility. The main reasoning for veiling was to remain modest and protect one’s beauty. The limitations and implications of the study are also discussed.

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