Friday, 24 August 2012

The 11 Basic Facial Expressions When People See a Muslim (in Pictures)


While I was strolling around Bologna this morning, I happened to receive a few funny looks from Italians in the street. Being a Muslim in a Catholic country, I'm become completely used to this now and usually the reactions are so comical that I don't mind them. Actually, they can be pretty entertaining. So I've compiled a light-hearted list of the 11 most common facial reactions to seeing a Hijab. Which one are you? : D 

The Overcompensating Smile
(to show I'm not racist) 

The Disapproving Old Lady Glare

The Don't Make Eye Contact Look

The Standard Confused Face

The Double Chin Double Take!

The Concerned 'Aren't You Hot in That??'

The Surprised 'Oh' Face

"Is this girl Italian or just foreign?"

The Duck and Cover!!

"So just what are you exactly??"

 Hope you enjoyed them!

I also need to add a special mention for:

'The Hijabi Seeing Another Hijabi Look!'



which results in uncontrollable excitement and, in my case, 'oooooo look hijabiiiiiii!'

If you can think of any more let me know, comment or send me a photo with a caption!!

76 comments:

  1. This made me chuckle! Big love and respect :D x

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  2. Those are the same looks I get when I talk to girls. Except there's also the 'should I mace this guy or not?' look. x

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    1. haha! amazing! You've got it waaaaay worse than me then hehe!

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  3. Lol, this cracked me up. I also get the non stop stareeeeeeeee

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    1. haha! Yeah I wasn't sure how to get that one on film

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  4. I have been guilty of the occasional Overcompensating Smile! :-)

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    1. I used to do it aaaaaaall the time! I still do sometimes, if I see a lady in a burqa for instance. So I wouldn't worry - it's the best one I suppose. I mean, if something is different, you're going to look and that's not a bad thing : D

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  5. The Rolling Eyes Expression : enough with it already, take it off or let me do the honors look .
    The OK-Gulp-OK look :coming to common terms look.

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    1. haha! I'll defo add the rolling eyes expression : D

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  6. I think I'll do 'duck and cover' next time I see you, just for comic effect....

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  7. I always cross the street to avoid any awkwardness.

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  8. Oh My - I love this post! I know sometimes people will stare but hadn't thought about the different expressions - this is so funny!

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  9. Ma sha ALLAH! Sister, you made me laugh! so true!!!
    A Big hug from the staff of io-musulmana-italiana
    salam

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  10. oh my you are hilarious..glad Ive found your blog.

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  11. Bahahaha! This made me laugh so hard :')
    You got ALL of them so right! I think at some point in her life a hijabi will encounter pretty much all of these expressions.
    Your 'duck and cover' is my fave :)

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    1. hehe! I like that one too but I had some strange looks while I was doing it because I was in a little alley pulling faces! x

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  12. I love it!!! And depending on the color/style you wear, you get the "What, a fashionable nun?!" look.

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    1. Thank you! It's strange because there are lots of nuns in the area (I pass a convent everyday) so covering hair isn't a new idea at all but somehow when it's not a nun, it confuses people. x

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  13. I love it!!! Thanks for letting me know about this on my blog!

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    1. Thanks for checking it out - glad you liked it. have a great day! x

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  14. ohhh my goodness ! first time i read your blog! and very lovin' this post. made me giggle in the office, I want to follow your blog.

    Salam dear, Yati from Kuala Lumpur ,Malaysia. If you have a time do visit ma' blog =) tq

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    1. Thanks! Very glad you liked it (and my blog) - really enjoyed looking at your blog too : D

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  15. This was so cute and funny I showed my husband!! Loved it!

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  16. Very interesting ^^
    I'm sometime curious about how if someday I'm in non moslem country, with hijab covering me :D

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    1. Salaam! Glad you found it interesting. I'm in a really catholic country and alhamdulillah I haven't had any problems - Only a few funny looks which I've learned to laugh at. Hope to hear from you again soon : D

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    2. I really wish to travel around the world someday, and pursue my undergraduate study abroad. Amiiien ^^
      I live in an islamic area in Indonesia, Aceh. The rule is Sharia law, but not like arabic countries :D

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  17. May Allah provide you a great husband. Amin.

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    1. shukran jazilan. alhamdulillah I'm with a wonderful man. Have a lovely day

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  18. Hilarious, but isn't this just Italians being Italian?

    Great stuff, keep going!

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    1. You're right, sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference. I used to get some of these looks from old ladies when I was wasn't Muslim. Thanks for your encouragement. Have an awesome day!

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  19. I always grin hugely when I see someone in a hijab because every Muslim woman I've gotten to know has been kind and clever. I know it's silly and definitely doesn't mean every Muslim woman is like that, but I can't help it-I get excited and think 'she must be a great person!'. xD;

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    1. That's such a nice response to have - sounds like you've met some lovely ladies : D thanks for popping by, hope to hear from you again soon! Have a lovely day x

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  20. This made me laugh. Love your humor! And sorry you get those reactions too.

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  21. Replies
    1. thanks. All the best with your new book - sounds (and looks) fabulous! Sarita x

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  22. This is so funny :D. Like Annisa Mulia, I live in Indonesia where we have many women wear hijab. So I don't see those expressions in my everyday life. Though maybe about 25-30 years ago women wearing hijab was pretty rare here. Especially in the mass media. Now we can see many women with hijab on our tv screen.

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    1. Are attitudes changing in everyday life too?

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  23. haha, I must admit that I would be the concerned 'Aren't You Hot in That??' look :) it is so funny!

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    1. Hi! Thanks for your comment.

      To be fair, there are some moments during the Italian summer where it is rather hot! The good thing is though that you don't have to worry about sunburn and actually it stops the head from getting hot in the sun. There are always pros and cons I guess. The main pro at the moment is that it's Winter and I'm always snug and warm haha!

      Have a lovely weekend and lead up to Christmas
      Sarita x

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  24. Hihihhi this is so funny.
    Love your blog.

    XO Arezu

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  25. this made my day :D :D hahah

    I live in switzerland. have the "oh another hijabi" face everytime :P haha

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    1. Lovely to see your comment. Hope you come back soon. x

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  26. salam.dear sister ,i came across to ur blog,so funny and i loved it.actually i live in an islamic country ,Iran, but i can imagine the situation.

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    1. salaam! Thanks for your kind comment. very glad you enjoyed it. I suppose it must be very different in Iran - how much of the population wears it?

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    2. again salam.it was nice u replied soon.Iran is islamic republic and is ruled by a constitutional law based on islamic jurisprudence .so hijab is practiced by all. some have a perfect hijab bcz they try to obey islam rules and some have a half hijab just to respect the state rules.
      hope to hear from u again.

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  27. Assalamu'alaikum

    I am not yet a hijabi, and I found this blog soooo inspiring! I am looking for an opportunity to study in Italy. I hope someday I can see you there :)

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    1. Wa alaikum assalam! I'm so glad that it was useful to you. If you ever need any help, I'm not an expert at all, but I might be able to share some of my experiences.

      What do you study? where would you like to go? I know several students and expats in different cities who I could put you in touch with if you want more info about certain cities.

      Have a lovely week!
      Sarita

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  29. Hahaha this is really cute!
    You have a really interesting blog :)

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    1. Thank you! Have a lovely weekend. Sarita x

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  30. lol this is sooo funny. I can just imagine the kind of things you have to go through but it sounds pretty good compared to half the stories we hear of. I lived in Egypt since I was eleven so I never really experienced any of that, but I think a lot of it is just out of curiosity and not disapproval

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  35. Ahahahah.. so truee... verissimoo... especially when summer come. are you Hot in that??.. un bacione per te sorella ;*

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    1. Glad you liked it and very happy to have found you too. When people ask me if I'm hot I usually say yes, I'm hot but you're feeling hot too. It gets to a point where you don't feel the difference - scarf or no scarf. Actually I found that it stopped my head from feeling the burn of the sun.

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  36. What a lovely blog you have here! Davvero bello! I too live in Italy, and funnily enough get the same looks reading English or French books on a park bench, or coming out of the synagogue. Funnily enough, I find Italy a very tolerant place, even if the initial glower seems intimidating. Enjoy life here :-)

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    1. Thank you so much - that's very kind. I've found, after observing reactions for a long time, that most of the time people are just looking out of interest or surprise and thankfully, the worst I've ever had is a glower (and maybe I would have received that hijab or not, who knows).

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  37. I shared this post on my facebook fan page if you don't mind :D
    https://www.facebook.com/balladofladyasmaa

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    1. Thank you for sharing the post - I've liked your page too : ) Have a lovely weekend!

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  38. I confess. I often do the "oooh, how is she wearing it. What kind of scarf did she use?" one. It tends to involve a lot of pretending I'm not staring at her.

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    1. haha! I pretend not to be staring at hijabis too. Usually you can tell that they're doing the same thing!

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  39. I remember those 'The Concerned 'Aren't You Hot in That??' friends I had. Lol.

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    1. I'm getting quite a lot of them at moment. Random people at work start to comment on me being covered up and it does make me feel rather self-conscious. Thankfully my workplace has air-conditioning so even though it's 40 degrees outside, I feel lovely and comfortable Alhamdulillah : )

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  40. When I see a modestly dressed muslim woman (plain clothing, not stylish, not a bunch of makeup and jewelry, etc.) I have of a look of appreciation or maybe it could be called a smile of comradery (and usually she returns the smile). I always appreciate seeing a modestly dressed and adequately covered woman, no matter what her religious beliefs are.

    When I see a muslim woman who is covered but clearly more concerned about fashion and her looks than dressing modestly to please God I try to give a look of question or shame like "what are you doing? Shame on you."

    It's about pleasing God, not pleasing self and others. If you are out to please self then you might as well quit pretending that you love God.

    Thank you for sharing. This post was brought to my attention by a sister who thought I would like it and could relate ... and she was right. I have a page on my blog that gives all the excuses I've heard from other [professing christian] women about why they do not cover their heads. One of the most pathetic excuses is "I might get mistaken for a muslim!"

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  41. Re the first photo: since when is Islam a "race"?

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  42. Eid Mubarak Sarita!

    Since finding your blog I have been so enjoying your stories, information and humor. As a fellow convert I can totally relate. And I have also loved your hijab info :D

    Salaam

    Latifa from in the USA

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    1. Salaam Latifa and Eid Mubarak! I'm so glad that you've found them useful and you've enjoyed them.

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  43. Funny stuff! Gotta confess that I'm guilty of the Overcompensating Smile (to show I'm a friendly non-threatening Hijabi) too.
    I'd add a variation on the Glare - the 'Lemon-sucker' where the onlooker's face abruptly curdles into something sour despite your own cheesy smile. The spectrum ranges from 'hint of lemon zest' all the way to 'ten lemons in the mouth in one go'.

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  44. LOL! This made me laugh. I just started to wear hijab recently, I didn't expect all the reactions.
    Maybe another hijabi one would be when you see a hijabi, and in excitement say to someone with you "HIJABI" it adds effect if the person you are telling also wears a headscarf because thye begin to share the excitement with you. BTW, I love your blogs.

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  46. LOL these are so accurate! And your are so cute!

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  47. you are so funny and cute :) I just started wearing hijab but I'm also multi-racial... with the combination I see lots of stares.. But the one made me LOL was the old lady glare. Ha ha you are spot on.. and I get that one even without a scarf. Lol

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