The Case of the Arab Woman

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Abundant research suggests that self-image is inextricably linked to the convoluted issues that girls battle to conform to media-driven ideals of beauty. The search for self begins during adolescence and thereafter. What we research alone is unable to do when speaking of the Middle East is shine a light on a culture little known beyond the Arab world -- even to people who visit the region. In the case of the Arab woman, the battle is never-ending. From early on, girls are shown how to dress, how to behave in the company of others, how to speak and how to be in the public eye. Taught from a very young age what they are and are not expected to become. Causes of negative body image begin at an early age with the realization that expectations and behaviour are far more important than anything else. Some common causes of negative body image are a result of rape, sexual abuse and media images. In this article, I shall attempt to explore some of the profound internalized causes of negative body image which lead to a decreased sense of self, feelings of unworthiness which contribute to mental health issues ingrained in culture, religion and Arab traditions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Mensa's: ANDROGYNY
Issue number2
Early online date28 Sept 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Sept 2017


  • Arab Women
  • Identity
  • Culture
  • Religion
  • Self
  • Body
  • Gender
  • Middle-East


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