I Don't Like the Way I Look, My Nose is Curved

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R (26_female_Egypt)
Dear Counselor, I have a serious problem. I don’t like the way I look; I always have this issue that I want to be always perfect as much as I can in front of people. Although most people say that I am pretty I don’t feel it! I always imagine how my face will look like whenever I do any action like smiling, or even speaking. I always think how I will look and whether people will like my face and the way I speak and so on …One day, I was joking with mom talking about noses and she said that I have a curved nose!! This stuck in my mind and for the first time I noticed this, so I began to ask people around (relatives) do I have curved nose? And this exceeded to the extent that I began hating my profile and always do my best to make people see me from the front and not my profile. Even when I choose a place to sit in a meeting or any gathering I always make sure to choose a place that makes less people see me from profile!! I always spend much time in front of the mirror in fitting rooms looking at my nose and pretending to smile and to speak in order to see how I look like. How can I like my face?
Dr. Maryam Bachmeier

Wa `alaykum as-salam dear sister,

Sister, you seem to be very anxious and self-conscious. Often, the root of this level of anxiety is a real worry deep inside you that somehow, as a person, you are not good enough.

You were not born with this worry; you picked it up from your environment and experiences. Perhaps you have a very critical voice in your head now, like a tape recorder. Indeed, healing must come to the core of your being so that you really accept yourself and love yourself the way you are. Allah created you!

I ask you what in the world is a nose or hair or eyes supposed to look like anyway. We are all unique and beautiful creations of Allah. If you do have a curved nose, be proud of it. I happen to have a big nose; I like it. It is the nose that Allah gave me.

Sister, focus on your spiritual development. Don't create such a small universe where you are the center of it. Forget about yourself and you will have a new freedom that once you taste, you will never want to let go.

Life has so many ups and downs. One minute you have money, the next minute you don't; if you value yourself by how much money you have, you will never find happiness. One minute your body will be in fashion, and then all of a sudden that will change.

In the 60's they pushed skinniness, then in the 80's curves... the 90's.... 2011... One minute, the world says women are supposed to have large bosoms; the next they are supposed to have long necks. The world will never make up its mind about what it wants.

Look toward Jannah, wear a beautiful hijab, and learn good manners. See the beauty in every woman and praise femininity; embrace femininity and forget about the size of your thighs, the shape of your nose, the type of bosom you have.

Learn to smile and laugh and enjoy the sunshine and pray to Allah. Let the softness of your heart show. Think of others and their needs and how you can serve them. Don’t think about yourself so much. This is the cure for your anxiety. And do not criticize yourself for feeling anxious either.

I say these words in love. Almost every girl I have met has this same issue; you are not alone. I am just trying to show you an easier path- one that if you follow, you will appear to be very beautiful to almost everyone you meet regardless of your nose, your physical height, or anything else.

A young lady who has a love for Allah and purity in her heart with a desire to serve others is irresistible. And, your nose is perfect too. So, no more time in front of the mirror. Put on your hijab, pin it with a pretty pin and then go live life and enjoy it. Put a cloth over your mirror if you have to.

Bring a pocket Quran with you and every time you feel self-conscious, read a Sura. Then say Alhamdulillah.

Keep writing to me. Tell me what you think here, and what you have done, and how it is working.

For further guidance, please try the followin links:

About the Counselor:  

Dr. Bachmeier is a clinical psychologist who has been working in the mental health field for over 15 years. She is also a published researcher, former adjunct professor at Argosy University, writer, and consultant to her Spiritual community in the areas of mental health, clinical disorders, cultural, family and relationship issues, and more.

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. You are strongly advised to seek face-to-face counseling and consult your physician or therapist when making a drastic change in your lifestyle in terms of behavior, medication or diet etc.

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