How to Deal with the Feeling of Being Overweight?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


How do I stop crying when my mother and siblings ridicule my weight and insult me?


I am very sorry that you have to deal with painful criticism from your family. Your self-worth as a believer is far beyond what you know, and the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah does not look at your forms or your wealth; rather, He looks at your deeds and your hearts.” [Ibn Maja]

But we live in a culture that is obsessed with physical beauty. Commercials, magazines, movies, and television programs bombard us with images of models and entertainers with seemingly perfect bodies and exquisite hairstyles and makeup jobs.

Know that if you are overweight in our current society, and with the onslaught of media having put a fixed image in our minds as the only standard of beauty, you will feel that you are not good enough. This could not be further from what true beauty is. As the world’s cultures are melting increasingly into one pot, women and young girls suffer when they don’t match what they see on the screens. Your family’s thinking has been affected by this, and that is all they know.

They do not have the same psyche as them. Don’t believe you are not beautiful and know they are wrong. I will tell you now that a woman’s beauty emerges within her and increases with age. A beautiful woman serves others and is peaceable, humble, trustworthy, modest, compassionate, and brave. She carries herself with dignity, confidence, kindness, and hard work. Please focus on improving your qualities and character, and don’t judge yourself by the number on the scale.

Instead, focus on Allah and how you can increase your knowledge and worship Him as He deserves to be worshipped. Also, deal with your feelings openly and don’t internalize them so they affect you later. You can speak to a school counselor, friend, or lady scholar that might help.

Please see this article:
Dealing With Feelings When You’re Overweight

Please communicate with your family to stop the comments and criticism. Be honest about your feelings. Tell them to stop or walk away every time they do it. They will eventually realize that they should stop. Ask Allah to make them understand what they are doing to you. I am sure they all love you and don’t mean to harm you. May Allah help you to see your true beauty and recognize that it was always there.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.