Hijab Health

Muslimah Media Watch (a blog about Muslim women in pop and media culture) gives the critical once-over to media coverage of a study claiming that women who wear “traditional clothing” –the hijab, in code– are prone to lower levels of vitamin D because of less exposure to sunlight. (The title of this post is giggle-inducing: “OH NOES! Hijab will make you sick!”) Faith wonders why the study and media reports about it seem to focus only on sunlight as a source of vitamin D, especially when a person can absorb vitamin D in other forms; and why the study necessarily equates hijab with Arab (American) women, even though not all Arabs are Muslim, and vice versa.

And, as someone who lives in the Midwest, wears a knee-length puffy coat with a hood, scarf, sunglasses (for the glare from the snow), and sunscreen even on cloudy days, and is otherwise regularly deprived of sunlight during the winter (and especially since I’m in the office all day anyway), I’m not sure why this study and its reception should single out hijabis in the first place for being at particular risk, except to reiterate the tired argument that hijab is bad for women with the “objective” authority of parascientific expertise.

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