Huda Fahmy, the ingenious hijabi crusader, and face behind the impeccably successful comic series that act as a window of sorts to the daily lives and experiences of a Muslim woman living in a modern American society. Her comic series and her Instagram account are named “Yes, I’m Hot In This”, which is a cleverly executed nod to perhaps the most commonly asked question, that hijabis have to deal with on a daily basis. Due to the authenticity, her work embodies and the real experiences the comics carry within them, Huda’s work has garnered immense popularity.
I could go on and on about the rights guaranteed to women in Islam 1400+ years ago, but I’ll leave you with just this: women are guaranteed the right to an education. Then. Now. Always. Any one who says otherwise is confusing culture with religion and needs to read up on the deen* ???????? CORRECTION: the first university she founded was in Fes, Morocco! #internationalwomensday · · Special thanks to @hijabstersthe for collaborating on this comic with me! Give her comic account a follow and I guarantee you’ll learn something ? · · *deen=religion
Huda’s journey started when she stumbled upon an open call for Muslim writers, it was there that she truly began her expedition for accurate representation. Huda Fahmy had always been passionate about writing and thus, she collected a bunch of her stories and put together all sorts of experiences and events that she had had to face just for being who she was; a Muslim woman born and raised in a country like America. And even though not all of these experiences were humorous and some of them were even sad and depressing, most of her stories were humorous and light-hearted as through them she casually put forward how it felt to be treated as an alien at first glance and how it felt to see other people being harassed just because of their faith and how they looked like. What keeps Huda going and what keeps her motivated is that she now has the power, through her comics, to stand up against all kinds of prejudices and injustice that people like her have to deal with.
When she first began, she didn’t find instant success. After all, she was representing a minority and very few people are ready to jump on that bandwagon. At first, nobody was willing to publish her work, as they simply just did not care because she wasn’t a famous Instagrammer at that point. She was a common Muslim woman trying to speak out for other common Muslim women. Her elder sister was the one that brought forward the idea of integrating her stories into comics and sharing them on Facebook. This crucial piece of advice was the push she needed to get her dreams into motion. Facebook was what brought Huda her first taste of success, but then she shifted to Instagram which is where she truly blew up. The fact that her comics and her voice is making a difference in the world is enough to motivate Huda to keep going in the direction that she currently is. Her success also hides in the fact that she has been someone who has, through her work, helped clear out the smog that had been surrounding the Muslim community for a long time. She not only aided Muslims to find self-confidence and accurate representation but also helped eradicate the stereotypes that tarnished the minds of non-Muslim bystanders.
As one would expect, not all of the feedback Huda has received has been positive. A large chunk of the comments and messages she receives on a daily basis are hate-filled and are attempts at demotivating and hurting her. Most of the derogatory responses she has to face are (unsurprisingly) attempts to paint her as a terrorist, something that they assume all Muslims indubitably are. But instead of getting unmotivated and losing the fire that she has inside, Huda has chosen to not pay heed to these narrow-minded haters. And since her comics are safe havens for Muslims; a place where they can feel secure. Huda immediately deletes any sort of negativity that makes its way into her comment section, as to not endanger anyone else’s sentiments and feelings.
One of Huda’s main goals is to fix the way Muslim women are represented in mainstream media. In fact, the biggest driving factor behind her starting “Yes, I’m Hot in This”, stems from the desire to see more women like herself in media. Most Muslims, especially Muslim women have no media figure or character to look up to or relate, they are denied the simple happiness of seeing someone like themselves on a screen and gaining inspiration from them. Huda realized this deficiency in her country’s media and has been working hard in order to get Muslim women noticed as an actual separate entity that will be given their due place in media. Another wish of hers is to be represented correctly, and not as the typical docile, abused, frail or brainwashed Muslim women that we have grown accustomed to seeing onscreen. The handful of Muslim women that are shown in media are stock characters or are henchmen to their big, bad, terrorist husbands, there is a dire need to show living, breathing Muslim women doing normal everyday things, like being intellectually stimulation, interesting and funny.
Throughout her entire journey, her husband has been the entity that has been her rock, her pillar for when the world wanted to knock her down. Finding that sort of unconditional support is perhaps the first thing anyone needs in order to even think of achieving their dreams. Her long-term aspiration at this point is to become a published illustrator and then see her work on television. Her dream is that when Muslim women like her will see one of their own kind on screens, it will drive them to push themselves out of their comfort zones and explore the realm of creative arts and will help them realize that they can pursue whatever they set their minds to; that they are worth more than people’s judgements. Huda is an inspiration to the minorities because she represents an idea that has been otherwise unheard of; that if you don’t like the way you are represented, you have enough power within your own self to change that representation. “Yes, I’m Hot In This” is a guiding light for all, because it reinstates the fact that, no matter who you are if you scream in the face of injustice long enough, your voice will eventually break through that glass ceiling and be heard.