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Literature / Does My Head Look Big in This?

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Does My Head Look Big in This? is a novel by the Muslim-Australian author Randa Abdel-Fattah. The plot revolves around a sixteen-year-old Muslim Australian Palestinian girl, Amal, and her decision to wear the hijab, the traditional Islamic headscarf, and the reactions of her friends and family.

Tropes featured include:

  • Alpha Bitch: Tia, big time.
  • Arranged Marriage: Leila's mother tries to force this on her daughter, despite protests from Amal. She enforces her matchmaking to the point that Leila runs away from home to escape it. This affects Amal greatly, calling out Leila's mother on her old-fashioned values and being extremely distraught.
  • Author Filibuster: Sometimes comes off as this, especially in the more contrived situations such as when Amal is on the bus with a racist bus driver and a kind old lady, or when Amal goes on about how Muslims also believe that Jesus is a prophet.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Between Leila's mother's values and Western values.
  • Does This Make Me Look Fat?: Alluded to by the title.
  • Hypocrite: Leila's mother is always on Leila's case about not being a proper Muslim daughter while she willfully ignores her son, who is basically allowed to do whatever he wants even when it is against Islamic values.
  • Just Friends: Adam and Amal end up this way despite the massive amount of Ship Tease between them, due to the Islamic rule that boyfriend/girlfriend relationships are not allowed.
  • The Matchmaker: Leila's mother is one for her daughter. Leila absolutely hates the idea.
  • Token Trio: Amal is Palestinian, one friend is Asian, and the other is white.
  • World's Shortest Book: When the protagonist is taunted by Tia Thompson about her religion, she makes an offhand comment about finding the shortest book she ever read, called My Thoughts by Tia Thompson. Tia gives up for the time being.