For my neighbor the idea of disrobing and having her breast handled by her doctor was too much to handle. Unless she experienced extreme pain, uncontrollable fever, or some other symptom that she couldn’t ease with home remedies, she was reluctant to see a doctor. For the Auntie from my mosque, she grew up in a time and place where respectable young women didn’t roam the streets unnecessarily. Only “westernized” young girls subjected themselves to the gaze of strangers while they “pranced about”. (Her words, not mine.)
Historically, the obstacle between Muslim women and the sports and fitness club has often been one of traditional ideas of modesty. It is not uncommon to hear stories of parents who refused to allow their daughters to participate in sports for fear that it would damage her reputation or violate an unwritten rule about what “good girls” do. While most Muslim women in the United States and Canada don’t face those kinds of barriers, the attitudes that often discourage hijab observant women from sports and fitness have not completely gone away. The pressure of being the first or the only Muslim girl in the gym or on the team can be intimidating.