Ask Sam letter


To Sam


i don't want to wear a headscarf but i have to. when i started a year ago, it was my choice. but now i want to take it off and i can't. i am 14, female, muslim, in london, and i go to a mixed-gender school. i want to take it off because it is physically uncomfortable and i am not religious at all anymore so feel that wearing it makes me look like something im not and i don't like that. my mother is very religious, she is the one not letting me take it off. i know i was stupid to start and this is my own fault.

sorry. thanks. from the ugly girl.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter and well done for writing in to get some support.

It sounds like feeling under pressure to wear a headscarf when you don't want to is really upsetting for you. You say that it makes you look like something that you’re not and this sounds really hard for you.

You say that it was initially your choice to wear the headscarf but now your mum is not letting you take it off. I’m not sure if that’s something that your mum has told you directly, or if it's how you think she would feel about it because of her religious views.

I understand it can be really difficult when you have different views to your family. Sometimes sharing those things with them can be difficult and even lead to arguments.

I’m not sure from what you've said if this is something that you’ve tried to talk through with your mum. It's not clear if there is a particular age where she would be willing to let you make a decision about this for yourself or what would happen if you chose not to wear the headscarf. Sometimes thinking and talking through the pros and cons of different options can help you work out what is best for you.

Maybe there is someone else in your family or a trusted adult at school who you would feel able to talk this through with. They might be more willing to see your point of view and be able to support you in talking it through with your mum, if you felt that was something that you would like to do.

You may also be interested in taking a look at the family relationships pages for more information and advice. You could also take a look at the faith and religion message board where young people help and support each other. You could see what other young people are saying and if anyone else on the message boards has been in a similar situation.

I want you to know that there is always someone at ChildLine for you to talk to about how you’re feeling and explore your options with. You can speak to a ChildLine counsellor by calling on 0800 1111 (all calls are free and don’t show up on the bill) or logging on for a 1-2-1 chat (it works like instant messenger).

I also notice that you’ve signed off this letter by calling yourself ugly. I’m concerned to hear that you’re feeling like that about yourself - it sounds like an upsetting way to feel. Your self-image could also be something that you could talk to us some more about. You do not need to say sorry either - I love getting letters from young people and trying to help them!

Take care,


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