Updated: May 11, 2020
Welcome to the Does My Head Look Big In This? official blog! Thank you so much for making it this far. I want to start this post by telling you a little bit about me, then I’ll hop off my soap box, I promise!
My name is Hanna El-Mohandess and I am the Writer, Director, and Executive Producer of Does My Head Look Big In This? I am a Muslim, Egyptian-American woman who learned very early on that image is everything.
Growing up as the child of a U.S. diplomat, I moved to a different country every 2 years, so film and TV quickly became my only connections back home. I can confidently say that I’ve spent a majority of my life disconnected from my “American” identity, as the only image of an American I was familiar with was that of someone who looked nothing like me. As I grew older, I found that the image of “the American” became a little more democratized, largely due to the influence of film and social media. My experiences growing up as an Arab-American abroad helped me realize that film and television are arguably the two most important mediums, as they have the power to promote and spread information, cultures, emotions, experiences, and change. I pursue film for the chance to lend a diverse voice to such an influential and crucial medium.
I wrote Does My Head Look Big In This? in my Sophomore year at Emerson College in an attempt to kickstart my diverse contributions to the film industry. I initially wrote DMHLBIT? as a feature length, 120 minute screenplay, but adapted it into a short film that I could produce myself, as I was just so eager to see something I could connect to on screen -- even if that screen was my own little scratched up computer screen.
There is an indescribable power in feeling seen, especially if that’s not something you get to experience on a daily basis. That’s the feeling im dedicating my life to; that’s the feeling I want to make sure young Muslim men and women get to experience at some point in their lives.
Does My Head Look Big in This? is a space for me to talk about the representational issues that I see in the media, but I wanted to create the Does My Head Look Big in This? blog to make sure that others get the chance to talk about the issues they see as well. None of us can really see the full picture when it comes to diversity in media, so I wanted to have a space where we could all talk about what we do see, and read about what we don’t see. This project is an honest attempt at creating something that isn’t just performative activism, and instead something with the potential to be culturally transformative. For that reason, I’m opening this blog up to you, all of you, so you can tell me what you want to see in the mainstream. If you’d like to contribute to the blog, please reach out to us through Facebook (Does My Head Look Big In This?) or Instagram (@doesmyheadlookbig). I hope you contribute, and I look forward to reading each and every thing you have to say.