"In the beginning, the community [on YouTube] was very negative. [An agency once told me] that I couldn’t be booked because of my faith and because I wear a scarf. People [also] told me I wasn’t supposed to put myself out there because [of my faith]. Women aren’t supposed to put themselves out there or else you’re labeled as 'easy' or kind of slutty. I never get personal attacks from people that aren’t Muslim. I was shocked, then I understood why people within our faith decide to take off their scarves — because women who wear scarves in Muslim communities are always doubly judged."
For her daughter and for young Muslim girls everywhere, Afia hopes that this campaign will bring more visibility to Hijabi women. "I [grew] up being insecure about wearing the hijab, [and] I never thought I would see Muslim women represented on such a large scale." I hope [this campaign] will show Muslim women that brands care about us as consumers and we're important, especially hijabis. [We] can be featured on TV, [we] can be featured on billboards in Times Square. [We] can be represented."
In a time when anti-Muslim sentiment has become more prevalent in our country, we need more women like Nura to spread messages of love and acceptance.This past year has been full of victories for Muslim women (from H&M's campaign to the first hijab collection on the runway at NYFW to a new modeling agency for Muslim women) but there's still more progress to be made. Everyone should be included in the world of makeup, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, size, or religion. We're so proud of Nura and we can't wait to watch her change the beauty industry.
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