Hi­jab-clad model first CoverGirl

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - Sarah Larimer

NURA Afia’s YouTube chan­nel has thou­sands and thou­sands of sub­scribers. You can see her there, giv­ing a smoky eye make-up tu­to­rial or go­ing over a skin care rou­tine.

And now you’ll be able to see the 24-year-old Afia – a beauty blog­ger who wears a hi­jab – in a CoverGirl ad­ver­tise­ment.

Afia will ap­pear in an ad­ver­tise­ment for CoverGirl, mark­ing the first time a Mus­lim woman wear­ing a hi­jab has been fea­tured in an ad for the brand.

“It’s a big ac­com­plish­ment for all of us,” Afia, who has been named an am­bas­sador for the brand’s So Lashy! BlastPro Mas­cara, told CNN.

“It means that lit­tle girls that grew up like me have some­thing to look up to.”

She told the net­work that her in­clu­sion in the cam­paign “shows that we’re av­er­age Amer­i­cans”.

“We’re just girls that love to play with make-up and do ev­ery­day stuff,” she told CNN.

Afia is not the only ground­break­ing CoverGirl model of late; the brand also re­cently an­nounced that James Charles, a teenager who gar­nered fame on so­cial me­dia, was CoverGirl’s first male rep­re­senta- tive. Charles and Afia ap­pear in the CoverGirl ad­ver­tise­ment with ac­tress Sofia Ver­gara and singer Katy Perry.

“I’m so ex­cited to be a part of CoverGirl’s new cam­paign.

“It feels so sur­real. Hon­estly, grow­ing up and be­ing in­se­cure about wear­ing the hi­jab I never thought I would see Mus­lim women rep­re­sented on such a large scale. It means the world to me and I’m so hon­oured to be a part of this cam­paign with CoverGirl,” Afia said.

Hi­jabs are banned in some coun­tries, but manda­tory in oth­ers – and can at times be seen as con­tro­ver­sial.

Late last month, for ex­am­ple, a chess player an­nounced that she would boy­cott an up­com­ing cham­pi­onship in Iran be­cause of hi­jabs. The Post’s Cleve R Woot­son Jr cov­ered that an­nounce­ment, writ­ing: “Is­lamic cov­er­ings for women in pub­lic – re­quired in Iran and some other na­tions such as Saudi Ara­bia – have in­creas­ingly be­come a tar­get for both protests and strug­gles over Mus­lim iden­tity.

Some ac­tivists in Iran have launched on­line cam­paigns against the hi­jab rules, while other women con­tin­u­ally test the bound­aries by push­ing back head­scarves to near grav­ity-de­fy­ing lev­els.

“Yet some women in other Mus­lim coun­tries, such as Tur­key, have bat­tled against re­stric­tions ban­ning head­scarves in some pub­lic set­tings, while some con­ser­va­tive Mus­lim women in the West have pushed for per­mis­sion to wear head­scarves in ath­letic com­pe­ti­tions and other venues.”

You might have seen a hi­jab dur­ing the 2016 Olympic Games, when a Mus­lim Amer­i­can won a bronze while com­pet­ing in one.

And ear­lier this fall, The Post cov­ered a teenager who was push­ing for a hi­jab emoji.

In an in­ter­view with The Post, Afia said that when she was first con­tacted about work­ing with CoverGirl, she ini­tially didn’t think it was real.

There was a part of her, she said, that hes­i­tated to re­spond.

“Be­cause I was shocked,” she said. “I mean, you’ve never heard of any­thing like that hap­pen­ing be­fore – in the US, at least.”

Afia was born and raised in Colorado, and said wear­ing a hi­jab wasn’t al­ways easy for her.

She said back then, she felt that “I had no­body to re­late to, no­body to look up to”.

“I hope that they con­tinue to be proud of who they are,” Afia said when asked what she hoped Mus­lim girls would take away from her ad.

“Be­cause I feel like what I can re­late to with a lot of Mus­lim girls is we’ve all felt in­se­cure about ei­ther be­ing Mus­lim, wear­ing a hi­jab, or just your cul­ture, at one point. Just be­cause it’s not the norm here.

“So I want them to feel proud of who they are, and where they come from, and what they think in when they see the com­mer­cial.” – Washington Post

Nura Afia – a beauty blog­ger who wears a hi­jab – will ap­pear in a CoverGirl ad­ver­tise­ment.


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