A hijab-wearing Youtube star has been named the newest spokeswoman for CoverGirl cosmetics.
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Nura Afia, a beauty blogger and a practicing Muslim, will appear in commercials and billboards wearing a hijab as she promotes the U.S. cosmetics giant alongside a diverse group of other models.
Afia told Refinery29 that she grew up being insecure about wearing a headscarf, and she never thought she 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," she said. "[We] can be featured on TV, [we] can be featured on billboards in Times Square. [We] can be represented."
Afia is one of few women to represent a major American brand while wearing a hijab – although the Muslim headscarf is growing more visible in the U.S. and Europe. Last month, Muslim American journalist Noor Tagouri was the first woman to be featured in Playboy wearing a hijab. According to the Guardian, designer Anniesa Hasibuan held the first runway show where every model wore a hijab in September, and the year before model Mariah Idrissi wore a hijab in a campaign for Swedish clothing chain H&M.
The move to name Afia as a brand ambassador appears to be a part of an effort by CoverGirl to increase diversity. A few weeks ago, the company named its first male ambassador – James Charles, a 17-year-old makeup artist.
According to the Guardian, Afia started watching YouTube videos while breastfeeding her daughter, and decided to start making her own videos because she felt hijab-wearing women were underrepresented in that sphere.
“I wanted to show people that I can still be married and a mom and do whatever the hell I want – my scarf isn’t going to stop me,” she said in 2015.