Hijab-wearing Beauty Blogger Is CoverGirl's Newest Spokeswoman

Nura Afia, a video blogger and practicing Muslim, will appear on billboards and in commercials for the cosmetics company.

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Beauty blogger Nura Afia
Beauty blogger Nura AfiaCredit: YouTube screenshot

A hijab-wearing Youtube star has been named the newest spokeswoman for CoverGirl cosmetics.

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's Youtube makeup tutorials have a major following. Her Youtube channel has 200,000 subscribers and her videos draw tens of thousands of views. She has 300,000 followers on Instagram.

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.