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Making History: L’Oréal Empowering Muslim Women

This past weekend was the one-year anniversary of the Women’s March and women (and men) came out in masses all over, from Montreal to New York to speak up for true equality. In these trying times, women are still treated as second-class citizens, with women being discriminated on factors beyond just their gender. Muslim women, especially those who wear the Hijab, have their own struggles and are subject to discrimination based on a piece of cloth. For this reason, it has become so important for the media to increase the presence of Muslim women and give them a platform to speak about issues pertinent to them. Earlier in 2017, Nike came out with their Pro Hijab, American Eagle featured hijab-wearing model Halima Aden, and now L’Oréal’s new hair campaign includes blogger and model Amena Khan.

Amena is one of the fifteen British influencers and ambassadors part of ‘L’Oréal Paris Elvive World of Care’ campaign which shows the range of Elvive products. L’Oréal Paris UK’s general manager Adrien Koskas, in a statement, said that “We want to create campaigns that deeply connect with our consumers through spokespeople that inject sincerity, emotion, and personality.” By including a hijab-wearing woman, L’Oréal is speaking to all the Muslim women who have been left out of the hair care industry’s target audience. As Amena said in a video, “Whether or not your hair is on display, it doesn’t affect how much you care about it.” Women all over the world will be able to relate to Amena and finally feel part of a larger community.

With over 570,000 followers on Instagram and 34,676,697 views on YouTube, Amena represents the strong and powerful Muslim woman of today who deserves representation. “I think seeing a campaign like this would have given me more of a sense of belonging”, she told Vogue UK when talking about how there was no one for her to relate to in the media when she was growing up.

“Whether or not your hair is on display, doesn’t affect how much you care about it,” Amena says in the campaign video, this targets the misconception and lack of representation that women who wear the hijab face. They want their hair to look as good as any other woman, so why shouldn’t they be part of an international brand’s target audience. Hopefully, with this campaign and others like it, various kinds of women will gain more representation in contemporary media.

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