The beauty of Malaysia is that it is a beautiful melting pot of various cultures and religions. More importantly, we’re accepting of one another and live harmoniously even though Islam is indeed the state religion. And while it is not uncommon for ads to feature hijab-wearing women here, it surely is unconventional in the U.S.A., which makes this ground-breaking L’Oreal Paris news so, so significant.
The beauty industry has made strides in becoming more inclusive and diverse, especially in the past year. There have been male beauty ambassadors and foundation shades that suit every damn skin tone out there. With that said, beauty label L’Oreal Paris is now adding to that global revolution by casting a hijab-wearing model for a hair campaign. She is none other than British beauty blogger Amena Khan.
She says in the ad for L’Oreal’s Elvive line of haircare products, “Whether or not your hair is on display doesn’t affect how much you care about it.”
“How many brands are doing things like this? Not many,” she tells Vogue UK. “They’re literally putting a girl in a headscarf — whose hair you can’t see — in a hair campaign. Because what they’re really valuing through the campaign is the voices that we have.”
She adds, “I think seeing a campaign like this would have given me more of a sense of belonging.” And of course, many netizens have been posting messages of support towards Amena, as well as L’Oreal Paris for doing something so empowering for hijabis. Good on you, L’Oreal Paris!
UPDATE – 23 January 2018 – Amena Khan Steps Down From L’Oreal Paris Campaign
Amena Khan has since voluntarily stepped down from the L’Oreal Paris’ campaign because of past tweets in 2014 whereby she criticised Israel.
Amena Khan was chosen by @LOrealParisUK to model for the company’s newest hair product campaign. However, a search of Khan’s Twitter account raises questions about the appropriateness of making her the face of the new campaign. Khan frequently espouses anti-Israel views. pic.twitter.com/ynMQ7dfjXJ
— Aisha Murtad (@UmmAlMumineen) 19 January 2018
She says on Instagram, “I deeply regret the contents of the tweets I made in 2014, and sincerely apologise for the upset and hurt that they have caused.”
“I recently took part in a campaign, which excited me because it celebrated diversity. With deep regret, I’ve decided to step down from this campaign because the current conversations surrounding it detract from the positive and inclusive statement that it set out to deliver.”
L’Oreal Paris has also since responded, “We have recently been made aware of a series of tweets posted in 2014 by Amena Khan, who was featured in a UK advertising campaign. We appreciate that Amena has since apologised for the content of these tweets and the offence they have caused.
“L’Oreal Paris is committed to tolerance and respect towards all people. We agree with her decision to step down from the campaign.”