Muslim Models: The Struggle

Today is the right day to celebrate women’s beauty and values through Muslim Women’s Day, a special day “to celebrate Muslim women and flood the Internet with positive representations of who Muslim women are.”

© Ronan McKenzie & Storm

© Ronan McKenzie & Storm

However fashion industry was not “avant-gardise” about its vision of hijabi women and especially hijabi models that have not been included through its world and were in fact practically not represented at all on the runways.

Ten years ago seeing a hijabi model on the runway would have been a crime, shoocking, especially when beauty standards wanted you to be thin, blonde and white. Although, what was the most surprising about the fashion scene back then it’s the fact that designers used to put hijabs on models that weren’t Muslims, as a simple accessory — While actual hijabi women were and are still fighting for their rights, to be able towear their hijabs without being discriminated, attacked or insulted for their own personal beliefs.

Despite the fact that these incredible women had to face racism and intolerance in a world in which all the women are supposed to relate because fashion embrace all of the women in the world, they also had to get through criticisms of their own communities — Particularly traditions that have to be differentiated from religion. — Because “woman’s position” in some traditions is the exact opposite of what these hijabi models embody.

Moreover, in the fashion world in where designers use more and more nudity to conceptualize their ideas and thoughts, hijabi models are definitely not on the casting to do runways or editorials, and this contributes to the exclusion of these models.

Withal the career of a Muslim and hijabi woman is particularly harsh to achieve in any way, but thankfully fashion industry and mentalities have changed even though it is not perfect, but at least these women feel fully appreciated for their entire identity, with their hijab that is a part of themselves and their model’s abilities. — And that is why models such as Halima Aden (she was the first hijabi model to appear on the runways, to sign with IMG Models), Shahira Yusuf (Discovered by Sarah Doukas herself, the founder of storm management, and struck twitter with ther tweet “I ain’t no Kendall Jenner but I’m a black muslim girl from east London that’s about to finesse the modeling industry.” ) and so many others like : Ikram Abdi Omar, Mariah Idrissi and Kadija Diawara will help the next generations of Muslim-hijabi models to make their voices be heard, to be proud of their cultural heritage and beliefs and to help them to face the discrimination that they will have to face.

“Models Halima Haden, Ikram Abdi Omar, and Amina Adan make fashion history, starring in the first ever group hijabi cover for Vogue.”

This cover is really important to make people aware of the struggle that hijabi models have to face, Adan says “All they know about Muslim people stems from the news or videos on the internet about women not having the same rights as men.” However, these models are the antipodes of what people think about Muslim women and in a way they’re helping people to open their mind about the misconceptions that they might have when it comes to Muslim women.

Pictures © Vogue.