L'Oreal Makes History By Casting First Hijab-Wearing Ambassador

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L'Oreal Makes History By Casting First Hijab-Wearing Ambassador


L'Oreal has made beauty industry history by casting a hijab-wearing ambassador for their latest campaign.

The beauty company has hired British beauty blogger Amena Khan to show its inclusivity for anyone who wants to wear makeup. L'Oreal has previously shown its stance on diversity by featuring male makeup ambassadors, extending its foundation shade range, and other products to compliment all skin tones.

While many people in society associate hair with beauty, Khan said beauty is more about how you feel, as opposed to how you look.

"Whether or not your hair is on display doesn't affect how much you care about it," Khan said.

L'Oreal's newest ambassador is also promoting Elvive, a line of hair products that revitalizes damaged tresses. Khan told Vogue it's a massive deal a Muslim woman has been cast in the campaign.

"You have to wonder "“ why is it presumed that women (who) don't show their hair don't look after it?" Khan said. "The opposite of that would be that everyone who does show their hair only looks after it for the sake of showing it to others. And that mindset strips us of our autonomy and our sense of independence. Hair is a big part of self-care."

After announcing she a part of L'Oreal's latest campaign, Khan said it's a move in the right direction.

As one of the first hijab-wearing ambassadors for a beauty campaign, Khan said she's pleased at L'Oreal's inclusive behavior, as it'll give young girls to a sense of belonging.

"I didn't start wearing a headscarf until I was in my twenties, but even prior to that I didn't see anyone I could relate to in the media. It was always a cause of celebration when you saw a brown face on television!" Khan said.

"I always wanted to be somehow in television or in media but it felt like a pipe dream and that's why I didn't pursue it, because I didn't think there would be anything for me," she added. "Which is a shame. I think seeing a campaign like this would have given me more of a sense of belonging. I trusted L'Oreal that they would communicate the message well. If the message is authentic and the voice behind it is authentic, you can't deny what's being said."

Khan said while she always wears her hijab in public, she lets her hair be shown around family members and at home. She said despite her hair not being shown to the public, it's a crucial part to her identity.

"For me, my hair is an extension of my femininity. I love styling my hair, I love putting products in it, and I love it to smell nice. It's an expression of who I am," Khan said.

Amena Khan
Amena Khan/Instagram

How do you feel about Khan being chosen as L'Oreal's latest ambassador?

Maya has been working at Shared for a year. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at maya@shared.com