L’Oreal is now the first major international brand to cast a hijab-wearing woman in a hair campaign, and we can’t imagine why this didn’t happen sooner.
Amena Khan announced the collaboration on her Instagram, in which she says, “Lately I’ve had a complex relationship with my hair feeling lacklustre.”
But I suppose we will have to take her word for it:
Speaking to Vogue, Amena said,
How many brands are doing things like this? Not many. 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,[…] You have to wonder – why is it presumed that women that don’t show their hair don’t look after it? The opposite of that would be that everyone that 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.
Adrien Koskas, L’Oréal Paris UK General Manager said: “L’Oréal Paris UK are both proud and excited to be launching such a unique and disruptive campaign for the haircare market, a category which in previous years has been perceived as the cliché of beauty advertising.”
Khan added: “I trusted L’Oréal 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.”
The decision has faced some mockery and derision. Prominent Twitter users have pointed out that Iranian feminists are currently protesting and renouncing the hijab, which is used as a symbol of oppression in Iran, and that this is a virtue-signaling display of tokenism ignorant of real-world issues.
The hijab, a symbol of female oppression, currently being mass protested in Iran, is being used by L'oreal to advertise hair products, when you can't even see the hair and this is being celebrated by HuffPost, who, when I last checked, were against women being oppressed……. https://t.co/Jx9Ck52YKG
— Count Dankula🏴 (@CountDankulaTV) January 18, 2018
L'Oreal contributes to the normalization of the hijab, a symbol of actual patriarchal oppression, violence & enforced modesty culture for women across the Middle East.
How is this perfect? https://t.co/TFw0a6GWZd
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) January 18, 2018
It should be noted that only last year Iranian chess master Dorsa Derakhshani was banned from competing for Iran due to refusing to wear a hijab.
Let’s face it, Amena Khan is beautiful. However, maybe she should model something she can actually…well…model?
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