18/01/2018 23:20 SAST | Updated 24/01/2018 00:34 SAST

This Hijab-Wearing Model Just Made History

The beauty Youtuber is ready for her spotlight.

UPDATE - Jan. 22, 2018: Amena Khan has pulled out of the campaign after backlash ensued for her 2014 tweets deemed "anti-Israel" by some Twitter users. More on the story here, and you can continue reading about her involvement prior to leaving the campaign below.


British beauty Youtuber Amena Khan is one of the new ambassadors for L'Oréal Paris' Elvive hair campaign in the U.K. And she wears a hijab.

The blogger and model, who also worked with the French brand in 2017 for a collaboration with The Prince's Trust, is the first hijab-wearing woman to be featured in a major hair advertisement, according to Glamour.

"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," Khan told Vogue UK about the campaign.

She continued, "You have to wonder — why is it presumed that women who 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."

The campaign also features brand ambassador Cheryl Cole, model Neelam Gill and singer Dougie Poynter and is just running in the U.K.

L'Oréal Paris also launched their "All Worth It" Confidence Training Programme, whose goal is to help more than 10,000 young people "turn self-doubt into self-worth," according to their website.

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Khan is not the first hijab-wearing model to make waves in the modelling industry. Halima Aden, 20, became the first model wearing a hijab to walk in fashion week, making her debut at the 2017 Yeezy Season 5 show.

Aden was also in Nike's line of breathable mesh hijabs for spring 2018 and was the first model to wear a hijab on the cover of Vogue

Model Slick Woods for Fenty Beauty.

Another model who is pioneering diversity in the beauty biz is Fenty Beauty muse, Slick Woods, a black woman known for her bald head, gap tooth, and plump lips.

Earlier this month, she took to Instagram to share her surprise and joy at being the definition of "beauty" when the word is googled, alongside Fenty Beauty creator, Rihanna.

Woods captioned her post, "My mom called me today and I told her she's the definition of beauty, thank you @badgalriri for changing the game, reminding every little black girl she is and came from royalty and that all women are beautiful in their own damn way."

The campaign is being heralded by Glamour as "a huge deal" for advancing the voices of Muslim women and the message that "how [hijab-wearing women] are seen doesn't define who they are."

"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 told Vogue UK.