We’ve had a lot of ‘firsts’ in our community recently, from Mariah Idrissi being the first Muslim woman to feature in a mainstream fashion campaign by H&M, Dina Tokio featuring in a Monsoon Edit , Fatima Manji bringing us the news on Channel 4 to Nadiya Hussain’s success on The Great British Bake off as well as Rumana on The Great British Sewing Bee. More recently the Olympics showcased many Muslim women representing and winning such as Ibtihaj Muhammad!
Amena featuring in L’Oreal’s latest campaign is now part of that growing list. It is significant and important that a fellow Muslim sister, a woman of colour and also a mother has featured in this mainstream ad campaign. It’s deeper than skin tones, it’s about being recognised, represented and acknowledged.
The society and the world we live in is more than one shade, in the UK alone we are a blend of many cultures, colours and backgrounds, that needs to come to the forefront and it is slowly but surely. It’s one of the motivations behind Amaliah, Nafisa Founder of Amaliah says:
Myself, Selina the other founder, mother to Aishah who’s all about glitter, water play and her favourite love currently, her little brother Eesa. She now has someone she can identify with as we walk through the aisles in Boots or ask as she did when she saw me watching the ad, ‘ Is that your friend mama? ‘. It is important to young girls and women like me to see representation, growing up we had very little mainstream representation. It can take a knock self-esteem and confidence when you are surrounded by women of one colour and seeing society push one standard of beauty and shade. When young girls are able to look up and see the likes of Ibtihaj, Ameena and Fatima doing their thing, the more we are able to inspire a generation to believe they can too. Representation matters, representation inspires.
The recent Cancer research campaign faced huge backlash when it was released, we saw people question them because of the lack of diversity. Ultimately we live in a diverse world and society so we need campaigns and businesses alike to be able to reflect that. It’s not ‘one size fits all’.
In the mean time Amena has a lot to celebrate, she is also one of the ‘pioneers’ of ‘The Muslim Fashion Blogger’ . Lovely to see her husband Osama always supporting her as well as all her well-wishers below.
We wish Amena much more success, May Allah increase the barakah in all that she does.
— Amena (@amenaofficial) August 29, 2016
— Osaama (@Osaama_official) August 26, 2016
— Ria Ahmed (@iamriaahmed) August 31, 2016
” The honest representation of women of colour is the quickest way to break down barriers between us – we are all united and share the same obstacles as other women, only some of us face more difficulties than others due to the colour of our skin or the texture of our hair. It’s important we share our experiences with one another ” Nafisah K, Leicester
Youtube was filled with well wishers
” It was great to see different representation with such a well known brand-it’s so important that the mainstream retailers acknowledge that our world is made up of many different beautiful tones and every woman deserves to find their true match!” Sarah, London
Amena’s Instagram has been full of positivity too
SEE MORE: MARIAH IDRISSI
Co-founder of Amaliah amongst many other roles. Selina is passionate about empowering those around her and just trying to be a better person. She loves looking after plants and a good cuppa because motherhood and running Amaliah.com is not for the faint hearted. She is also Co-founder to Aishah and Eesa and currently a one digit mother, Alhamdulilah. You will find her in the local charity shop, garden centre or park with her kids. Have a listen to the Amaliah Voices podcast. Link in bio peeps. To join the Amaliah Writer Community email me at [email protected]