Most were absolutely ecstatic about the campaign.
It’s obvious to most people that yes, even women who wear hijab care about their hair and like to take care of it. The simple act of including one of these women in an advertising campaign for a hair product shouldn’t be a radical act.
But it still is. Muslim women are woefully underrepresented in pop culture and mainstream media.
It’s time for this to change.
Khan told Vogue UK, “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!" she continued.
“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. Which is a shame. I think seeing this campaign like this would have given me more of a sense of belonging. 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.”
Of course, the campaign has its detractors:
This Twitter user continued, “I agree, hijab wearers have needs and in most cases take better care of their hair, but I think the ad is trying to put out a statement, not selling a product.”
…Uh, yeah. And what’s wrong with that? It’s time to stop being culturally insensitive and exclusive in order to sell shampoo.
L'Oréal's inclusion of Amena Khan in their campaign has definitely made a splash, as it should have.
It’s going to be a great day when the representation of women in hijab, of all different shapes, sizes, races, and abilities is no longer news worthy of an article. But until then, we will celebrate small steps in the right direction.