Hardtalk BBC invited the Somali-born fashion editor of Vogue Scandinavia, Rawdah Mohamed, a refugee who moved to Norway when she was young. She became a model after working as a healthcare provider and had experienced negative stereotypes attached to Muslim models within the fashion industry – for her, being dark-skinned and a hijabi Muslim. On the BBC show, she discussed how far she can use fashion to reverse adverse stereotypes of Muslim women in the fashion world.
Now a fashion blogger, in April, Rawdah wrote a post called “Hands off my Hijab” that created a social media storm. Rawdah’s post came around the time when the French senate’s vote to ban anyone under 18 from wearing the garment in public was in the works. Mohamed added that the proposed legislation “stems from discrimination and deeply rooted stereotypes against Muslim women”.
Putting up her pictures dressed up doesn’t essentially mean she is sexualising herself or her body is on display, she explained to the host. It is not coming from that place and if someone is perceiving it that way regardless of her covering her self up as per religions guidance – it is not her problem.
Rawdah has taken up a senior position as the Fashion Editor of soon to be launched Vogue Scandinavia where she will get a chance to identify gaps for Muslim women and in some capacity eradicate them
Fashion has always been about diversity but it’s time big brands think about inclusivity at large.
Rawdah addressed many more issues in the Fashion world for Muslim women. She said while we have dark-skinned models, Asians making it to the runway, there is no one who is working for fashion for Muslims at the creative end nor is someone from a diverse background part of it.
Rawdah will use her platforms to overturn deeply rooted stereotypes in particular. She will do this by engaging in debates with people who make these decisions, whether it’s the PR, a brand, or a magazine – now that she has seat in the room, it will allow others to also reflect on how they see other people.
Rawdah also spoke about how she has discussions with her fellow colleagues as to how they can draw a line with designers in terms of showing skin – she said everyone is different and what one might want to do does not necessarily mean all would.
World’s First Hijabi Ballerina ‘Stephanie Kurlow’ Making Ballet History in Australia. Read the full story here
Meet the 18- year old Hijabi, Russian- Australian ballerina dancer, Stephanie Kurlow, changing the game of ballet, one step at a time. The aspiring professional dancer’s technique is clean and her joy while performing is infectious, but what makes her different from the other girls is her unwavering determination to follow her dreams while being devoted to her Islamic faith.
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