We hailed L’Oréal Paris for its inclusivity when they featured Amena Khan for its hair care line Elvive. This was a historic move. The propounders of beautiful hair had hired a model who wore a hijab.
Amena Khan became the first woman in a hijab to be part of a mainstream ad campaign for hair care.
L'Oréal Paris features a hijab-wearing model for its new hair campaign, featuring Amena Khan, beauty blogger from UK. _______________________________________________________________________#hijab #hijabers #loreal #lorealparis @lorealhair #uk #london #beautyblogger #blogger #amenakhan #hair #advertisement #model #hijabifashion #hijabi #paris
But barely days after the ad campaign became famous and the social media was appreciating the move to the hilt – Amena Khan posted this message on her Instagram page:
So isn’t this woman – who is promoting the cause of inclusivity in beauty – allowed to have an opinion on any other social or political incident that takes place around the world?
Spokespersons from L’Oréal Paris rushed on to say that they appreciate Amena’s decision of stepping down from the campaign. Why? Does it mean that models for L’Oréal Paris are not allowed to have an opinion on political matters?
Or does it mean that these men and women who are the models or ambassadors of L’Oréal Paris should follow the rule that presence of beauty should necessarily mean the absence of brains?
For all the people who raised questions on Amena Khan’s tweets on Isreal and Palestine – YOU had an opinion too – isn’t it?
Then why is YOUR opinion so correct and hers so wrong?
Far too often, when women like Amena, who are already widely underrepresented in political conversations all around the world, are given any sort of visibility, it seems to have become conditional upon them to denounce who they are and not speaking their truth. And if they dare to speak, the rug is pulled out from under them.
What about her freedom of speech? Why is it so relevant what a person said in 2014 about the inhumanities that took place in Palestine to an ad campaign and how easily we choose our political leaders who are openly racist and discriminatory.
L’Oréal Paris’s motto of championing diversity has fallen flat with their acceptance of Amena Khan’s decision to step down as their model. They have shown that on the one hand when they are condemning Amena for her words – on the other hand, they have devalued their own stand of holding self-worth in high esteem.
L’Oréal Paris, its time you actually practice what you preach!