Nura Afia’s YouTube channel has thousands of subscribers.
You can see her giving a smoky eye make-up tutorial or going over a skincare routine.
And now you’ll be able to see the 24-year-old Afia – a beauty blogger who wears a hijab – in a CoverGirl advertisement.
Afia will appear in a commercial for CoverGirl, marking the first time a Muslim woman wearing a hijab has been featured in an ad for the brand.
“It’s a big accomplishment for all of us,” says Afia, who has been named an ambassador for the brand’s So Lashy! BlastPro Mascara. “It means that little girls that grew up like me have something to look up to.”
She says her inclusion in the campaign “shows that we’re average Americans. We’re just girls that love to play with make-up and do everyday stuff.”
Afia is not the only groundbreaking CoverGirl model of late; the brand also recently announced that James Charles, a teenager who garnered fame on social media, was CoverGirl’s first male representative. Charles and Afia appear in the CoverGirl advertisement with actress Sofia Vergara and singer Katy Perry.
“I’m so excited to be a part of CoverGirl’s new campaign,” Afia says. “It feels so surreal. Growing up and being insecure about wearing the hijab I never thought I would see Muslim women represented on such a large scale. It means the world to me and I’m so honoured to be a part of this campaign with CoverGirl.”
Hijabs are banned in some countries, but mandatory in others – and can at times lead to controversy. Late last month, for example, a chess player announced that she would boycott an upcoming championship in Iran because of hijabs.
Afia says that when she was first contacted about working with CoverGirl, she initially didn’t think it was real. There was a part of her that hesitated to respond.
“Because I was shocked,” she says. “I mean, you’ve never heard of anything like that happening before – in the US, at least.”
Afia was born and raised in Colorado, and says wearing a hijab wasn’t always easy for her. She started wearing one before her twin sister, and at the time was the only girl in her school that wore it. She says that back then, she felt that “I had nobody to relate to, nobody to look up to.”