Modest Werk! 23-Year-Old Woman First To Wear A Hijab In An H&M Ad

September 29, 2015  |  

The media would have you believe that women have to be nearly naked or scantily clad to make something of themselves in this world. And while I will always argue and believe that women should have the freedom to wear whatever they want, we know that school of thought is just not true.

The female form is beautiful; but it’s refreshing, inspiring and high time women were appreciated for something other than their bodies.

Which is why we were so excited to see 23-year-old Mariah Idrissi featured in H&M’s latest campaign.

Idrissi, a London native with a Pakistani mother and a Moroccan father, is a Muslim and wears a hijab, which is what makes her participation in this campaign so remarkable.

Idrissi is the first woman to wear a hijab in a commercial for the world’s second largest retailer.

The ad, called “Close the Loop,” aired earlier this month and features people from all over the world, with different body types, genders, nationalities and religious affiliations dressing boldly.

The ad concludes that there are no rules in fashion, except one, recycle your clothes.

Idrissi’s casting in the commercial was completely unexpected.

She told CNN that a casting director friend sent her picture into the brand and it was up from there.

It was just a one-off, I didn’t plan on it getting this big,”

And H&M did their research too.

“I was surprised, they actually really knew exactly how I should be dressed. They understood it had to be very loose fitting, not figure hugging, not anything revealing. They gave a range of different outfits. I kind of hinted what I liked and all of them were respectable.”

Idrissi told Fusion that she attended Islamic school for ten years and made the decision to wear a hijab when she turned seventeen.

Though the reception has been mostly positive, there is controversy as well. Idrissi says she’s seen some comments that suggest modeling goes against traditional Islamic beliefs.

Idrissi, who describes herself as having thick skin said, “…There’s nothing that says there is anything against it. In our religion, anything that’s not stated as forbidden is permissible. As long as I’m dressed correctly, according to Islam, then there’s no problem. It’s just promoting the hijab, in a way. If anything, it’s good.”

Idrissi says it’s time Muslim women are including in the fashion discussion. Though she would like for her community to be represented, she wants to make sure that the hijab maintains its significance.

“I would say, make sure your intentions are correct in terms of why you’re doing it. Hijab isn’t a fashion. We can adjust it to fashion but we have to remember that the sole purpose of the hijab is to be modest. If you know you haven’t corrected your inside first, there’s no point in putting a hijab on for the fashion side of it. Because then you’re defeating the object.”

Definitely nice to hear this type of voice.

In addition to being beautiful, Idrissi also opened a beauty salon called Salon Marrakesh which features halal nail polish.

Get into more of Mariah’s flyness over on her Instagram page.

And watch the ad in the video below.

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