The first hijab-wearing model to appear in a L’Oreal haircare campaign has been forced to step down over a series of anti-Israel tweets.
Amena Khan, from Leicester, said she ‘deeply regrets’ her remarks from 2014, and apologised for the ‘upset and hurt that they have caused’.
She had been criticisied for a series of posts, including one that described Israel as an ‘illegal state’ and another branding the country as a ‘child murderer’.
L’Oreal was the first major international brand to cast a hijab-wearing woman in a hair campaign. But the model bloggers past tweets came back to haunt her as anti-Israel posts on her Twitter page resurfaced, including calling the nation “sinister”, “child murderers” and claiming “defeat” awaits them.
In other posts, Khan repeatedly referred to Israel as an “illegal state”, and claimed they take part in “terrorising innocent civilians.”
When first announcing that she would feature in a hair campaign that doesn’t actually show hair (go figure?!) Amena Khan announced the collaboration on her Instagram, in which she says, “Lately I’ve had a complex relationship with my hair feeling lacklustre.”
Well, your hair would feel pretty lacklustre if it is being suffocated and exhausted in a piece of cloth for 12 hours a day, wouldn’t it?
The decision originally faced mockery and questioning, with prominent conservative twitter users pointing out that Iranian feminists are currently protesting and renouncing the hijab, which is used as a symbol of oppression and a so-called enforced “modesty culture” in Iran, where women are imprisoned and even killed for the sight of a mere strand of hair in public.
This is not the first time that L’Oreal has featured racist extremists in promoting their hair products. Transgender model and far left activist Munroe Bergdorf was sensationally sacked by L’Oreal for calling ALL white people “violent racists”.
The beauty firm confirmed the model had been sacked over comments she made that were deemed to be “at odds” with the brands values.
She had reportedly claimed that “all white people” were guilty of racial violence in a Facebook post, which was later deleted.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Amena Khan said: “I deeply regret the content of the tweets I made in 2014, and sincerely apologise for the upset and hurt that they have caused”.
“Championing diversity is one of my passions, I don’t discriminate against anyone. I have chosen to delete them as they do not represent the message of harmony that I stand for.”
She continued: “I recently took part in a campaign, which excited me because it celebrated inclusivity.”
“With deep regret, I’ve decided to step down from this campaign because the current conversations surrounding it detract from the positive and inclusive sentiment that it set out to deliver.”
A world-renowned global brand that proclaims to empower and strengthen women (as well as strengthening their roots) while using a representation of persecution that is literally forced on non-western women, is not acceptable!
It was never really a good look for apparent “female empowerment”, was it? Maybe next time, the L’Oreal marketing department can change their official slogan to something more culturally appropriate with the Hijab?
‘Because I’m worth it (but only with by husbands’ permission though‘)
Story by Michael Lee
Featured Photo Credit: Elle