News flash: The face of the beauty industry is changing, and it's becoming more inclusive than ever. Boys are front-and-center in the latest beauty advertisements, and transgender models are finally getting the spotlight they deserve. Women with what the mainstream media once described as "flaws" are finally being celebrated for their beautiful and unique features. Sure, we still have a ways to go, but if you ask us, this is one hell of a start. And this week, we witnessed another amazing step forward. Nura Afia, a Muslim beauty blogger we had the pleasure of meeting last winter, has just been named one of the ambassadors for CoverGirl's new So Lashy! mascara campaign. This news comes hot on the heels of fellow beauty blogger James Charles' appointment as the first male face of the brand in its 58-year history. Afia and Charles join a diverse cast of ambassadors that includes songstresses Chloe and Halle (renegades in their own right), actress Sofía Vergara, DJ and actress Amy Pham, and pop star Katy Perry.
"I [grew] up being insecure about wearing the hijab, [and] I never thought I would see Muslim women represented on such a large scale," Afia told Refinery29 today. "I hope [this campaign] will show Muslim women that brands care about us as consumers and we're important, especially hijabis. [We] can be featured on TV, [we] can be featured on billboards in Times Square. [We] can be represented." We are thrilled by the inclusion of such kick-ass men and women in CoverGirl's campaigns. After all, makeup should never be exclusive, and it's inspiring to see a mass cosmetics brand show the world that beauty lovers come in all shapes, sizes, sexual orientations, genders, races, and religions. "I’m doing this because I want there to be a time when my daughter grows up when she knows she can be anything she wants to be," said Afia. "It doesn’t matter what her beliefs are or what she looks like." We hope that time will come soon.