Culture

Playboy Features First Muslim Woman in a Hijab and Not Everyone is Happy

A Muslim woman has been drawing a mix of positive and negative reactions after being featured in a spread on popular men’s magazine Playboy.

Wearing her hijab, American journalist Noor Tagouri posed for the cameras for the October “Renegades” issue, the magazine’s special feature on individuals “who risked it all – even their lives – to do what they love.”

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Referred to by the magazine as “a badass activist,” the 22-year-old reporter of Libyan descent was photographed wearing a black leather jacket, jeans, sneakers and a hijab, or headscarf, for the photo spread, Agence France-Presse reported.

Tagouri currently works for video news network Newsy but dreams of becoming the first “hijabi” anchor on an American television channel.

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She said she used the challenges of being a Muslim woman in the United States as an inspiration for her career.

“I know what it’s like to have the narrative of our community be skewed and exploited in the media,” she told Playboy. “I was like, ‘Hey, I know what it’s like to be misrepresented in the media. I won’t do that to you. I want to tell your story because it’s important and deserves justice.'”

The viral #LetNoorShine campaign brought her out into the public limelight in 2012. She is also becoming more popular on social media with more than 100,000 following on her accounts.

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Many saw her decision to be featured in the magazine as an inspiration and a step in a positive direction for all Muslim women.  

While Playboy made a huge revamp with its policies and editorial content earlier this year, doing away with nudity to reach a wider audience, there are those who still saw Tagouri’s appearance on the previously sexually-focused magazine as inappropriate.

“Playboy is synonymous with pornography,” The Muslim Vibe, an online magazine weighed in. “It has been at the forefront of the objectification, sexualisation and commodification of women for decades and just because they’ve softened their image, it doesn’t mean we can begin to engage with the platform and jump on board.

Some found Tagouri’s association with an institution “based on the objectification of women” to be unfortunate. 

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