Meet Mariah Idrissi, the 23 year old West Londoner that sent waves through the fashion world when she starred in global fashion retailer H&M’s culturally diverse ad ‘Close the Loop’, wearing a hijab. We caught up with her just before she went on stage at TedxTeen.
“Me in a short video being myself….shocked the world”, she said in the 2016 TedxTeen talk. “Something so small can have such a major impact.” Yes, it can. It has been said that Mariah broke many carriers and stereotypes by appearing in H&M’s short video, opening the wider world up to the idea that women in hijab’s are not ‘oppressed’ as some may think and can “look chic” as the voice over states when Idrissi is on screen.
She has been wearing a hijab since she was 17 and clearly states that it was her choice to do so. “Hijab isn’t a representation of oppression” she says. In fact, it seems to have given her freedom – a way to honour her faith, express herself and ‘look chic’ all at the same time.
In person she’s down to earth, positive and has a great sense of humour (watch her TedxTeen talk and her interview with us above and you’ll see what we mean). She’s an advocate for believing in and being yourself, mentioning that girls’ can do great things just by simply being themselves. “We don’t need the validation or consent from social media or whoever to validate ourselves”. At Incredible Brilliant Youth we believe this is true for boys as well.
“The most important thing is to not look at other people for validation, it comes from you.
Watch H&Ms 'Close the Loop' ad here, and Mariah's TedxTeen talk 'Changing the Face of Fashion' here.
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