Aysha Mirza, from New Jersey
I started my brand #MuslimModelsMatter because it is so important to see Muslim women as autonomous, capable, and complete women in every sense of the word. As a model, we are subject to immense scrutiny in such a conservative culture and religion. There are so many young women growing up in the world that are free-thinkers, and stifled from exemplifying their beliefs accordingly for fear of violent actions against them. We are no different than any other woman. We have the same hopes & fears. We are mothers, daughters, athletes, independent, and feminine fierce. As an American woman, I have the opportunity to stand up for our women, whether or not they cover, to show that we are not what the general media portrays us as. Misperceptions and misrepresentations are rampant in our society, and it is important to stand up and speak out. It is not what you look like, it is WHO you are inside that counts. We are strong and strong looks different on everyone. Educate, don't hate. One love.
Photography: Kathy Boos