As part of its recent rebranding efforts, Playboy is shattering stereotypes about its models and the place for women in American society. Among the rule breakers that the magazine profiled for its 2016 Renegades series is Noor Tagouri, a 22-year-old Muslim Arab American journalist who has now made history as the first hijabi woman to pose for Playboy.
While not everyone has taken kindly to Tagouri's appearance in Playboy, many are seeing the photoshoot in the way that Tagouri intended — to empower young women through modesty and the true freedom to make their own decisions. Tagouri focuses much of her public commentary on her freedom of choice, both in wearing her hijab despite pressure from Western society and in actively pursuing a career despite pressure from her religious community.
However people perceive its connotations, the main point of the article is that Tagouri is challenging stereotypes within both communities, and creating a bridge from one to the other."As a badass activist with a passion for demanding change and asking the right questions, accompanied by beauty-ad-campaign looks, Tagouri forces us to ask ourselves why we have such a hard time wrapping our minds around a young woman who consciously covers her head and won't take no for an answer," reads the article, available on newsstands now.
This isn't Tagouri's first time in the spotlight, but it's definitely a milestone in her all but assured rise to international fame. In 2012, while shadowing a journalist at the ABC affiliate station in Washington D.C., she posted a picture of herself behind the anchor desk and captioned it "The first hijab wearing news anchor on American television." The post went totally viral, racking up millions of views, likes, and shares across various social media platforms.
The attention enabled Tagouri to start a social media campaign called #LetNoorShine, in reference to the meaning of her first name. "My name, Noor, means 'light.' My middle name is Alhuda, so Noor Alhuda means 'the guiding light,'" Tagouri told The Huffington Post in 2015. "My name itself inspires me to be that guiding light."
With her latest high profile media appearance, Tagouri should be able to inspire even more people to achieve their personal legend, a concept she discussed in her 2015 TED Talk. For Tagouri, her personal legend, the highest version of herself to which she has always aspired to be, is becoming the first hijabi news anchor on American network television. Her latest empowering and inspirational interview should not only help her achieve her goals, but help other young women like her reach their goals, too.