Kattan talks about her experience as a POC, and how that has impacted her life, about expectations she’s been burdened with, from her parents for example who had quite specific beliefs when it came to a career. According to BBC, Kattan explained her worries about quitting her comfortable job in the world of finance and taking the risk of entering the beauty industry, “I felt like they were disappointed at first, so I knew that I had to prove something to be taken seriously.” There is this pressure to get jobs that fit specific criteria, which are secure, respected and guaranteed success. But this is something Kattan questions in her video, what is success? She says success for her is freedom, not necessarily financial freedom, not about how much money she makes, but rather freedom from criticism, freedom to be a mother, freedom to love herself and freedom to just do things that truly make her happy without having to worry about what others may say.
Freedom from criticism, freedom to be a mother, freedom to love herself and freedom to just do things that truly make her happy without having to worry about what others may say.
On a YouTube video in collaboration with beauty influencer Nabela Noor, Kattan, again, encourages the discussion of such issues, of self-love, of body positivity and talking about struggles she sometimes faces. Noor is another beauty influencer who advocates for these issues, who saw that there was a gap in the beauty industry and felt that she wasn’t getting represented. So she decided to take it upon herself to fill this void, being Muslim, a POC, a first-generation American and plus-size, to spread her voice through her content and build a platform to help others who related to her. She talks about how people are being sold a specific image of beauty, a one that is restrictive and doesn’t represent the average woman. So Noor, along with Kattan, seeks to use her platform and her influence, to challenge these standards and help others with their insecurities and confidence, and create a movement towards self-love. Something Noor said in one of her YouTube videos really struck me, “hating yourself doesn’t make the world better”. It really got me thinking, and I think that’s exactly what an influencer should do. They should make their audience think, to use their minds, to have freedom of thought and of speech and should be relatable and real.
It really got me thinking, and I think that’s exactly what an influencer should do. They should make their audience think, to use their minds, to have freedom of thought and of speech and should be relatable and real.
So for me, a beauty role model is someone who goes beyond the boundaries and challenges the norm. Not someone who uses beauty to paint a very specific image, but who uses beauty to show the realness of it, that beauty isn’t just one size fits all, but something that is personal. Huda Kattan and Nabela Noor are two examples of role models in the present day beauty world, who advocate for self-love, as well as challenge and modify the meaning of beauty today.