Etiquette dictates that we never talk about religion or politics in business or at the dinner table. That said, it’s 2016, and the public figures we admire most (Marc Jacobs, Amy Schumer) don’t skirt around even the most inflammatory issues.
Perhaps that’s why Chloe Morello, a successful beauty vlogger with over 700,000 Instagram followers and 1.7 million YouTube subscribers, felt comfortable donning a hijab during her Eid-dedicated tutorial.
After deftly applying her “Soft Glam Look With Cool Tones!” Morello decided to demonstrate how her makeup would look with her hair covered. Morello, an atheist, prefaced her wearing of the headscarf by clarifying, “[This is] just so you can see what the look will look like with a hijab on. I don’t want to offend anyone when I do this.” She continued, “Most people like it, I think, but it’s purely so the hijabis know what it will look like with one on.”
Be that as it may, some fans still took offense: “It’s lovely of you to do a makeup look for Eid, as clearly your demographic includes Muslim women who love your looks,” remarked one viewer. “However, wearing a hijab for the purpose of the video is wrong.”
“For you, it’s easy to wear it like a costume, for the purpose of a tutorial, while actual Muslim women wear it with the risk of being harassed or being attacked due to the fact [that] Islamophobia is still so high in society,” another commenter wrote below the video.
Others appreciated Morello’s use of a hijab: “A lot of Muslim girls wear a hijab, she didn’t treat it like a ‘costume,’ she was just showing you how it would look in the case of a hijab-wearing girl recreating it,” wrote one commenter, coming to Morello’s defense. “I loved the look. I didn’t see her mocking our religion. Some of you guys need to just relax a little.”
More than 377,000 views later, viewer reactions are still split (and vocal), prompting Morello to issue a follow-up statement via Snapchat. “It makes as much sense as it does to do a Christmas tutorial to do an Eid tutorial. I’m not trying to promote any religion here; I’m just trying to promote acceptance,” she stated in a video. “It should be normal for Islamic women to feel a part of society.” According to Morello, her past Eid tutorials, which also featured hijabs, were met with little to no backlash.
It’s not as if Morello doesn’t recognize the significance of wearing a hijab, unlike many members of the fashion set who regularly appropriate other cultures — but then again, did the inclusion of the garment add real value to the makeup tutorial? True, we like to see ourselves reflected back in the ads and tutorials that we watch, but is using religious objects as props crossing the line? Regardless, we respect Morello’s decision to make a video in honor of the holiday.
Should “YouTube beauty tutorials” be added to Miss Manners’ list of religion- and politics-free zones? Does Morello’s video represent cultural appropriation, or appreciation? Sound off in the comments below.
[ via Mic ]