“I hope that this opportunity will help break boundaries and stereotypes.”
A beauty queen who made history by becoming the first hijabi to make it to the finals of Miss Universe New Zealand has finished the competition in fifth place.
Malaysian-Indonesian New Zealander Nurul Shamsul made international headlines when she entered the pageant. It’s something few hijabi women have achieved – the most famous example is Somali-American model Halima Aden, who rose to fame after competing in a Miss Minnesota pageant wearing a hijab and burkini.
“As a hijabi I will be the first in New Zealand to make it to the finals and one of the first in the world to ever do so,” Shamsul wrote on Instagram back in April.
“I hope that this opportunity will help break boundaries and stereotypes. I also hope that together we can redefine the meaning of what beauty is.”
The results were announced this week, and while Shamsul did not win the pageant, she described it as a “life-changing experience”.
“Alhamdulillah for 5th place! Thank you to everyone for all of the love and support,” the beauty wrote on Instagram, revealing that she found out the result on her 21st birthday.
“It means so much me! This is only the beginning and I can’t wait for what Allah has planned for me!”
Shamsul is currently studying for a Bachelor of Social Science in Psychology and Social Policy. She also runs a blog, The Girl In The Wine Red Scarf.