The journalist and activist provided plenty of food for thought at a NYFW panel on diversity.

She made headlines in 2016 as the first woman to wear a hijab in the pages of Playboy magazine, an inclusive move that was both applauded and criticised at the time.

But Noor Tagouri doesn’t want to be “that hijabi journalist”.

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The reporter and activist opened up about diversity in mainstream media this week, during a panel held at the start of New York Fashion Week.

Speaking at the Changing Face of Beauty event, hosted by Endeavor, the 24-year-old American Muslim touched on the issues faced by the industry as it strives to become more diverse.


“As we are jumping into this new realm of representation, inclusivity, and diversity, understand that having a token representative is not acceptable,” Tagouri said.

“I know that that is the first step, because it’s treading rocky waters and people aren’t used to it yet, but when doing it, keep in mind that the trajectory should be to make this the new norm.”

The journalist, who has been featured in Forbes, the New York Times and TIME was joined at the panel by model and body-positivity champion Ashley Graham, who added: “It’s enough with the celebrating the token.”

“It’s enough with celebrating the new girl. Because she’s not the new girl. She’s been around the block, and then some, and you’re just deciding to put her in your campaign.”

Tagouri dwelled on her own career, revealing she’s “always kept in mind that I want—in 10 years—for people to see me on TV and not be like, ‘oh she’s that hijabi journalist’.

“[I want them to] instead be like, ‘she’s a journalist who happens to wear the hijab,'” she added.

“And it should be the same across the beauty industry because that’s where we’re first seeing representation. We need, so desperately, to be representative of the people around us.”
Now that’s a message we can get behind.

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Tagouri has previously stated her goal is to become the first hijabi news presenter on commercial TV in America.

“I will have succeeded in effecting change when all girls realise they can do anything they want without having to sacrifice who they are as a person,” she said in her Playboy interview.

“I may dress a little different—I’m a reporter who happens to wear a head scarf—but being a story teller, motivational speaker, entrepreneur and unapologetically myself has opened so many doors for thousands of people.”

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Image: Noor Tagouri/Instagram