“You’re a better version of your own blueprint than a carbon copy of someone else’s.”

Journalist Noor Tagouri has made a name for herself by standing out. The young hijabi first made headlines when she posed for Playboy magazine, named as a renegade who was pushing back against perceptions of Muslim women as submissive or oppressed.

Since then, she’s self-produced a documentary about the mistreatment of people with mental disabilities, and a series on the sex trade in the United States.

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She’s even gone on a charity road trip with model Ashley Graham.

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It’s the beginning of a rich, varied career, and Tagouri says her success so far comes down to the power of being yourself.

“My strength lies in using my own identity to build trust with people who’ve never trusted mainstream media to tell their story before,” Tagouri tells Forbes in a new interview.

“I’m also open about my judgments and preconceived notions, my mistakes and failures. You don’t usually see that side of journalists. I talk about my own journey because people can relate to that.”

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A key part of that journey is Tagouri’s hijab. While she was initially insecure about it, having experienced negative reactions from people in public before, it became a strength.

“Now, I know that my identity gets me access to people and places other reporters don’t get to see,” she explains to Forbes.

Tagouri’s best piece of advice? Stay true to who you are.

“I came into my success when I realized that my own authentic voice is more powerful than anything else,” she tells Forbes.

“We are desperate for authenticity these days. People can see you being inauthentic. Be yourself.”

Well said, if you ask us.

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Image: Noor Tagouri/Instagram