Noor Tagouri, a 22-year-old journalist from US became the first Muslim woman wearing a hiajb to be featured in Playboy magazine. The photo of the 'Newsy' reporter wearing a black leather jacket, jeans, sneakers and hijab has so far gone viral on social media, receiving both good and bad comments.
While many hailed she for the 'achievement,' some on the micro blogging website Twitter and Facebook chided her, since Playboy is famous for its soft porn contents.
Tagouri, whose ambition is to become the first “hijabi” anchor on commercial US television, told Playboy that being a hijabi Muslim woman helped her to gain the trust of people, while stepping out for reporting.
To be honest, I think being a hijabi Muslim woman, helped me gain that trust. I know what it’s like to have the narrative of our community be skewed and exploited in the media. I was like, “Hey, I know what it’s like to be misrepresented in the media. I won’t do that to you. I want to tell your story because it’s important and deserves justiceNoor Tagouri
Talking about her experience as a reporter (Tagouri prefers to call her a Story teller) she told Playboy, which recently stopped publishing nude photos to get into a larger audience, that the biggest challenge she faced in her profession is the process of getting people to trust to tell their stories.
“Our society has seemingly become so desensitized towards violence, abuse, death, rape and trauma. I find that people who go through these traumatic experiences have a hard time trusting reporters. Just a few days ago, I had talks with an anonymous artist who told me that he doesn’t do interviews because he doesn’t want reporters to “take [his] words and run with it,” she said.
In the interview, Tagouri, who shot into fame through her #LetNoorShine campaign, narrated her experiences while working on her masterpiece story The Trouble They’ve Seen: The Forest Haven Story
Talking about the backlash got for her activism, she said she pays little attention to haters and their versions.
“I make sure to keep a great circle of people around me who keep me grounded. Whether it’s at work or at home, the people who have my best interest at heart voice their concerns and their critiques, and I work on them. Besides that, I just do the best I can to not worry about people who get upset because they don’t like something that I wear or say,” a very bold Tagouria answered the Playboy.
She also remembered her first story in Newsy on Middle Eastern and North African Americans being considered “white” on the U.S. census and how that might change on the 2020 census.
“I referred to it as “White without the Privilege.” There was a ton of backlash on Facebook from people who didn’t like the story. It was comical seeing people telling me to “go back home” when in fact, I was born in West Virginia. My team insisted that I never read the comments, so I stopped,” she added.
A West Virginia native, Tagouri graduated from college at the age of 20. She started getting recognition after her YouTube channel gone viral with multiple viewers. Tearing apart the stereotypes she appeared on all social and visual media wearing a head scarf. This gained her lot more lovers and haters. Now, she has more than 100,000 followers on Facebook.
Tagouri says her greatest inspirations are those she meet randomly on streets and public places and share their story wholeheartedly.
“I recently had a mom come up to me and tell me that her daughter is in the 6th grade and had just started wearing the hijab. She shared how a lot of the other girls tease her and put her down because of the hijab. She went on to tell me that her daughter watches all of my videos and every time she gets picked on, she pulls up my Instagram or tells them to “Google Noor Tagouri and then talk to me.” Those are the moments that hit me. And I always remember Maya Angelou’s quote, “I come as one, but I stand as 10,000,” the young girl who stands as source of inspiration for thousands of others just because of their identity said.