If you don’t know who Rhianna Beaumont
is… YOU’RE LIVING UNDER A ROCK! She’s a role model of role models. She created the campaign #AfroHijabi. She’s British, uh hello that makes her twice as amazing, is the co-founder of Culturing Success
, and she models for Umma Models
! She’s the Hijabi Queen!
What inspired you to make #AfroHijabi?
The #AFROHIJABI campaign was born out of a frustration for having a lack of representation of Black Muslim women in social media and the wider media, I came up with the idea to release a campaign showcasing Black Muslim women through photos as that’s my forte. I have a passion for photography and actually take photos as a hobby although I haven’t had much time to do that recently. Photography and photos are my art and what better way to express something your passionate about than through the medium you enjoy the most?
I wanted to release the campaign through Culturing Success which is a social platform I co-founded. I pitched the idea to my co-founder and she loved it as much as I did, being an #AFROHIJABI herself she could see the importance of representation.
The rest is history!
What is the purpose of the #AfroHijabi campaign?
The purpose of the #AFROHIJABI campaign was to start to create a visual representation of Black Muslim women in the media. We initially aimed to release it into the world of social media however it’s expanded so much further than that with the campaign now being featured in Black Beauty & Hair Magazine.
What is your ultimate goal for this campaign?
My ultimate goal for the campaign is for other #AFROHIJABI’s to benefit from the campaign and to see that the sky is the limit for them. We intentionally included inspirational Muslim women of colour so that other women can see it is possible if you put your mind to it.
What are your plans for raising awareness?
I personally plan to keep on doing what I usually do and that is representing #AFROHIJABI’s the best I can, I feel that the best form of da’wah (invitation to better understand) is a silent one, leading by example and that’s what I aim to do. Under the social media platform Culturing Success we aim to continue further releases under the campaign and continue to write articles for Black Beauty and Hair Magazine. We will have exclusive content in there, so keep and eye out. The # AFROHIJABI campaign also relies on other # AFROHIJABI’s to spread the word too, interviews and articles on your opinions are a great source of encouragement for us as well as a great source of information for others.
Are there any potential sources to further explore your work?
There are! As Black Muslim women are not just confined to one sector of society and we literally are everywhere, the #AFROHIJABI campaign can go in so many different directions. We will be releasing a documentary next year which was initiated by my co-founder Rikki.
How, in the world, do you have the time to run the campaign, maintain your health, model, and be a mom?
The quick answer is I don’t! It’s a tough balancing act and I don’t always have everything perfect, but I try and that’s all someone can ask for. I try to book most of my modelling and self care time during school hours when I am most free. This means I can only do little bits at a time but these little bits here and there do add up over time. A lot of meetings and interviews need to be held over the phone as it’s very difficult to physically be in two places at once and my social media page also serves as a portfolio which is a CV for models. Sometimes, if necessary, I bring my children with me.
What is the hardest thing, in your opinion, about being black and Muslim?
In the current climate we live in, especially with what has been going on in Libya, I feel the main issue is being black. Second to that I feel that black, Muslim people are between a rock and a hard place. Pushed between two identities. The Muslims people will see you as black and not as learned as them and the black people will see you as Muslim so your not really black. It’s difficult to find a place to stay and feel comfortable. This is another reason why the #AFROHIJABI campaign is so important as it’s a means to break down barriers between the different communities and educate them.
Have you ever experienced islamophobia or racist things against your skin in England?
As a fair skinned black women I haven’t experienced anything particularly racist. However I have experienced prejudice within the black community within the aspect of colourism. Assumptions that I think I am better or prettier etc because of the skin colour which I find so offensive and wish to re-educate people on. There probably are people like that out there because they have been brainwashed by the European ideals of beauty, but I am not one of them.
I have experienced Islamaphobia, more so when I was younger and had to use public transport which means you end up interacting with the wider public more, I’ve had Islamaphobic remarks shouted at me, drinks thrown at me etc, it’s not nice.
These are questions from some friends that are more off topic!
Do you have any hair care tips/routine for #AfroHijabis?
Yes I do! Co-wash, co-wash, co-wash. And find a really good sealing oil. These two will help you through your ghusl.
Find your hair porosity rather than your curl pattern. Hair porosity will tell you how fast/slow your hair looses moisture and this will help you tailor your hair products to maintain your level of moisture
Do you have a workout routine?
I do not have a work out routine, I don’t actually work out!
And lastly, do you have any advice for our readers?
I do, be yourself. Be unapologetically you! That’s what makes us different and interesting.
I just wanted to thank her for letting me interview her! She’s amazing and you should defiantly check her out! I can’t wait to see what the future brings for her. May Allah bless you and keep continue blessing you always with peace and happiness and all the success in your life of this dunya and hereafter!
All photos are from her instagram account!