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‘Embracing Inclusivity’ with modest model Fatima S

Being a model who wears Hijab, brings certain challenges such as wearing a camisole and leggings to show the body shape during a casting. Another challenge is explaining the significance of wearing a headscarf at all times. In this modern age, where we are embracing other people’s cultural and religious beliefs, I still get a little surprised with some of the questions I get asked during castings.

Summer 2017, I came across Top Model 2018 model search and decided to enter and see if I could get through. The auditioning day was daunting. When the Show Director Geoff Cox announced that I was through I was shocked and delighted. I did not quite believe it. I remember Geoff calling me to the side and explaining that the competition is all about inclusivity but I should be aware that there is a self-styled underwear or beach wear walk in the competition this year and he was checking I will be OK with that? Of course I was OK with that. I explained I’ll do the beachwear with a Burkini – body covering traditional Muslim beachwear.

The build-up to the competition came quickly with coaching, rehearsals and fittings. During the rehearsals one of the models came up to me and said “Well done. It’s nice to see a Hijab model in a competition. We don’t see it often. Good luck”.

During the fitting day, I have never seen so many boobs and butts under one roof and didn’t know where to look. My own position was respected and I was able to change in private.

The final was amazing, nerves and butterflies in my stomach. All models supporting each other with words of encouragement and compliments. At the time I decided, win or lose the experience was one not to forget and I would encourage anyone to give it a go – whatever your religion or background.

The fashion industry is evolving and hopefully more modest / Hijab wearing individuals will enter model competitions. A big “Thank You” to all the other beautiful contestants from all over the world and to the entire Top Model team. I think I may just give it another go…


Have YOU “Got What It Takes” to grace the Top Model runway in 2019? Apply NOW at #topmodel2019

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