How Do I Become a Hijab Model?

Laura M. Sands
Laura M. Sands
A hijab model may wear the Muslim headcovering in photoshoots.
A hijab model may wear the Muslim headcovering in photoshoots.

You may become a hijab model by inquiring with agencies where you have seen other women modeling hijabs. Modeling jobs may vary, but most do not require you to have hijab model training and, while experience modeling hijabs may be helpful, often such is not a requirement either. Building a portfolio filled with photographs of yourself wearing different types of hijabs may also help you get a job as a hijab model as such will help you showcase your modeling skills to others. Wearing a hijab on a daily basis may also help you be discovered by a photographer, designer, modeling scout or agency that may be in search of hijab models.

Searching classified advertisements for modeling jobs may also help you become a hijab model. Doing so on a daily basis increases your chances of finding a job in the modeling industry. Magazines and catalogs that specialize in hijab styles may feature such advertisements or you may want to contact designers and photographers to inquire whether or not either has a need for new hijab models.

While you may take modeling classes and these may be helpful to your career in the long run, you do not necessarily have to have training to become a hijab model. If you do decide to take courses, however, be sure to only do so with a reputable agency where other working models have also attended. Asking other models for recommendations on modeling classes may help, as well as researching classes on your own.

Experience is not always necessary to get a job as a hijab model, but it may help you learn how to model, in general, as well as help you compete in the job market with other hijab models. Some employers may only want to work with experienced models while others may specifically request new models. To gain experience that may help you become a hijab model, you may want to consider modeling other types of modest clothing. Doing so will help you get a better idea about how the modeling industry works, as well as give you experience in working with photographers, directors and other models. Taking photographs of yourself wearing modern hijab or luxury hijab styles may also help you build a portfolio that others can view in order to assess how well you photograph and how well you may perform as a model.

Photographers and modeling scouts often secretly look for new models while carrying on their daily activities in public. Even if you only wear a basic hijab in your personal life, doing so regularly may help you become discovered when you least expect it. In addition to this, talking about your plans to become a hijab model may help you make contact with people who may be willing to help you with this career choice.

How Do I Become a Hijab Model?

If you are an observant Muslim woman, you may have felt proud to see a hijab-wearing woman as a model for a fashion show or clothing line. If you wear a hijab yourself and have an interest in fashion or modeling, you may have considered looking for modeling jobs yourself. Becoming a hijab model — or any type of model, for that matter — is not necessarily easy, but with the right connections and expectations, it can be done.

Where Can I Find Modeling Jobs?

The age-old origin story of a model walking through the mall and being "discovered" by an agent sounds like a fairy tale, but it isn't everyone's entrance to the industry. You may take modeling classes to learn more about the industry and hone your skills, or you may contact modeling agencies directly with your portfolio. It may be helpful to look up other hijab models' agencies and inquire there, as you can assume they may look for other hijab models in the future.

What Skills Do I Need To Have To Become a Model?

Despite what you may think, you don't need to be the most beautiful or fit person in the world to become a model — but you do need to be photogenic, understand how to pose for the camera, and have a great deal of patience and diligence.

Perhaps the most important skills for aspiring models to possess are persistence and a thick skin. Like any type of artist, you'll be rejected more than you are accepted. This isn't necessarily a judgment of your beliefs or your hijab itself — some agencies will actively recruit hijab models, while others may cater to a different audience.

How Do I Build My Portfolio?

Compiling a professional portfolio is one of the most important steps you can take in your journey to becoming a hijab model. Ask a friend to take pictures of you wearing your hijab in good lighting that flatters your features. Better yet, hire a professional photographer to do the work for you. Think of the money you spend on these pictures as an investment: Many agencies will judge your potential as a model solely based on your headshots.

If you are uncomfortable meeting a photographer or someone else you don't know in person (such as an agent or casting director), bring a trusted friend or family member with you. Stay away from dubious-sounding online ads looking for models and ensure that any agency you contact is legitimate before following through with a meeting.

Should I Take Modeling Classes?

It's not necessary to take modeling classes if you understand the industry and have a good grasp of what it takes to "make it" as a working hijab model. You may have a better chance of booking jobs if you have taken classes as you will make connections and learn new skills in your training.

Is It Haram To Be a Hijab Model?

There are two schools of thought on this. If you are new to Islam or if you didn't grow up in a strict Muslim household, the term "haram" refers to an act that is forbidden by the law of Islam. It is also used to describe anything indecent. A woman posing modestly for a photograph while wearing a hijab may not be considered haram in certain circles, while an immodestly clad model donning a hijab would almost definitely be considered haram.

For some people, modeling, in general, is considered haram. As with any religion, there are those who are not bothered by hijab modeling and those who are. If you are considering becoming a model and find yourself conflicted about this point, you may want to speak with religious leaders you trust about the matter.

Are There Any Famous Hijab Models?

If you follow modeling news, you may have heard of Ikram Abdi Omar, who lives in the UK and is one of the most well-known hijab models. Her shoots have characterized hijab-wearing as vibrant, feminine, and strong, and they prove that you do not need to show your entire body to be considered beautiful by society's standards — or to be a successful model.

Similarly, Halima Aden, a Somali-American hijab model who also competed in the Miss USA Minnesota pageant, enjoyed success as the first woman wearing a hijab to walk the runways in fashion shows in New York and Milan.

Modeling is a difficult but exciting career, and for women who enjoy the work, becoming a hijab model can be quite rewarding. You may wonder if it is haram to be a hijab model, and you may become frustrated when everyone you ask gives you a different answer! Only you can decide whether or not to pursue this path. Be sure to weigh your passions with your beliefs when considering this career and trust your gut when it comes to your final decision.

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    • A hijab model may wear the Muslim headcovering in photoshoots.
      By: Claus Mikosch
      A hijab model may wear the Muslim headcovering in photoshoots.