'Playboy' Features a Hijab-Wearing Woman & Her 'Authentic Self' Is Beautiful

Noor Tagouri poses for Playboy

From the first Playboy released in 1953, the magazine has made a notable reputation for itself as a symbol of sexiness -- dare I say, maybe even a symbol of sexual liberation. Fast-forward 63 years and it's still very much on brand in that aspect, even after deciding to do away with full nude photos in 2015. While the magazine has never been one to shy away from diversity, it's quite possible that its 2016 Renegade series of women and men has taken diversity to a level so rare and so boundless that it's almost magical --- specifically its feature on Noor Tagouri, a 22-year-old Muslim woman from West Virginia. 

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Tagouri is a first-generation Libyan American with big dreams of becoming the America's first hijab-wearing news anchor, and with this shoot (among other major accomplishments), she's that much closer to making those dreams a reality. 

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The series, according to the description on Playboy's site, aims to "change how you think about business, music, porn, comedy, gaming and more." The publication adds, "They've [the Renegades] risked it all -- even their lives -- to do what they love, showing us what can be accomplished if we break the rules." Which certainly makes Tagouri's interview, with a publication banned in Libya, all the more commendable. (Of course, despite praise, we're sure some are reading in full disapproval.) 

While her inclusion alone has the Internet buzzing, it's her wise words (in which she references Maya Angelou) that really speak to me:

Live your life as your truest self and encourage others to do the same! Support each other. We have to live for the 10,000 who have come before us, who have made it easier for us to get to where we are today, but also for the 10,000 coming after us, so we can continue to break barriers and glass ceilings and reclaim our power. Do good, stay fearless and remember that everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.

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With a Instagram following of 158K, an almost equally massive following on her YouTube channel, and her work with Newsy, she's already representing way more than tens of thousands of people who want to hear, as she said in her first Tedx Talk, how being her "most authentic self is to [be] rebellious." 

I think the decision for Playboy to rid itself of full nude images perhaps challenged the brand to push the envelope in ways (even it) never imagined. After reading this interview, I think many of us are grateful for that.

A photo posted by Noor Tagouri (@ntagouri) on

Not only was it a refreshing read, but it was refreshing to see genuine diversity valued, and I can only hope for more to come from the industry, as a whole. But, until then, we can't wait to take a look at the rest of these rebellious renegades -- with high hopes that they're each equally empowering. 

 

Image via ntagouri/Instagram

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