This Fashion Blogger Almost Had to Choose Between Her Career and Her Hijabi

26-year-old hijabi fashion blogger Naballah Chi recounts the moment she chose faith over the fashion industry.

Life & Travel

Naballah Chi is a goddess!

That's probably the first thing you'd think to yourself while perusing the 26-year-old's beauty bloggers website that highlights beauty, fashion, and travel with a special emphasis on hijabi fashion.

Naballah, who works in healthcare in Trinidad and Tobago, has found some very exquisite ways of showing her sisters in Islam how to rock a hijab with grace, style, and slay. But it's the reason behind her decision to display her gorgeous looks on social media that's been garnering her the most attention.

Image Source: NaballaChi.blogspot.com

At one point in her life, the act of simply putting on her hijab was a struggle for Naballah, but the end result made her come out shining like a rainbow. The brown beauty shared her inspiring journey of faith while fearlessly donning her hijab on her personal blog, where she recalls that she once considered taking off her hijab when she was feeling uncertain about her faith. "I had sometimes felt that wearing Hijab did not allow me to reach my true potential. The harder I tried to fit in, the more frustrated I became," Naballah says, "I often felt that I couldn’t participate in certain activities with my Hijab and so this feeling had taken me down a road that I never want to travel on again."

Image Source: NaballahChi.Blogspot.com


She recounts an incident on her blog where she emailed a "stellar" photographer about becoming a model. His advice to her was to remove her hijab if she wanted to be a big star. But instead of ignoring his words, she allowed him to influence her. She shared, "The first thing I was told was that if I removed my Hijab I could go international – that they would send me to New York. I was told they would make me a superstar. How could that not influence me?

"Initially I thought these people are crazy there's no way I'm doing that, however after a while the idea started to seep into my head a bit....no...a lot. I was cast for fashion shows where I'd rub shoulders with the most successful folks in the industry, Music Artistes, Makeup Artists, Photographers and  Models. There were many photo shoots, music videos, insane transformations to achieve images of perfection- everything was about physical attributes but I continually fell short of that ideal. I struggled because every day I feel conflicted between the demands of being a model and the tenets of my faith."

Image Source: NaballahChi.Blogspot.com


As a contestant in a beauty pageant at her university, she said that she lost friends when she started wearing her hijab to some events and not others, leaving her to feel like "the biggest hypocrite in the world." She even had false lies and rumors spread about her after she chose to take off her hijab during a photo shoot for the beauty pageant. But a moment of clarity came to Naballah, and she embraced that truth as a learning lesson:

 I asked myself a very straightforward question. Who am I trying to please? These strangers who I know not or Allah? I finally convinced myself that it was time for me to take this step closer to Allah, as difficult as it may have seemed at the time. Eventually I withdrew from the competition.

The great thing is that Naballah's life lesson came with a two-for-one deal. Not only did she learn that she didn't need to please anyone to remain true to herself, she also discovered the models and actors she once adored went through a lot of plastic surgery to look flawless for the public. That was not a world that Naballah wanted to be apart of.

Image Source: NaballahChi.Blogspot.com

Naballah's advice to women who may be experiencing the same issues is to always remember that you are beautiful with or without a hijab, and stay true to your faith.

"To my sisters who aspire to or have recently started wearing Hijab and are facing any of the issues that I did, my advice is make Dua to Allah (SWT) and read websites to keep reminding yourself that Hijab is your protection and beauty and you ARE just as beautiful if not more with it on," she says, "There is nothing sweeter and more fulfilling in this world than Islam and Hijab. It is an honor for me to be a symbol of my religion with my appearance, and of course with my actions. I know it is the best for me to be modest in the way that Allah SWT wants me to be."

[Tweet "It is an honor for me to be a symbol of my religion with my appearance - @NaballahChi"]

Image Source: NaballahChi.blogspot.com

As far as how exactly she pulls off her flawless looks so effortlessly, she told Cosmo in an email that the key is to stay inspired by following other hijabi bloggers. She also advises others to remain confident:

"Dress in ways that make [you] feel beautiful, to gain and maintain the confidence of wearing the hijab," she said.

For more hijab inspo, check out Naballa's blog, and YouTube channel.

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