By Staff Writer
Layla Asgar says social media is empowering Muslim women in the Gulf
Layla Asgar, a Qatar-based fashion and beauty blogger, has released a video encouraging Gulf women to use social media for public presence.
In the video, Asgar showcases six different make-up styles representing women from each Gulf country. She pinpoints the social restrictions limiting women in the gulf from having their name or image in the public or online.
28 year old Asgar, who is part Omani, Bangladeshi, and Canadian, is a fashion and beauty blogger and fashion designer.
“Through my blogging and videos, I try to empower Muslim and Khaleeji women. I want to show that I am not doing anything wrong by being ‘out there’, that it’s ok to be in the media, it’s about time,” Asgar told Doha News.
“It can be tricky for a married Muslim woman to be on camera, but for this I thought, ‘Why not do it myself?’ We get foreign models to play [our] role, but we have our own women doing the same thing really well. It’s time to represent ourselves,” she said.
In addition to encouraging Gulf women, Asgar hopes to break misconceptions that these women are submissive and oppressed.
“I want to use my blogs and vlogs to get women from this region into a more positive light and for people to better understand who we are,” she said.
Asgar added that social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are helping women in the region to launch their own businesses, like online shops.
“I definitely think attitudes there to women are changing. Social media has really helped in this. It is more accepting now more than ever and that has made having a career in social media much easier,” she said.
Many a bloggers from the region are following in Asgar’s footsteps by breaking the stereotypes surrounding Gulf women and inspiring others to do the same. Such bloggers include Kuwaiti/American Ascia AKF and Emirati Nadya Hasan.