Two things we rarely hear in Malaysia, a Malay Hijabi and Miss Universe in the same sentence. 2018 is full of surprises as 20-year old, New Zealand-based student of Malaysian and Indonesian heritage made it into New Zealand’s Miss Universe. In better news, she made it into the finals!
According to NST, she was born and raised in New Zealand and attended the University of Waikato in the country’s North Island. She was firstly shortlisted in the beauty pageant’s Top 20 finalists for the Kiwi region.
She isn’t the first hijab-clad Muslim to participate in the Miss Universe competition though. Respectively, Somali-British Muna Jama and Somali-American Halima Aden who donned the hijab also made headlines when they participated in Miss Universe Great Britain and Miss Minnesota USA.
In a recent Instagram post by Nurul, she stated, “As a hijabi I will be the first in New Zealand to make it to the finals and one of the first in the world to ever do so. I hope that this opportunity will help break boundaries and stereotypes. I also hope that together we can redefine the meaning of what beauty is.”
Her openness is refreshing unlike here in Malaysia, where Malay Muslim women are banned from entering any secular beauty contest as it is deemed sinful and they would received flack from the community. Safe to say, it’s nice to see someone finally making this mark.
The finals for this year’s edition of Miss Universe New Zealand will be held on Aug 4. We wish her the best of luck! You go, girl!
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