Leena Snoubar opens up about wearing a hijab as a mainstream fashion influencer
At just once glance of Leena Snoubar's Instagram feed, you'll find a beautiful wardrobe filled with an array of camel hued coats, white denim and creamy knits.
The self-described "modest" fashion blogger is also one of few mainstream influencers in the United States who wears a hijab. She's built a following of nearly 1 million people on Instagram, where she showcases on-trend, conservative outfits that inspire confidence in women — Muslim and otherwise.
Aside from style and beauty tips, Snoubar's authenticity shines through her content. She recently shared a 6 minute video highlighting her struggles and confusion that comes with wearing the hijab. The video has since garnered over 123K views and nearly 900 comments.
The Texas-based influencer is teaming up with Olay Body to promote body positivity. The brand is setting out to make a statement that "even if you choose not to show your skin, it is still important to take care of it."
In The Know caught up with Snoubar to discuss everything from what it's like representing her culture on such a large scale and to how she felt being the only influencer who wears a hijab to be nominated for a Streamy Award. "I could have never imagined a hijab wearing woman being nominated for a fashion award," she explained.
Check out our full conversation below!
With an Instagram following of nearly 1M people, what impact has social media had on your life?
Social media has completely changed my life! I started my Instagram in 2014, sharing my daily modest outfits as a creative outlet while I was in nursing school. I was a labor and delivery nurse for three and a half years and on my days off, continued growing my personal brand. Just a few months ago I was able to quit my nursing job to focus on social media full time! Through social media, I have been able to connect with so many women like me with similar values of modesty from all different backgrounds, and I love the community we have there! I think it’s amazing how social media works by connecting me to my followers. In fact, after I posted about using Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash I actually got so many DMs from followers saying they love the product and use it too! It’s so great to not just be a role model, but also to be that person that my followers can see as their friend – someone relatable.”
What has been the most exciting moment of your career so far?
One of the things I’m most excited about is my partnership with Olay Body where I participated in the 14 Day Transformation for the #FearlessMoment campaign! Not only do I love their body wash, but they have also supported me for over a year and Olay Body is a brand that truly represents inclusivity and diversity. It was really special to work with them last holiday season and again for my upcoming big moment at the Streamy Awards.
You recently posted an IGTV called "Hijab Struggles." What advice would you give someone who is conflicted in their decision to wear or take off their hijab?
My biggest advice to someone conflicted with her decision to wear hijab would be to renew your intention of why you wear it. Without a strong reason to wear the hijab, it becomes extremely difficult! I wear a hijab and dress modestly because I feel it is one way I can show self respect for myself. I like knowing I don’t have to show my body to the world and only share my beauty with those I am closest to like my husband and my family. I would suggest praying about it, doing your own research and coming to your own understanding of hijab to make the decision that is best for you!
Being an influencer who wears a hijab with a large presence in the U.S, do you feel any sort of burden of representation?
I live in a small town in East Texas. Being one of the few, if not the only, women walking around wearing a headscarf, I do feel a strong sense of representation for my entire faith! With the negativity surrounding Muslims in the media, I have a strong urge to show people otherwise through my actions and character. I don’t necessarily consider it a burden because it is a responsibility I happily take on. I am proud of my beliefs and am happy to try and show the beauty of our religion and break stereotypes.
You are nominated for a Streamy Award with tons of other popular influencers, yet you are one of the few (or only one) who is representing the hijab. How does that make you feel and do you think the influencer industry is heading in the right direction?
Being nominated for a Streamy Award as a modest fashion blogger is such an amazing honor! I feel so flattered to be recognized! We have come such a long way in this industry! Even 5 years ago, I could have never imagined a hijab wearing woman being nominated for a fashion award. I definitely think the influencer industry is heading in the right direction with including individuals from different communities.
You've recently teamed up with Olay Body in efforts to support women feeling comfortable in their skin, what advice would you give to females who want to be fearless in accepting their body?
Accepting your body always comes from taking care of your body. Whether you show your skin or not, taking care of it is important and should always be for yourself and not for anyone else! The Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash has transformed my skin from dry and patchy to soft and glowing after completing the 14-Day Skin Transformation! I love taking care of my skin because it helps boost my confidence even if no one else can see it!