Ain’t Nobody Messing With the MG Clique, clique, clique, clique, clique…
I love that you got the Kanye reference, by the way.
I still remember the excitement that I felt when our Editor-In-Chief texted me–I mean, it’s not every day you can say that you’ll be on a web show for Teen Vogue. Amani sent the text and I, of course, saw it immediately and freaked out. Grinning from ear to ear, I knew that in order to appear cool, calm, and collected about it, I needed to wait several minutes–if not hours–to respond to her. So that’s what I did. #SorryNotSorry, EIC.
The anticipation was real. After weeks of deciding on a date that would work for everyone, it was set in stone, and I ventured out to New York one cold morning at 5:30 am. Needless to say, those “I’m so excited I could throw up” nerves were setting in, and I was convinced that I’d say something stupid in front of the camera.
When I reached the location of the shoot, the entire room was already in preparation mode. Makeup artists were setting up in one corner, lights and cameras were being situated outside, videographers and sound editors were testing their equipment, and the producer immediately came over to introduce herself. After introductions, I made a beeline straight for the coffee (and breakfast) to look a little more alive, and mingled with everyone in the room.
While I had met most of the girls at the shoot before, this would be our first MG get together where we’d actually spend an entire day getting to know one another on a personal level. And that’s exactly what happened: We helped each other pick out outfits, had Instagram photoshoots (because hey, if we looked this good, why not?!), and had conversations about anything and everything.
The day was a constant rush: Getting our makeup done, then retouched, going one by one for individual interviews, walking around for group shots, having conversations on camera then having to do them again because a dumb bird was too loud, and even taking time out from our busy schedule to eat and converse with the MG and Teen Vogue team–everything was incredible. (And I gained so much respect for people who do this every day. Sorry for low key hating on your lifestyle, models and celebrities–I’ve got a newfound respect for you, because this is tiring!)
Most importantly, that day made me realize how much I really love my job.
Managing the social media accounts for Muslim Girl is a 24/7 job. My friends and family will tell you just how seriously I take it, and how much time I spend on it. In fact, my day would be incomplete if I didn’t have to stop conversations and say, “One sec, I have to do something for Muslim Girl.”
And it’s not just me who dedicates herself this way; our entire team of writers, editors, managers, and even guest bloggers, volunteer hours and hours of time to put out content.
We don’t do it because it looks good on our resume. We don’t do it because we think we’ll be ridiculously cooler than all of our peers.
We do it because we’re passionate about everything MG stands for: Breaking stereotypes, having meaningful conversations to destroy bigotry and Islamophobia, and being Muslim movers and shakers who are changing the way the world thinks about Muslim women. Yes, #MuslimWomenTalkBack, but we also walk our talk, and act upon what we say and believe.
And no, we can’t stop, won’t stop.
I’m pretty sure I speak for all of us when I say that we never imagined Muslim women on a huge platform like Teen Vogue. This wasn’t just for me, or for the rest of the MG clique…it’s not about being showing off or being seen, but about being heard and taking back our narrative. It was for our Muslim Girl family; for Muslim Girls everywhere. <3
We appreciate that the Teen Vogue team gave us this opportunity. Oh, and also, special shout out to Jared, the sound editor, for being able to handle all of our craziness! (Sorry about all the weird things you probably heard when we accidentally left our mics on!)
Check out our feature here.
Written by Safaa Khan