Every year, L’Oréal Paris sponsors a wonderful award that recognizes a group of women who “find beauty in giving back to their communities.” Called the Women of Worth award, the campaign recognizes 10 women for their respective contributions to bettering their communities, with the ultimate winner receiving a grant of $25,000 to donate to her charity of choice. This year’s Women of Worth proceedings went off without a hitch — that is, until a slew of Internet trolls decided to rally against finalist Rana Abdelhamid because of her race and religion.
As reported by The Cut, Rana, a human rights activist and social entrepreneur who, at age 16 founded the International Muslim Women’s Initiative for Self-Empowerment — which supports Muslim women’s empowerment through “self-defense and skills-based training” — started to receive hateful comments on L’Oréal Paris’s Facebook page when a post featuring her story was published. The troll backlash to Rana became so prevalent that L’Oréal was forced to issue a statement on its social media accounts in a plea to keep the peace.
“We are very proud of Rana and all of our Women of Worth honorees. We believe in the intrinsic worth of all women, and do not tolerate hate in any form,” L’Oréal wrote on Twitter. “We are saddened to see some hateful reactions to Rana’s story and are grateful to those that have responded in support.”
Voting for the Women of Worth award is open until November 29 on the company’s website, and Rana, ever the strong woman that she is, is just moved to be recognized for her work. “I am honored to be a L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth,” she said in a previous statement, “and proud to continue shining a light on the experiences of Muslim women in our country and connect with other powerful women who are making a difference.” We couldn’t agree more.
Now, watch as model Halima Aden teaches young girls how to model: