Nabela Noor on Islamophobia, body positivity, and what it means to be an friend

Nabela Noor recollects the video that changed things for her.

Last December, the 24 -year-old beauty and lifestyle vlogger posted Dear America on her YouTube channelwhich addressed being a Muslim-American and the negative media representation of the Muslim community, as well as Donald Trumps agenda-driving Islamophobia. It brought her a wave of supporters, as well as a stream of hateful comments.

Noor discussed this pivotal moment during aVidConpanel about Asian representation on YouTube, and how simply a month afterwards, she was invited to ask a question at a GOP debate in Iowa. Noor was originally supposed to ask Trump her topic, but he backed out, so she asked Jeb Bush 😛 TAGEND

In 2015, the number of hate crimes against Muslims in the U.S. has tripled, and on social media, where I expend a lot of day, I’ve ensure many attacks directed towards fellow Muslims. This culture of hatred is only driving ISIS to radicalize, recruit, and incite violence. As chairman, what would you do to address this toxic climate and promote increased tolerance in the United States ?

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Beauty vlogging is a massive genre on YouTube, and its powered heavily by females: Noor has more than 179,000 subscribers. After her GOP debate question, she saw people dismissing her role on YouTube as only a beauty vlogger. Last year, when megapopular beauty vlogger Bethany Motaparticipated in a State of the Union discussion with President Obama, she and fellow YouTuber GloZell Green were similarly rejected for not being qualified enough to ask the president a question.

No YouTuber is just a YouTuber, Noor said by phone a few days before VidCon. Theres much better to us. We dont only create awesome content, we also have stories and backgrounds.

During the panel, Noor, whos a inventor in the Fullscreen network, offered up a bit of her background: She grew up in a predominantly white town to Bangladeshi parents, who were in an arranged marriage. Noor didnt insure people like her growing up, but when she started use YouTube, that changed. She wanted to make videos for girls like her.

Having high-profile inventors like Lilly Singh, FouseyTUBE, and JusReign( who was also on the members of the commission) is great for representation, but she says it has to go beyond that.

There arent enough people standing up for the issue of how Islam is represented in the media, she told the Daily Dot. Just coming out in support of inventors who do speak out about these problems and do speak out about Islamophobia. I think culturally were doing great in terms of representing South Asian culture and thats arousing, but to its implementation of religion and to its implementation of having a vast majority of creators who stand up against Islamophobia, that Im still anxiously awaiting.

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Noor is also an advocate for body positivity, and she singled out last years Dear Fat People video by Nicole Arbour and the massive backlash it inspired. The body positivity community and beyond roundly came out against the video. There was this unified approach, Noor said, but that hasnt inevitably translated to creator pushback against anti-Muslim abhor speech and Islamophobia.

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And I know it can get scary, she said. I know it can alienate a lot of your viewers who may have passionate feelings against certain religions. I can understand its controversial, but I also wish for more of that support because I know Ive done videos that have been really controversial and Ive wished at times that I had support. Its scary. Ive gotten death threats and so much detest and backlash, and supporting in times like that would be amazing.

During another VidCon panel on body positivity, Noor discussed some of the double standards in regards to the plus-size community. Shes vlogged about losing 30 pounds and gaining it back, and tweeted her response to being called fat.

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She told the Daily Dot its inspiring that across YouTube, people can turn on their camera and say, Hey, shaming someone for their body is not OK.

Noors channel is unique in the YouTube landscape: Shes employing her platform to call out anti-Muslim sentiment and body-shaming, which are both foundationally about anxiety and detest. She’s opening hours conversations about message and culture.

She’s not “just” a beauty vlogger.

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