Pioneering beauty blogger Kadeeja Khan is well known for speaking up about her struggles with acne.
The 21-year-old influencer from Birmingham has inspired many young women with her open, down to earth approach and expert make-up skills.
However, she has now been left greatly disappointed after cosmetics giant L’Oreal dropped her from a photoshoot; all on account of her skin issues.
I remember I would get into a lot of trouble at secondary school. I would put myself in situation I didn’t want to be in just so I would be taken out of class. Just so I didn’t have to sit in those awful classes. Schools meant to be a great place we’re you learn etc. It wasn’t like that for me. It was 5 years of hell. ______________________________________ I really wish I never cared of people’s opinions of me .. back then. I wish I was strong enough to go into those lessons we’re I’d been called “fat, spotty, man jaw, ugly etc” just so I could get my education. It was really difficult & hard. In some ways I’m kinda of thankful. I don’t think I would be the person I am today if it didn’t happen.
Kadeeja had been invited to travel to Paris to take part in the launch of L’Oreal’s brand new vegan hair dye range, however she then received the following devastating email:
I’m sorry to tell you that I have bad news for you. We can’t confirm thed [sic] shooting with you.
L’Oreal can’t be involved with people with skin issues.
Kadeeja shared the email through her Instagram with her sympathetic fans along with the following message:
To think we’re supposed to live in an advanced society that not only ACCEPTS of ALL walks of life but actually embraces people of all backgrounds, religions, ethnicities and disabilities.. Shame on you L’Oréal.
In a later post, Kadeeja spoke about how she had been hurt by L’Oreal’s insensitivity:
I know many people are asking about what happened with ‘L’Oreal’. I’ve been getting a ton of direct messages about it.
Why I haven’t uploaded properly in the last 2 days. I know some people won’t understand what I’m trying to say.
Some ‘makeup influences’ trying to start on me for speaking the truth. Truly it did put me in a dark place.
I’ve come on this platform to show everyone who I am & what I’m about. I’m trying my best to shine the light on the things that matter.
Kadeeja also took the opportunity to turn her negative experience into a positive message for her fans:
It honestly made me feel like their really isn’t any room in the industry for people like me. It made me feel that “your worth it” … ONLY if your perfect.
However that has given me fuel. Fuel to continue to show you that your beautiful no matter what ANYONE says. That even if it’s someone so huge & big. It still means NOTHING. Never stop loving yourself for who you are & NEVER change.
Speaking with UNILAD, Kadeeja has offered the following advice to those who may feel conscious about not having so-called ‘perfect’ skin:
My advice is never to please anyone, do what makes you happy! It was definitely hard to ditch the photoshop & be myself.
But I did it to make me happy! I’m trying to make it easy for people that want to be in the beauty industry that are not perfect.
So they can look at me & be like ‘yep, there’s definitely someone I can relate to’ & ‘there’s room for me in the beauty industry’
This is the first time she has been rejected so openly, having previously worked with other brands who have been much more accepting of her appearance.
Apparently, Kadeeja being dropped was due to a misunderstanding which led to the wrong profile being cast for the range.
Although L’Oreal have released an apology statement, Kadeeja believes there are still important steps they can take to be more inclusive going forward:
I feel that L’Oreal should be more open to working with everyone, perfect or not. I think they shouldn’t make people that are not ‘perfect’ feel alienated.
They shouldn’t be put in a certain category based on there appearance. Beauty is for everyone.
So I’m very fussy & scared when I pick a foundation. I love going bare faced but when I like to glam up I really do! I don’t want a foundation that makes my acne look worse than what it is. I don’t want a foundation that can see my green corrector beneath. I want a foundation that can lock in my discolouration & prone acne! I never in a million years would think my go to foundation would be a drugstore product! I always thought the more expensive the product the better the outcome! __________________________________ @makeuprevolution foundation is GOD SENT. This foundation is ONLY £5! It has the same coverage or even better than some high end products! You only need one light layer of it & your good to go! __________________________________ If your on a budget at school or college or whatever it is! This product is deffo for EVERYONE! Not just the people on pr lists or the rich kids! EVERYONE ?❤️ ________________________________________ #wakeupandmakeup #mua #makeuptutorial #makeup #makeuprevolution #glamvids #hudabeauty #fentybeauty #fakeupfix #fakeuproom #brian_champagne @brian_champagne @fakeupfix @fakeuproom @wakeupandmakeup @wakeup2slay @adam_minto70 @makeupartists_worldwide @fakeupfix @eyegalore
Going forward, Kadeeja hasn’t let this upsetting experience deter her from being herself one iota; and is determined to continue spreading ‘love and positivity.’
You go girl!
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.