Jiniya

Jiniya, 20, student of advertising and psychology at The City College of New York: “I want to be a creative director in an ad agency. That’s what I want to do in the future. I want to change the message through advertising. The status quo. Change the way people are represented, the way women are represented… change the negative portrayal, the objectification of women, the false narrative. To just, shake it up. I guess I want Muslims to be portrayed like more normal… like looking at the media, I can’t understand why we are always portrayed as either the good or the bad, the moderate or the extremists. Why can’t I be normal? Why do I have to be labeled as Muslim?… Why is my headscarf the first thing that you recognize about me? Why can’t we just be people?… I identify mostly as a feminist and yes, I am also very religious. I guess people see that as clashing… because a lot of people think that because it’s religion you should be strict- ‘can’t do this, you can’t do that’… But the thing is, in religion no one is controlling you. You have your own choice. And I think that is what feminism stands for. You’re making your own choices, and you’re standing up for what’s right. That is what feminism is!”