Sabeen Faheem Minhaz loves pop culture but as a Muslim woman she felt underrepresented.
The 29-year-old decided to recreate her favourite Disney characters and stars for her Instagram, but included her hijab in each one.
The lawyer’s most popular looks include Hades from Hercules, Batgirl from DC Comics, and Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians.
Sabeen, from California, USA, said: ‘When I was growing up, I didn’t see anyone who looked like me in pop culture such as in movies and TV adverts.
‘But I feel like I’ve kind of been dressing like this all my life without knowing because who doesn’t want to be a Disney princess every day.’
She quickly realised that what she was doing had a real impact on her followers.
She added: ‘I began posting my character-inspired outfits for fun and then it became a thing I wanted to do to be impactful and help others.
‘Now finally there are more characters coming out that are South Asian, Muslim or wearing a headscarf which is really cool.
‘I know a lot of young girls who wear headscarves or are of South Asian heritage that say they wish they could do what I’m doing because they’re worried other people might look at them differently.
‘Non-headscarf wearing people follow me and find it interesting how I create these outfits – it’s really encouraging and humbling that I get positive reactions and I’m very grateful.
‘I thought I would get bad attention for being a Muslim but I haven’t and I feel blessed.
‘I’m hoping my expression will inspire all girls to do and wear what they love and be true to themselves.’
The whole idea started with the cover for Ariana Grande’s ‘No Tears Left to Cry’ using a white hijab to emulate the songstress’ platinum blonde ponytail.
Her ideas flooded in after that, and she began tailoring outfits to become Princess Jasmine, Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Raven from DC comics – all with a casual twist.
She then edits the pictures to place herself in a fictional universe or well-known album art, before posting on her Instagram page for her followers to enjoy.
Sabeen added: ‘Whenever I get a new outfit I always think of how I can incorporate that into a new character.
‘I try to find the most iconic and exciting characters and stars so I can do something colourful and different.
‘The most fun thing is editing them afterwards – it’s exciting to be able to put myself in a Disney scene or iconic album cover.
‘It’s definitely become a passion of mine and I hope it can encourage others to think about including a positive representation of Muslims and South Asians in pop culture.’
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