She has not yet turned 30 but she is already the face of many campaigns, owns baby slings brand Desert Baby, and is the co-founder of skincare brand Seoul Kool. Ascia Al Faraj is certainly more than just an influencer with a couple of million followers on her Instagram page.
However, what many people in the Arab world like to focus on is what this Kuwaiti blogger and entrepreneur wears on her head, instead of her long list of achievements.
Earlier this week, Al Faraj posted a video discussing this particular topic - one she's been avoiding since her early days of blogging.
"I'm not a hijabi" is what The Hybrids blogger wants people to understand.
The 14-minute Youtube video, titled "This Might Disappoint You...," amassed over 70,000 views and 700 comments at the time of writing.
"I'm still growing so much as a person & it scares me to put a solid opinion on the internet that may change again in a few years time," she captioned her Instagram post.
In a bid to explain her choice of modest clothing and not be "boxed" in a certain category of religious people, she transparently addressed her followers and critics in the video.
"I don't consider myself to be a hijabi"
"What I've learned as I'm approaching 30 is that even when you don't want to be, you are going to be some kind of controversial," Al Faraj said.
Having spent six years in the modest fashion industry, she finally decided to address the topic she's been questioned about relentlessly since she first begun.
"I don't consider myself to be a hijabi," she lets out.
She admitted she had a hard time saying that sentence out loud in a space where it can be repeated, dissected, and scrutinized over and over - aka the internet.
"When I first started blogging, yes, I considered myself a hijabi," she commented, looking back at how things have changed.
"It’s not the viewpoint that I think is representative of me as a person," she added.
Looking at those around her who have chosen to be in hijab, the young entrepreneur explicitly emphasized how she never means to be "an element of disrespect to them."
"I'm just giving you a third option"
"I’m tired of being told to take something off because it doesn’t agree with your version of what modesty is. That takes away the autonomy that I have to cover my body in whichever way I see fit," she continued.
Al Faraj also mentioned the struggle Muslim women - particularly hijabis - have had for centuries, both privately and publicly.
"I don't think there's a take it or leave it when it comes to dress choice, or when it comes to the modest space, or when it comes to just being a woman in the 21st century. It's unfair to get comments of 'you either do it right or you don't do it at all,'" she said.
Muslim women have always been criticized for their choice of fashion, in a way that obliges them to be fully committed to the hijab and the modest dress code that comes along with it.
"If this is what makes me comfortable, and this is what I’ve chosen to expose to the world, I think that should be okay," she said, commenting on the middle ground, safe space she has chosen to be in.
"I'm just giving you a third option."
"The hijab spoke for me, and I didn't like that"
She took a moment to let all her followers who are "lost on that spectrum" know that she'll be there for them in any way she can.
The hijab was a sort of identifier that allowed people to judge her without her even saying a word.
"I was never the type of woman that wanted my voice taken away from me with a piece of clothing," she said.
"My worship now, and hopefully forevermore, will always be treating my creators' creations with the utmost respect and the utmost understanding."
"I am not your Muslim role model," she emphasized.
Al Faraj isn't the first public figure to state her opinion on the hijab
The Kuwaiti blogger isn't the first Muslim influencer to publicly share her opinion on the hijab.
Dina Tokio, a YouTuber and fashion blogger with 1.4 million Instagram followers, has also spoken about her opinions on the headscarf.
In a now-deleted video, Tokio said: "In the bigger picture, I don't think I do like it," replying to a question about whether or not she likes putting on a hijab.
While she doesn't physically take it off in the video, Da Silva touches on the controversial topic of taking the headscarf off and urges her followers to rethink their reasons for wanting to do so.