Instagram influencer, fitness inspiration, model, entrepreneur, and a full-time mom, Elhum Oskui has chosen to create an fitness Instagram profile that brings light to an issue that is personal to her but also sits at the crossroads between fitness and fashionable workout attire.
Five years ago, when Osuki was scrolling through social media, she realized there was a lack of representation in the fitness influencer community. “When I first got my Instagram, there weren't that many Muslim women influencers.”
Although workout brands like Gymshark, BodyRock and Lulu Lemon frequently sponsor fitness influencers. This consists of shipping them PR packages of matching leggings and crop tops. But none include a matching hijab.
Oskui explains that, on top of having a lack of representation in the media, it can also laborious finding athletic attire that not only fits modesty preferences but also doesn't interfere with her workout.
Another athlete that had a similar experience was Enam AlBustami fitness enthusiast and political and legal studies student at the University of Oregon, also struggles to find acceptable workout attire.
“I would have to tie sweaters around my waist to feel more modest because the only clothing that was really sold was so tight.” Enam AlBustami
She elaborated saying, that it was ”much harder to actually workout and participate if I didn’t have any clothing to wear.”
In 2017 Nike released the much anticipated Nike Pro Women’s Hijab, the reaction was enthusiastic and it's adoption instantaneous.Nike's action towards making sports more inclusive for Muslim women, left both professional athletes and fitness fanatics raving in the product review section.
Manal Rostom, a Dubai running coach and Pro Hijab product tester explained that for many Muslim athletes, the Pro Hijab was a necessary performance garment, as well as a statement. “It inspires me to reach greater heights and to run farther distances,” “And I believe it’s going to inspire girls worldwide to follow their passion for the sport.” "It inspired a conversation with [athletic apparel companies] about why they aren't catering for Muslim athletes”
Oskui's accomplishments are big but she is incredibly personable and humble about her achievements. On first interaction with Oskui, her personality and determination radiated outward and listening to her speak about her passion was much like reconnecting with an old friend.
For her next project, she hopes to partner with Nike to design an athletic apparel collection “I want to innovate a type of dry-fit workout outfit that Muslim women can wear and really feel comfortable in.” Oskui is passionate about this project because she has experienced the challenge firsthand and “knows how hard it is working out in modest clothing and in a hijab.”
Her hard work and dedication to building a community that encourages other Muslim women to feel comfortable in the gym is evident by her 14.9k followers on Instagram.
Combining her effortless knack for style and prioritization of her physical fitness, Oskui’s profile is an inspiration for those who crave a chic athletic outfit and a great workout. Due to Oskui’s dedication to embody inclusivity within fitness apparel, countless Muslim women have received on-going positivity and empowerment.