Why the World Needs More Muslim and Halal-Certified Beauty Brands
Lyda Djarar Fischer is the founder of Lyda Beauty and a proud Muslim woman. For our column UNTOLD, she is sharing her journey of self-acceptance and why it was so important to become a Halal-certified cosmetics brand. This story was told to Jessica Harrington and edited for length and clarity.
My family and I are originally from Iran and were refugees in Switzerland. When I was younger, having us keep our knowledge about being Muslim and Persian was important, but my family was also really tough on us to respect the new culture that we were living in. It was a battle, because outside I was talking Swiss and trying to be a Swiss girl, but back home, I was a Persian girl.
Growing up, seeing my friends with light blond hair, blue eyes, and fair skin and looking at the magazines, TV shows, and movies, I never really saw anyone who looked like me. I stood out like a coffee stain on white linen. That made me think it wasn't acceptable to look the way I do.
I started walking away from my culture. I felt it wasn't OK to be Muslim or Middle Eastern. I dyed my hair blond, got contact lenses, and wore foundation that was two shades lighter because I just wanted to fit in. But I always felt that something was missing. It felt like this brown little girl inside of me was screaming, "Hey, I'm still here. Don't forget about me," but I kept pushing her away.
When I came to the US at 21 and saw all of the different beautiful cultures, I started feeling accepted — that's something I will always be grateful to the US for. I started talking to my mother more about my religion and culture. I started talking to other people about our culture, and I started realizing, "Hold on a minute. There's something so beautiful about this."
And so, I made it my mission to bring the beautiful side of being Muslim to the Western world. That is something that my brand Lyda Beauty is fighting for and why we became Halal-certified.