RYAN URBAN WRITES: People say they are fed up with President Trump for remarks targeting the most vulnerable in our society, from Muslims to women, leaving society no other choice but to shout at the top of their lungs and scream “We need to fight against Islamophobia in America!…Then we need to fight for more empowerment of women!”

Why not both at the same time?

One of Malaysia’s own “hot and sexy” models seems to have found the answer.

After years of work in front of the sexualization lens, Felixia Yeap, an ex-Playboy Bunny, has made a lifestyle change, from commodification sex product to a woman of greater dignity. As Yeap once put it in her blog: “I am MORE, I believe that I am worthy of more than just showing off my body.”

Yeap describes how the life of a model left her feeling “hollow and exploited”, after years of being falsely portrayed by the industry as an adventurous sex idol and being expected to perform as such by active men within the community “just looking for fun”.

In misery and despair, Yeap says she realized that this was not the life for her and longed for something more. Yeap writes in her blog: “I started to look for something deeper…a religion, a God, a better way of living life. I wanted to cover myself up more…be respected and be known for who I am inside…not for how much flesh I am showing outside.”

Yeap found solace in Islam the hijab on her head that, to her, represented a symbol of comfort and a promise of respect. To Yeap, the Islamic religion became a form of escape from the skimpy clothes, flashing lights and hungry men waiting for her at work.

Yeap writes: “If a religion could show me the beauty of life and living, why not try to understand it? Why detest it just because a few confused racists and extremists try to twist things around?”

Since her transformation, Yeap has moved from a position of victimization to one of power. By using her own talent and fame as an ex-Playboy Bunny, Yeap has chosen to establish a new career as a Muslimah model.

Muslimah models use their own talents and skills to place special emphasis on showcasing the combination of both beauty and respect of women within the Muslim world. Yeap has shown that women can be both powerful, beautiful and respected all at once.In effect, she is offering the world a whole new body of work.



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