Kadeeja Khan is a beauty blogger who uses her Instagram and YouTube channels to share her experience with acne and empower other people to feel comfortable in their own skin, whether that's with, or without makeup.
Kadeeja's honest Instagram posts sharing the power of Rihanna's Fenty Beauty foundation and the incredible coverage of Makeup Revolution's new $7 stick foundation have made her go viral. So it's no wonder that beauty brand L'Oréal were eager to sign her up to their latest campaign.
But due to a misunderstanding with the agency working on behalf of L'Oréal, Kadeeja was incorrectly booked for a hair dye campaign. She was then shocked to receive an email a few days later from that agency, advising that they could no longer work with her due to her "skin issues".
"I'm sorry to tell you that I have a bad news for you. We can't confirm the shooting with you. L'Oréal can't be involved with people with skin issues (question of regulations) that's why they decided to change the line of project at the last moment.
"We're so sorry given that we liked a lot what you are defending, you were very interested in this project and you tried to organize your family life for us.
"Thank you very much for your help, your time, and your understanding."
And as Kadeeja explained to us, the experience left her devastated.
"L'Oréal approached me [via an agency] about this new vegan hair dye they were launching and they wanted people with different skin dilemmas to be a part of the campaign. I thought it was a great opportunity so I went ahead with it.
"A few days later I got that email [from the agency] saying they couldn't work with me because of my 'skin issues' and I genuinely thought I'd read it wrong. I couldn't believe that a brand would say something like that to me.
"A few hours later I posted it [a blurred out section of the email] on social media and it automatically went viral. The agency that was doing the campaign on behalf of L'Oréal had already contacted me a good four times apologising saying; 'I'm sorry, I feel so embarrassed, I can't believe that my assistant wrote that to you', but after seeing my Instagram L'Oréal also messaged me three or four times. They also apologised via email and wanted to talk to me on the phone. They said they felt embarrassed and that it was wrong.
"I felt really upset, I didn't know what to say back. I genuinely felt so hurt by the whole situation. When people say nasty things about you on the Internet it's something you expect. But when you hear it from a brand, a beauty brand as well, it really does hurt because you think maybe there's no room for someone like me in this industry.
"I can tell its affected a lot of people, not just me, because a lot of my followers suffer with a certain skin problem. They love to feel confident and that's probably the reason they follow me, just so they can feel good about themselves and I can tell that it definitely has impacted them as well.
"But, I'm trying to take this as a really positive thing in a way because I really don't want something like this to break me as a person, or break my spirit. I really hope to work with brands in the future, I just hope I don't have to experience this again."
We reached out to L'Oréal, who provided the following statement to clear up what they explain was a genuine misunderstanding and miscommunication between the various parties involved:
"We deeply apologise for any upset caused, and have made direct contact with the individuals involved to clarify this unfortunate misunderstanding.
"The photoshoot was designed to support a new hair colour launch and feature hairdressers and lifestyle bloggers. Unfortunately, a misunderstanding resulted in the agency casting bloggers with skin concerns for this shoot.
"This resulted in the wrong profile being cast, which was then poorly and insensitively communicated to the individuals concerned. We do not have regulations in place that restrict us from working with people with skin conditions. At L'Oréal we work with women and men with all skin types and celebrate beauty in all its diversity."
SOURCE: Cosmopolitan UK