How kind strangers helped this Egyptian bride after she was bullied online over her makeup

After pictures of Hadeer Mohammed went viral on social media, the engagement broke up. But a photographer, hair stylist and makeup artist stepped in to boost her morale

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A woman from Rawd Al Faraj in Egypt has been given a free makeover after her engagement photos went viral online because of her makeup, which many people mocked.

Relatives posted pictures of 21-year old Hadeer Mohammed at her engagement party, but, in a few hours, the special occasion turned into a nightmare when tweets started circulating, mocking her makeup and outfit.

Hadeer, who says she has limited means, had chosen to do the makeup herself to save money. One of the derogatory comments read, “Is this really a bride or a comedy show?”.

According to Egyptian media reports, the groom broke off the engagement at the urging of his friends 24 hours later, however in a video the bride is seen denying that claim, saying that she chose to leave him.

"I was celebrating my engagement day like any other bride would do but I was surprised people shared my videos online. Of course, this disheartened me. Why would they do that?" Hadeer said in a video posted by DMC.

However, shortly after news and pictures of the engagement started to circulate, a photographer, makeup artist and hairdresser in Egypt decided to step in to boost her morale by giving her a free makeover to cheer her up.

The team behind Hadeer Mohammed's transformation (left to right): hair stylist Nadir Turky, photographer Kareem Youssef and makeup artist Yasmen Sobhy. 

“We saw the news go viral on social media,” says Kareem Youssef, a wedding photographer in Egypt. “It was an issue that didn’t go unnoticed. People were unfair to her online. They not only mocked her for her appearance but also for her financial status.

"Then Nader Turky, a hairdresser, called me up at 3am saying we had to do whatever we could to help. We began searching for her and were able to get her contact details and arrange a meeting.”

Some people will criticise anything - even things that are beautiful

Makeup artist Yasmen Sobhy helped for free, and the trio worked late into the night for a few days to plan the makeover.

When Hadeer came in for the session, she looked sad, says Youssef. The team took time to raise her spirits, then gave her a series of bridal looks to browse through. She selected the look she wanted, and the team began their work. Hair and makeup took approximately one and a half hours, while the photo session took another half an hour.

“When she saw the outcome in the mirror, she was very impressed and happy,” says the Youssef. “She could not believe it was her.”

Hadeer Mohammed had her hair, makeup and a photoshoot done for free after she was shamed online for her engagement makeup. Courtesy of Kareem Youssef

When pictures of the transformation were posted online, they got a lot of attention from the public – but not all positive. While many praised the initiative, some again made unsavoury comments about the transformation, while others questioned the motives of the hairdresser, makeup artist and photographer.

“Bullying each other is not nice, it’s not positive,” says Youssef. “If you can’t say something good, it’s better not to say anything at all. It just shows that some people will criticise anything - even things that are beautiful. ”

Additional reporting by Liza Ayach