Huda Beauty sponsors Nascar's first female Arab-American driver

Toni Breidinger and Huda Kattan are teaming up to shine a light on cultural representation and female empowerment

 Toni Breidinger is Nascar's first female Arab-American driver. Courtesy Brett Erickson
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A beauty brand may not be the most obvious sponsor for a car racing competition, but Huda Kattan and Toni Breidinger are both used to challenging conventions.

Breidinger is Nascar's first female Arab driver, and made her debut driving the Huda Beauty 02 Chevrolet SS at the General Tire 200 series at Talladega Speedway on Saturday.

I am in awe of her accomplishments and so excited to watch her grow and continue to break barriers

Breidinger will also be working closely with Kattan to shine a light on the importance of cultural representation and female empowerment. The two women's values "are a perfectly aligned marriage of inclusion, diversity and the importance of breaking barriers", according to the beauty brand.

“This partnership serves as inspiration for all women worldwide to continue chasing aspirations despite adversity.”

California-native Breidinger, 21, made her Nascar debut in the 2021 ARCA Menards Series and the Nascar Camping World Truck Series in February, becoming the first Arab-American female to participate in Nascar stock car racing.

But she had already made her mark on the sport as the most successful female in United States Auto Club history, with 19 wins under her belt. Breidinger's mother was born in Beirut, and the sportswoman has close family in Lebanon.

“Toni Breidinger is ... setting an incredible example for people around the world,” says Kattan. “I am in awe of her accomplishments and so excited to watch her grow and continue to break barriers. Her efforts and successes are second-to-none and I couldn’t be prouder to support her during this incredible moment in her career and in her life.

“She is a walking representation of what our brand, Huda Beauty, stands for: passion and purpose. It was a no-brainer for us to want to support her ... she is an absolute rock star.”

Kattan's commitment to supporting Breidinger is fuelled by her own experiences as a young Arab-American woman. Kattan's parents were Iraqi immigrants who moved to the US and, in an interview with The National, Kattan spoke about how this affected her and became a driving force in her own success.

“That was a challenge, just growing up in America with immigrant parents, but also not having money,” she said. “My parents were on welfare. Not having certain means – even basic means – was hard.

“I definitely felt like I was not up to the measure that my peers were at. And it felt really bad. And it definitely built this thing in me where I never felt like I was good enough, and it was a struggle because it took me a long time to recognise that I was always trying to prove myself.”

She went on to build a billion dollar beauty business, and is now intent on supporting similarly minded women.