How the Region’s First Curvy Model is Pushing for Size-Inclusivity

The Dubai-based Tunisian model kicks off her new campaign

by

At just 20-years old, Tunisian model Ameni Esseibi has managed to pave the way for plus-size models in the region. As the Arab world’s first curvy model, her mission to break down stereotypes against women has become all the more clear with her new campaign. 

The Dubai-based model, who touts “It’s all about confidence habibi!” on her Instagram, looks to the power of words, opening up a well overdue conversation in the Middle East and North Africa about size-inclusivity.

View this post on Instagram

How many words do you speak in a day? More importantly, are you aware of their great impact on yourself and those around you? Words can be one of the deadliest weapons one can wield, they also can be used as a balm to inspire, liberate, encourage and heal. Not every thought needs to be spoken, and certainly shouldn't be, but so many of us struggle with saying the wrong thing and then quickly regretting it. Cyber bullying is bullying. Hiding behind a screen doesn’t make it any less hateful. Don’t forget no one heals themself by wounding another. School administrators can’t say it’s up to the parents. Parents can’t say it’s up to the teachers. Teachers can’t say it’s not their job. And kids can’t say, “I was too afraid to tell.” Every single one of us has to play our role if we’re serious about putting an end to the madness. We are all responsible. We must be. No one deserves for a second to feel worthless in this world . Never give anyone the ability to bring you down or allow you to think that you are not good enough. Each and every one of us were placed on this earth with a purpose. Do not be afraid to be yourself because that is what it makes you special. ————————————————————— ‎كم عدد الكلمات التي تتحدثها في يوم واحد؟ الأهم من ذلك ، هل أنت على علم بتأثيرها الكبير على نفسك وعلى من حولك؟ يمكن أن تكون الكلمات واحدة من أخطر الأسلحة التي يمكن للمرء أن يمتلكها ، كما يمكن استخدامها كبلسم لإلهام وتحرير وتشجيع والشفاء. لا يجب التحدث عن كل فكرة ، وبالتأكيد يجب ألا تكون كذلك ، لكن الكثير منا يناضل من أجل قول الشيء الخطأ ثم نأسف له بسرعة. سايبر البلطجة هو البلطجة. الاختباء وراء شاشة لا يجعلها أقل كراهية. لا تنسى أن لا أحد يشفي نفسه بجرح آخر. لا يمكن لمسؤولي المدارس القول إن الأمر متروك للوالدين. لا يمكن للآباء قول الأمر متروك للمعلمين. لا يمكن للمعلمين أن يقولوا إنها ليست وظيفتهم. ولا يمكن للأطفال القول: "كنت خائفًا جدًا من أن أخبرني". على كل واحد منا أن يلعب دورنا إذا كنا جادين في وضع حد للجنون. نحن جميعا مسؤولون. يجب أن نكون. لا أحد يستحق أن تشعر ثانية أنه لا قيمة له في هذا العالم. لا تمنح أي شخص أبدًا القدرة على إسقاطك أو السماح لك بالتفكير في أنك لست جيدًا بما يكفي. وضع كل واحد منا على هذه الأرض بغرض. لا تخف من أن تكون نفسك لأن هذا ما يجعلك مميزًا.

A post shared by Ameni Esseibi 🇹🇳 أماني اسيبي (@ameniesseibi) on

The global fashion industry has made bold moves towards inclusivity over the last few years, expanding their size ranges to account for women of all shapes and sizes, but when it comes to the region’s social fabric, the stigma still continues.

We might not want to admit it, but body shaming is still common practice throughout the Arab world. “It’s very subtle, it’s not necessarily people making fun of you directly but it’s in all these little things that we hear,” one of our readers told us last year.

“Basically, every time I go back to Beirut, I get shamed! It is very common in Lebanese culture to discuss weight, with first questions often being leh da3fane? (why so skinny?)” another expressed

To combat these far too common experiences, Esseibi dropped a video, focusing on the power of words, she’s seen with words that are usually used to shame others written on her body, which are then transformed into words of self-love. 

Words can be one of the deadliest weapons one can wield, they also can be used as a balm to inspire, liberate, encourage and heal,” she says, explaining the importance of her campaign. 

“Every single one of us has to play our role if we’re serious about putting an end to the madness. We are all responsible. We must be. No one deserves for a second to feel worthless in this world.” 

Share this article