What is wrong with our society’s beauty standards? What’s wrong with not fitting with the idyllic image of slim? Unfortunately we have been obsessed with body images, all the way from advertisements and films to shopping windows. People feed on body shaming women whether they’re curvy, slim, tall or short, ignoring the fact that we are all born different, we are all unique beings and our beauty lies with our uniqueness. Mariam Nezar, AKA Mia, is a twenty-nine-year-old graphic designer and co-founder of the first food tour company, Bellies En-Route, through which she introduces tourists to Egypt’s finest street food, tells us what is it really like to be a curvy woman living in Egypt. .
What is it really like to be a curvy woman living in Egypt?
The word curvy in itself can mean a lot of different things. I prefer to use the word “fat” because it is what I am. I don’t understand why people take it as a negative description. Especially in Egypt –they always try to use gentler synonyms instead of the actual word. It gives it more power than it actually holds; it’s just an adjective, like tall, short, thin –it shouldn’t be considered an insult.
How are plus-size women treated by society?
The most annoying thing for me is the constant need for people to bring up the health aspect as an acceptable means of shaming a plus-size woman. This helps bullies feel good about themselves –because they’re “saying this for your own good”. Unsolicited advice is bad enough, but fake, unsolicited and presumptuous advice? That’s just disgusting. It’s not easy to get to this level of self-acceptance; it’s a lot of hard work, and sometimes even I have bad days and feel like I’m ugly –but with time those feelings fade.
What has to happen in Egypt for people to acknowledge there is something called plus-size?
No one is safe from this judgment! The bottom line is: people will judge regardless, so the best rebellion is to not give a damn.
Why is body positivity so important, especially for young girls?
Body positivity is embracing all body types, all races, all ethnicities, and all genders. It’s about embracing who you are, and what you look like, and being appreciative of your own body and persona, and learning to accept their flaws –whatever that ridiculous word means.
What advice would you give to curvy women?
Own your bodies, own your thoughts, and own your ideas. You don’t owe anyone anything, you don’t owe anyone an explanation, or an apology for being who you are.
Your body, your rules.
Your body, your choice.
Your body, your life.