Mary has always loved and enjoyed food –whether she’s cooking it or eating it. After hours in the kitchen, Mary came up with healthy and delicious, guilt-free desserts –which she later turned into a business known as “Indulge Healthy Bakery”.
How are plus-size women treated by society?
If I had a nickel for every time someone told me “you have a very pretty face, if only you lost some weight you would be very beautiful” I’d be a very wealthy woman. The problem our society has to have an opinion about everything and everyone. It’s very hard to be always looked at as if something is wrong with you and needs fixing –and it hurts most when it comes from people you love.
What were things you were told –as a young girl– about your body?
It was all negative, honestly. I’ve been going to a dietitian ever since I was a little girl. I’ve also been bullied because of my weight –which was traumatic at this age. Always being told you need to lose weight at this early age made me not have any self-confidence growing up. It took me a lot of effort, and time, to work on myself and make my peace with my size –accept it and actually love my curves.
Why do you think curvy women are looked at in Egypt, even though the majority of women in Egypt are curvy?
I think curvy women are looked at because of the beauty standards media has created –whether it’s in advertisements, movies or fashion. Even heroines in movies are super slim and picture perfect. You will never find a curvy heroine, just because it’s not the norm.
What is it really like to be a curvy woman living in Egypt?
It’s not easy! I struggle with finding fashionable outfits that do not make me look like a grandma. I sometimes have to settle for whatever fits me, instead of choosing an outfit I actually like.
What advice would you give to curvy women?
Embrace your curves. Ignore every silly and snarky comment you receive. Know your worth and your value. You’re way more than just a body.
I want to send a very important message to parents: you have a huge impact on your kids. If you have chubby children don’t make them feel different. Never tell them they’re fat or they need to lose weight, because if you do then you will be planting the seeds for insecurities. Teach them instead to love and accept themselves, as well as others, just the way they are. Teach them to embrace whatever flaws they see in themselves, and focus on their qualities –instead of constantly tearing them down.
Photographer: Remon Elmarkiz
Evening gowns specially designed by Deana Shaaban for this cover shoot
Hair: Kriss Beauty Salons
Makeup: Basma Salem
Jewelry: Ammanii Jewelry
Shot at: Media & More