Narimaan Farouk “Your mental health is more important than the size of your jeans”

Narimaan Farouk

Narimaan Farouk started her platform 3 years ago to post her makeup looks and photographs. A year after giving birth, Narimaan decided to change the purpose of her platform and to start sharing topics that personally mattered to her. Now, Narimaan Farouk is a well known advocate for body positivity. She’s used her voice and her platform to share her recovery from an eating disorder and her journey to self-love being a plus-size woman. Narimaan Farouk’s efforts do not only represent a lot of young girls and women who are searching for more representation of their bodies, it also emphasizes the message that all bodies are different and each body deserves to be celebrated and loved. 

The Beginning

Around the time Narimaan was starting her platform, she was also launching MaskOn Egypt with her husband. It is Egypt’s leading producers of premium face masks. They are infused with melt-blown filtering technology like the KF94, KN95 and Surgical Face Masks. So, due to the busy nature of Narimaan’s work at the time, it was definitely challenging at first. 

“It was just the lack of time. I was helping my family launch MaskOn Egypt as well as try to take care of a crazy toddler and somehow have a personal life too. It was hard and hectic and that meant I wasn’t consistent with my posts on Instagram.” Said Narimaan Farouk

“Although my posts are not that consistent, I’ve realized I now only post content that is really valuable to me and can actually benefit people. […] Even though  this particular approach may not let my platform grow quickly like others .” She elaborated. 

“I feel like I have created a safe community for women who are going through similar life struggles as I myself and that is far more important to me than the numbers.”

“Change starts with me”

It is very hard to navigate a world that you feel might not accept you. In one way or another, we’ve all learned the world’s view of some topics, and weight has always been a topic the world feels so strongly about. We asked Narimaan Farouk about what shifted her perspective to be an advocate for body positivity. 

“Growing up, I was always chubby. I had a great support system at home and my parents never made me feel uncomfortable with the way I look. It was only when I started secondary school that I started to notice that my body was different from most girls in my class. […] This, unfortunately, led me to extreme diets, excessive exercising and quickly turned into an eating disorder that I wasn’t aware of until recently.” Said Narimaan 

“After having my daughter, I realized how much I  didn’t want her to grow up with the same body struggles as I did. I want her to grow up feeling confident and knowing that she is so much more than her physical appearance.” Narimaan elaborated lovingly 

“I knew the change had to start with me and I wanted to create this platform to help others love their bodies too.”

What is Body Positivity?

The topic of body image has recently taken a big leap. People are starting to realize how toxic and dangerous the way we view our bodies can be. For something to keep spreading, we have to keep talking about it and raise awareness so more people can get involved. We were curious to know what Narimaan would want people to understand about the topic. 

“Body Positivity doesn’t just mean we accept people who are overweight.” 

“[…] This movement is for all types of bodies – fat, thin, tall, or short. The point of this movement is to accept, respect, and love the body you have the way it is. Also, accepting others too. We are so much more than our physical appearance. I wish people would see past that and focus on all the other factors that make us who we are.” 

Big Steps

Support, encouragement, and love can go such a long way, whether we’re giving that to ourselves or we’re getting it from others. We wanted to know about some of the things that helped Narimaan get to where she is now. 

“[…] The most drastic yet beneficial thing I did was cut off anyone who I felt didn’t want me to succeed or be a better version of myself; this was hard but a very necessary step I needed to take.” Narimaan answered

“I then started to focus on other factors like social media. I unfollowed any profile that didn’t make me feel good about myself. In return followed pages of women who looked like me physically. It was so eye-opening seeing women with similar body types to me across my feed. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone and it was okay to look the way I did.” She elaborated. 

Narimaan has truly dedicated so much of her time and effort to make more people comfortable with their bodies. She has also set a true example for her daughter. She told us that her favorite thing about being a plus size blogger is the community she created. It helped as she felt a lot of loneliness after cutting off a lot of people that weren’t good to her. 

“Without the supportive and kind words from the women who follow me, I would have never been able to be where I am today both mentally and physically.” Expressed Narimaan 

Navigating Misconceptions

To nourish our bodies and move them are two of the most important things Narimaan Farouk promotes on her platform. She believes that it’s important to be happy and healthy. That’s the way we can truly take care of our bodies. Her approach to the subject is crucial to the growth of the community because ‘healthy’ does not equal one specific body type. Even if there are a lot of people who still don’t understand that. 

“I have had some negative messages. However, they’re usually from women who have no idea what I discuss on my platform. […]  They don’t see my daily encouragement to move and nourish our bodies […], alongside accepting where our bodies are at this present time. I just learned to not take a negative comment from someone who doesn’t know me personally to heart. Their judgement is irrlevant. The best thing is to ignore and block them.” Said Narimaan on the matter. 

Navigating Plus Size Fashion

One of the recent positive changes Narimaan has mentioned is the leap plus size fashion has recently taken. 

“I just got back from America and I am flabbergasted by the amount of change in the fashion industry there. Every single store now has a large selection of sizes to fit every body type. In Egypt, I can see this change start to happen too. Local and international brands are introducing plus sizes to their collections. We just need to get people more on board with the movement. […] I know Egypt will cater to all sizes soon.” 

Lastly, we wanted to know what Narimaan would say to herself from 5 years ago. 

“It’s okay to be different. There’s no need to keep comparing yourself to other people, you are who you are because you’re the only you. Your body deserves food no matter what you ate the day before. The number on the scale does not defy you for who you are.” 

Narimaan left us with lovely reminders to be gentle on ourselves. She wants us to remember that our bodies have taken care of us our whole lives. It is important to be kind and to do what brings us joy. 

The world is a big place and Narimaan is doing big change one step at a time. You can check Narimaan’s work blog here!

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