The MENA world has a lot to offer, you just have to know where to look. For us, being the fashion enthusiasts we are, we’re always thrilled to find people we can associate with. From body types, styles, hair routines and more, we’ve found our perfect matches on all sorts of social media platforms.
Today’s fashion influencers have stepped up their game by bringing new insights to their posts. We don’t just talk about fashion any longer, but rather more about being part of something, and the feeling of being included. We can look in many directions to find inspiration and motivation. With the ongoing changes in the fashion industry and the emergence of new trends, it’s ideal to have someone you can relate to.
Right communication tools
Ameni Esseibi, a French-Tunisian model, has risen to fame as the “first curvy model in the Middle East”. The influencer uses her platform to create a whole movement around body positivity. “My message and goal is to make every woman in the MENA region confident, to teach them how to overcome their insecurities and learn how to love themselves,” said Esseibi.
Esseibi is a keen believer in the importance of positive energy and its impact on mental health. If the model is able to create a safe environment for her audience she believes that more people will be able to accept their physiques. She faces many obstacles on a daily basis, especially when it comes to raising awareness on body image. “No one knows how to feel about what you’re doing. The biggest obstacle is to convince society of what you’re doing and make them understand what you’re saying. But the hustle is worth it,” said Esseibi. However, the model is convinced that through the right communication tools you can achieve your goal.
Good enough lesson
Ascia Al Faraj, known by her blogging name Ascia AKF, is a Kuwaiti fashion blogger, fashion designer and model. The fashion mogul is popular in the MENA region and is known for discussing real life issues and tackling topics that are normally deemed as taboo. Al Faraj is a firm advocate for radical inclusivity, self-acceptance and radical self-love.
“In a region like ours, it is very hard to be ourselves, however we can make society accept things by just living it and doing it, and this alone is a good enough lesson for others,” she said. The blogger believes that being inclusive is a must. This is especially true in a world where people are watching our day-to-day routines and are looking for someone to relate to. When it comes to different topics, it is best to talk about things that we are the most familiar with. “I stopped trying to be involved in things, I stopped getting invitations and I kept to subjects I had access to and in which I have a very wide audience,” said Al Faraj.
Moving out of the way
By looking at different influencers in the fashion world, it’s easy to see that they all have one thing in common: women’s empowerment. Both Al Faraj and Esseibi believe that women’s empowerment comes from within, and it is through showing this in different ways that one can convince their audience to talk about empowerment, and feel included as well. “Real women’s empowerment is supporting women without any receiving any benefit in return. It is really being mentally and physically there for women,” said Esseibi.
Women need to support each other and grow together. By sharing their similarities and common ground, influencers and their audience are able to reach a mutual understanding. Also, by letting women act freely, without being judged, “empowerment” can realize its full meaning and significance. “Empowering women would be moving out of the way and letting them do what they want to do. I want to be able to portray a message that would do more good for women than harm to them,” said Al Faraj.
Inclusivity in fashion has been around for a while now. Instead of empty talk and false promises, let women in power truly act.