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Nadia Aboulhosn’s Body-Positive Calendar Is Truly Stunning

(This article was originally written for, and appeared on, Refinery29. You can read the original here.)

When we receive calendars as gifts, it’s rare that we’re filled with feelings of…excitement. Sure, we appreciate the sentiment, and the pictures of kittens that decorate the pages are adorable. But, usually, those calendars remain in their shrink-wrapped plastic or on the shelf long after the first of the year has rolled around. After all, if we’re going to be spending 12 months with one, we prefer to hang something on the wall that inspires us and we can be proud to display.Every day. 

So, we were thrilled to hear that super-stylish curvy blogger Nadia Aboulhosn has released a 12-month spread that showcases her beauty and confidence. From a stunning bathtub picture that puts Ophelia to shame to a glamorous staircase shot (in black and white, of course) that looks like it’s plucked from a noir film, Aboulhosn’s pictures make it clear that her modeling skills extend beyond the blogosphere. 

So, considering this launch is unlike any we’ve seen from other bloggers, we had to sit down with Aboulhosn to find out exactly what inspired this beautiful, body-positive woman to release it. 

And, of course, you can buy Nadia Aboulhosn’s calendar on her site. 

What made you decide to release a calendar? 
"Honestly, I’m the type of person who has to constantly stay busy doing something creative. And, although I work a lot, I wanted to throw myself in to an entire project that I can call my own." 

What was your inspiration behind your favorite individual shot? 
"My inspiration behind the September month was me paying homage to my Lebanese roots. I feel like there is a stereotype in the West toward a lot of Arabs, and so many people over the years have told me to drop my last name and not brand it for business purposes because companies might not want to work with me. I wanted to really focus on the beauty of being different. There’s so little individuality nowadays. I used to get made fun of for my thick eyebrows, and now I’m known for them, so I wanted to really focus on some of my favorite features."

Do you view yourself as “plus size”? 
"I’ve never labeled myself plus size because, in my opinion, with time, the plus-size label won’t be needed. I don’t think straight-size models are any different from plus-size models. This last Fashion Week season, a few plus-size models walked the runway. If we saw this all the time in fashion without labeling women, then eventually we can hopefully train people’s minds and undo years of media brainwashing [and turn it] into believing all bodies are beautiful. The same goes for magazine covers." 

Do you view yourself more as a model or a style blogger? 
"I view myself more as a personal-style blogger. I began blogging, then people on Tumblr would see my pictures and think I was a model, not knowing I was just a blogger taking pictures of how I dress. People started labeling me as a plus-size model. I had never considered myself plus size because I always fit into the larger sizes of straight clothing, I had never shopped at a plus-size store, and I definitely had never modeled professionally in my life. Eventually, that led toSeventeen magazine noticing me and then asking me to model for them. Then I won American Apparel’s model search. That’s where my modeling career began.” 

Why do you think you have gained such a loyal following? 
"The main reason I believe I have gained such a loyal following is because I’m relatable. I’m confident in myself and my body even when society and the media brainwash people into believing women like me shouldn’t be. I wear what I want even if it makes people uncomfortable. I don’t try to glamorize my life and trick people into thinking I’m living a life I never had or currently have. I’m human just like everyone else, and I show it. I also take whatever free time I have and FaceTime some of my followers to thank them for all they do for me. I believe that’s what people appreciate." 

What style advice can you offer curvy women? 
"Block out negativity. Life is too short to be worried about someone else not approving or liking you. Be proud of who you are and what you look like even though our society tells you to change it."

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My favorite pieces from the Isabel Toledo for Lane Bryant Collection

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NEW POST: NYFW Day Two

Day #2 was cold. Well, all of NYFW was cold, and it was cold last Feb and it will be next Feb. Who decided that having fashion week in NYC in FEBRUARY was a good idea? Seriously… in Sept we’re usually sweating (which is never a good look) and in Feb it always snows and we’re freezing and we can’t even wear our super-cute shoes because of all the gross slush. Blerg.

Well, enough of my #fashionpeopleproblems rant… NYFW Day Two was another fun day of running around, seeing shows, and trying my hardest to be comfy and warm while still being stylish. 

One of the easiest ways to accomplish that is by wearing Duo boots. I am obsessed with Duo, (I now own 5 pairs), and these over-the-knee studded flat boots were my lifesavers during NYFW. And, of course, they worked perfectly with my equally comfy outfit; stretch leggings, an oversized button-down shirt and my stunning new Simply Be coat. My Mr. T-esq neckpiece and must-have Peter Pilotto x Target sunnies completed the look.

Thankfully, an outfit like this carried me from my first show (9 am, ugh!) to my last party that night (Charlotte Ronson)!

Jacket: Simply Be

Top: ASOS

Necklace: Street Vendor

Leggings: Eileen Fisher 

Boots: DUO

Sunglasses: Peter Pilotto for Target

Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

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Swap With Me On Swapdom!

With the proliferation of selling websites (ebay, Threadfilp, Shop Hers and oh-so-many more), it’s hard to stand out from the pack. So, when I came across Swapdom, I have to say I was impressed. 

Instead of the typical, post an item, tell us your price, and then we take a cut (does that ever make anyone else feel like they’re working with a pimp?), Swapdom facilitates a clothing swap and you only pay for shipping. 

They literally do all the work for you, swapping items between multiple people so you can get exactly what you want! But of course, before you can get anything, you need to sign up and post what you’re willing to swap!

This is killer for me because I have SO. MUCH. STUFF. Great stuff, things I love, beautiful pieces that pain me to part with, but really should be owned by someone else, and I’m certainly always looking for other great items to make my own. (What can I say, I like stuff!)

So sign up, make a profile (here’s mine if you want to swap with me- cough, cough, Fendi sunglasses and Isabel Marant for H&M exclusives), and start listing things. When you find something you want, just make a request, and Swapdom does the rest to arrange the perfect swap.

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*This post was sponsored by Swapdom but all opinions are my own.

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NEW POST: NYFW Day 1

New York Fashion Week (henceforth referred to as NYFW) is a fun, thrilling, beyond exhausting experience. My days are typically 12+ hours, running all over the city, and typically not eating. It’s a quasi-joke in the fashion industry about people not eating, but during fashion week most people live off of Starbucks and adrenaline. (And maybe, if you’re lucky, one of the events will actually have teeny tiny passed hors d’oeuvres you can munch). 

One of the biggest mistakes I made in the past was not wearing comfortable shoes. Since I don’t live directly in NYC, and I’m not super rich, I cannot survive in cab-to-curb shoes. Thankfully, I snatched up these Dolce Vita booties right before NYFW started, and practically lived in them during the week. 

The coat was a gift from Simply Be (thanks!) and was in rotation with another Simply Be coat (will show up in a future post). The jeans are one of the best pair of jeans I’ve ever worn- and they’re from ASOS! They hug my curves perfectly and so far (even though they’re stretchy) they haven’t stretched out!

I will be posting some of my favorite pictures from my favorite shows I attended (once I narrow them down that is!), and there will be more outfit posts to come as well!

Coat: Simply Be

Jeans: ASOS Curve

Shirt: Old Navy

Boots: Dolce Vita

Hat: NJ Turnpike Rest Stop

Necklace: nOir

Sunglasses: Ray Ban

Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

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NEW POST: The Return of ELOQUII

So I’m sure you saw my post yesterday about the return of ELOQUII! No longer owned by The Limited, ELOQUII has tossed the matronly, boxy, business-ish designs of yore, and have seriously stepped up their style game.

Their re-launch collection is filled with on-trend designs crafted with a contemporary fit, and the quality of the materials seem leaps and bounds better than it once was.

For more info, you can check out my coverage for Refinery29 here.

Jacket: ELOQUII

Top: H&M

Necklace: Hautelook

Jeans: ASOS Curve

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You know what this means, right? No, you’re not dreaming, ELOQUII is back and better than ever! I will be at the exclusive blogger breakfast tomorrow, so tune in and check out photos of the clothes and event! 

If you can’t wait, check out all the shoppable styles at www.eloquii.com

You know what this means, right? No, you’re not dreaming, ELOQUII is back and better than ever! I will be at the exclusive blogger breakfast tomorrow, so tune in and check out photos of the clothes and event!

If you can’t wait, check out all the shoppable styles at www.eloquii.com

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Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

(Unless you hate it. Then happy Friday!)
Sunglasses: Nasty Gal

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

(Unless you hate it. Then happy Friday!)

Sunglasses: Nasty Gal

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It’s New York Fashion Week!

Well, technically NYFW doesn’t start until Thursday, but over the last few seasons I’ve had more and more shows beginning on Wednesday! So I will be sorta off the grid for about a week, but you can follow my fashion week updates on Twitter or Instagram (thelizblack). I will be conducting a lot of interviews, posting runway shots, party photos and more!

Here are a few examples of highlights from previous seasons.

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Interviewing Carolina Herrera. (She told me she loved my hair & then invited me to her show!)

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Watching Cyndi Lauper sing “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” at the Betsey Johnson retrospective/birthday party.

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Watching Betsey & Cyndi take a bow after the retrospective. (And what we thought at the time was Betsey’s last show.)

Having fun at the Charlotte Ronson party last season.

Chilling with my blogger girls, Margie & Gabi!

Interviewing Johnny Weir after he skated during a show.

(And oh, so much more! So tune in here, instagram or twitter to see what’s happening during Fashion Week!)

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P.S. It's Fashion

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