(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.”