The Plus Size Pathbreaker Busting Unrealistic Standards Of Beauty ft. Sobia Ameen

For our May 2021 Special Beauty Edition we are talking about "Busting Unrealistic Standards of beauty and myths about female sexuality" with our own Plus Size Pathbreaker Sobia Ameen. Just like others we got to know and love Sobia a little more when she rocked the cover of our Jan 2021 Special Edition Series. For the people who haven't check it out it yet, we don't mind repeating some information.

Photographer - @mushda_ali and Bling - @the.olio.stories

Born and brought up in Dhaka, Sobia Ameen is an Architect turned social media influencer cum model cum baker with little to no background in culinary arts, yet her skillset is so refined that it speaks for itself. Fun fact - despite being a baker for years and constantly making desserts she doesn’t have as big a sweet tooth as much as her passion for swimming. She has been a swimmer in the swim team for years and in her words she is a “low-key mermaid who enjoys baking.”

What ticks the most about Sobia is her crazy humor, her spirited nature and the effortless charm that she carries with her never ending smile. She has always been into different forms of art in order to express herself through different creative mediums.

Although being your authentic self comes with a great amount of criticism, Sobia has been someone who has been open about her insecurities, overcoming them and voicing her views openly through her social media platform where she encourages and advocate body positivity.

This powerhouse social media personality from Dhaka is all set to conquer the world as she recently broken the internet and found much success for her latest photoshoot as a plus size model in collaboration with House Of Masaba, an Indian Fashion Label by renowned designer Masaba Gupta.

Following up to the rage we asked her about how the offer come about her way and the conceptualization of the shoot to which she replied quoting her Instagram caption, "On a boring afternoon, I was giving an interview for a local newspaper where I was asked the same old boring questions about cakes when I got a call from @toral_parekh17 asking me if she could talk to me. I was taken aback because she had never called me before and it made me super anxious (I hate calls); not because she was intimidating, but because it sounded like she meant serious business, and she did. She called me to tell me that @masabagupta wanted me to model for her new line. For a second I thought I was dreaming considering I was almost asleep from the interview I was giving, but then I realised she left me a message asking for my measurements, so that’s when I knew it was real.

It took us four months to execute everything because of the pandemic. However, once the trackees reached me, I couldn’t wait any longer. The dog print had me swooning and I was sure it was going to be my new staple for everyday wear! (sorry onek tired, caption paste kore dilam)"

She added "So the first look was sent to me from house of masaba but I was given full freedom to express myself for the second look which I decided to make very personal. My mom is very Punjabi at heart and would wear a parandey (colourful strands and tassels usually tied in with long braids) with almost all her looks when she was younger. I managed to find her stock 2 days before the shoot and told the creative director & stylist @inexactorange that I wanted to incorporate these into my hair and she came up with the two braids with all that you see in my hair for the second look. I have also recently picked up Bharatanatyam, although I’m just a beginner I am hooked so we decided to use the classic red ghungroo to go with it. @alurbhorta was instructed to do the looks and I honestly felt so comfortable working with my two friends for this. @tumpachism did my hair because it’s a pandemic and I had to source people I was sure I could trust with my look and know that they follow strict protocols."

We asked her about her own perspective on the unrealistic standards of beauty and how it affected her mind when she was younger to which she said "I believe true beauty resides within and it radiates through. For me, beauty doesn’t have one specific definition- everyone has something unique or distinctive about them that is what makes them beautiful." She added "I vividly remember having a conversation with a senior in school about wanting airbrushed skin I saw in a beauty magazine. I honestly had no idea that their skin was being photoshopped and desperately wanted skin like that. Maybe I was naive in my teens because social media wasn’t as big back then, I honestly didn’t even use make up till I was in my 20’s. But I was often more conscious of my weight more than anything else because there was no one with my body."

We asked her -

Q. What is the funniest most bizarre beauty myth you can think of?

"Using semen as a face mask."

Q. Who have been some of your rolemodels in redefining the definitions of beauty?

"Ella Fitzgerald, Maya Angelo, Masaba Gupta, Ashley Graham"

While developing the photographs for this feature along with photographer Syeda Mushda Ali, Sobia owned up to her sexuality like never before and brought out the dignified yet sultry side to her personality in these gorgeous images. We asked her what sexuality means to her and why is female sexuality still a taboo and not a concept that people talk about openly? She replied "The feminine in the masculine and the masculine in the feminine. The abysmal patriarchal society we live in shames women for anything that doesn’t favour the heterosexual man. It has been taboo for generations because female sexuality is looked at as shameful or even sinful. If female sexuality was talked about openly most men would really know their worth."

We asked her about her thoughts on :

1. Women exploring their sexuality -

An absolute necessity.

2. Women's autonomy -

Her choice & only hers to decide what to do with it.

3. Consent Education -

The lack of it is appalling, should be taught as soon as the child is capable of understanding touch.

4. Impact of movies and pornography on stigmatising women's sexuality -

Shocking, while it might be aesthetically pleasing it is unrealistic and encourages an unhealthy relationship with the body.

5. Women women really want, in terms of express their sexuality -

I don’t know what other women want but I want to be fearless. To be true to myself & unapologetic to society for who I truly am- nothing to hold me back.

6. How can they really own upto it and live carefree from the shakles of society -

Be strong enough to grow a thick skin and not care about what others think. Be independent enough to not live under someone else’s shadow.

7. How can men help? -

By speaking up and being allies. Calling out men when they are gaslighting or mansplaning.

We ended the conversation by asking her about her future aspirations as a plus size model to which she replied saying "I want to make it a common practice for brands to use people who don’t look only a certain way, not necessarily just plus size - to explore the whole spectrum of human bodies. Not just to wash their brands as “inclusive” but to actually cater to everyone regardless of their gender, age, race or size. To accept people for who they are and how they want to look."