In a place that’s frequently regarded as the plastic surgery capital of the world, it’s only natural to expect the unnatural. While the obsession with extreme and often unattainable beauty ideals is far from exclusive to Lebanon, there have been gradual shifts away from those standards in some parts of the world, with plus-size models making appearances in the media.

Enter Lebanese-American fashion blogger and model Nadia Aboulhosn.

(Photo via Nadia Aboulhosn)

Aboulhosn, 25, was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, to a Lebanese father and an American mother, but has been living in New York for the past two years. Her eponymous fashion blog Nadia Aboulhosn was launched in 2010 to serve as a creative outlet for self-expression through fashion and style. Aboulhosn isn't exactly your typical skinny mini kind of gal, so with time, her blog began catching the eye of the fashion world, marking her as a standout blogger of the curvy variety.

However, this curvy blogger shies away from labels and tends to avoid identifying herself as a plus-size model specifically, stating: “I still don't like labeling myself plus size. People can label me what they want to but that doesn't mean I have to. The plus-size community has been absolutely supportive of me, but the women who follow me are of all sizes and I want to be relatable to all women, not just plus-size ones.”

Whether perceived as plus-size or not, Aboulhosn continues to strut her stuff and show off her diverse sense of style on her blog, with the added mission of empowering people, and women especially. Alongside blogging, Aboulhosn had been steadily breaking into the modeling sphere, scoring her very first gig in 2011 for Seventeen Magazine’s Curvy Body section, and going on to do many more. She was even recently offered the opportunity to design, which is what she’s been most excited about. Her first-ever design, the Nadia Vinyl Moto jacket is now available for purchase.

(Photo via Nadia Aboulhosn)

Despite her Lebanese heritage, Aboulhosn has yet to visit Lebanon, but hopes to make a trip here next summer to see family, also hoping to visit the studio of fashion designer Elie Saab, who she considers her favorite designer. Taking Lebanon’s rigid principles of beauty into account, Aboulhosn is confident that she could successfully operate as a model here: “Lebanese women are often known for their curvaceous bodies. I wouldn't see why I couldn't model in Lebanon.”

“There is a need for different body shapes in the modeling industry, not just plus-size,” says Aboulhosn. “People want something to relate to, especially if it is a product they are purchasing. The biggest reason I continue to do what I do is because the media can ultimately change society’s views on what beauty is. Brands should use models of various shapes, sizes, and ethnicities. Beautiful isn't only size 0 white women who are 5 foot 11 inches. You cannot box in what beauty is.”

Be sure to follow up with Aboulhosn’s latest fashion exploits on her website and on Facebook too.

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