You better believe we’re going to be picking up the April 2016 issue of Women’s Running. Why? One reason: Plus-size model Nadia Aboulhosn is on the cover.
Typically, when passing by fitness publications on a magazine rack, it’s plain to see that diversity isn’t showcased in abundance. This is especially true when it comes to body image, which is why Aboulhosn’s cover is incredibly significant. “Jessica Sebor, who is the editor-in-chief, was so sweet. I told her that she’s revolutionary to put me on the cover because so many women and men need to see that,” Nadia tells HelloGiggles. “The concept of loving yourself in the process of whatever journey you’re on is so important.”
Nadia also wants people to realize that one’s size is not always indicative of one’s health. That’s one reason why she doesn’t refer to herself as a “plus-size model,” since it can lead to body shame. “I’m not technically plus-size,” Aboulhosn tells us. “I’m a size 10-12 in the fashion industry, but have been categorized as plus-size by the industry’s standards because if you’re not a model size 2 or lower, then you’re thrown into the plus category – since there is no in-between category. It’s very much black and white.”
Plus, Nadia is an avid runner. Every week, she goes on 3-4 runs and makes sure to accomplish bodyweight exercises at home when she doesn’t have time for a run. In other words, she is healthy and takes care of herself – despite what media and industry standards may lead some to believe.
On the other hand, Nadia adds, “I don’t mind being called plus-size if that makes someone feel like they can relate to me. I just want women and men to feel comfortable with however they look regardless of labels. We’re so quick to group people together instead of letting people be their individual selves.” This is in line with what plus-size model Erica Schenk – who was featured on Women’s Running‘s August 2015 cover – had to say: “Women of all sizes deserve to be praised for good health and have a presence in the media.”
Yet, in spite of the fact that many are calling for a change, being labeled as “plus-size” in the modeling industry can cause many obstacles to pop up on one’s path to success. “It has been difficult for me to get work in anything other than plus-size because it’s either you’re ‘straight size’ or ‘plus size’ and I just want to normalize women who have bodies like mine,” Nadia tells us, “So that it becomes the normal, just like the size 0 models are considered ‘normal’ to beauty standards.”
When it comes to her ultimate goal, Nadia beautifully concluded, “I want those who see my cover to realize that you can love yourself during whatever journey you’re on in life and I really hope the fashion industry starts taking a turn in normalizing what should already be normal.”