Interview By Vassilios Nicolaos Vitsilogiannis
Ameni Esseibi was born in Tunis, Tunisia. She is French educated, graduated high school with a bac diploma, and now she’s enrolled at The American University of Emirates in full scholarship and she’s the brand ambassador of the university. She’s the first curvy model of the Middle East, a body activist, and a motivational speaker. She’s AMENI; we adore her for her charm and wittiness. She rocks the cradle in the traditional Arab modeling industry.
Are you happy with the range of sizes you can find on the fashion market, at the moment?
Honestly no, 90% of the stores in the middle east don’t even have a plus size range. The rest just go up to size 18 but would still be small .
What do you think curvy women should do to gain back their confidence and feel more comfortable?
I personally think that curvy women don’t know they’re worth and underestimate themselves. First of all,they have to know the value of their body and worth. Then they need to be convinced that the real beauty comes from the inside and not the outside, the way we look can change at any second. Being curvy is attractive. Women need to accept the way they look and to be comfortable with their bodies. You need to be wise, mature and aware of beingable to feel fully confident, it’s not easy.
Would you like to see more trendy styles at high fashion stores, for curvy women?
Yes of course, every women,no matter what her body lookslike, should be able to have access to high fashion stores. But mostly to be able to wear whatever she wants.
What are the challenges of perception that you face?
The biggest challenge is to make people understand the whole concept of body positivity. A lot of them just think I support obesity and diabetes.
How has the plus-size blogging world changed?
The plus size blogging world has changed years ago. People are more aware of the topic in our days, also the fact that the curvy bodies become a ‘’trend’’ these days . Women are not afraid to talk about body positivity and the community is growing day by day.
So how is plus-size fashion viewed by the fashion world at large?
Strong women. That have the confidence and the courage to say ‘’this is my body, this who I am. I love myself.‘’ It’s a challenging and sensitive topic to talk about but women these days are joiningforces and fighting for it.
In that vein, what is the most common misconception about plus-size women?
That all plus-sized women are unhealthy.
Does the money to be a plus size model is a worthwhile exposure?
What I do isn’t about the money or fame but more about making people understand my message byhelping them.
How long does it take a curvy woman to become a plus size model?
Depends on the agency she’s signing with.
What kinds of jobs can plus size models book?
Same jobs as any other model would be booked for. Why would they be a difference?
Is there a place for plus size models in the high fashion industry?
Yes of course, why would they be place for petit, skinny, tall models but not plus size?
Who are some famous plus-size models I should know about?
Ashley Granham, Tara Lynn, Candice Huffine.
Are there any plus size modeling agencies?
Not in Dubai, you can just get signed with a normal agency.
Is it difficult to break into the fashion industry when slim women are being considered mainstream?
Not if you have confidence and the courage to prove everyone wrong. You have to be fearless.
How do you feel about being labeled a “plus-size” model when you are just starting out?
Personally, Ireally don’t like the word plus size,I would rather use the word curvy. You don’t call a skinny model a ‘’minus model‘’?
If once in your life, you decide to lose weight, what do you think the people in the industry would look at you like?
If I ever lose weight,it would for my health until then I’m perfectly fine this way. I love my body. I would always stay curvy no matter what.
What props you up in moments when you are feeling down about yourself or your body image?
The messages I receive from my followers, they’re my motivation.
Fashion may have welcomed curvy models, but media not completely. What the media people should do to accept curvy woman?
I honestly think the opposition media has accepted curvy women more than fashion.
What are some of the collaborations you have done until now?
I’ve been part of several campaign like Farfetch, Charlotte Tilbury, Max, Namshi, Vogue Arabia and many more. MC in the Cosmopolitan Awards and the cover star for June 2019.
What are your future plans?
Keep motivating curvy young girls and ladies. Get signed with a big international modeling agency and show everyone what they can do when they love themselves.