[EXCLUSIVE] These 3 Plus Size Malaysian Girls Are Redefining Body Image Ideals

Text and interview by Jessica Nair Photography courtesy of Nazirah/Ratnadevi/Rathika

If there’s anything good about the direction the world is headed towards — it’s how women are relentlessly challenging the norms of what the media tells us is acceptable or beautiful. Case in point: ASOS has stopped photoshopping its models, top beauty brands like Fenty Beauty are using models across the colour spectrum who five years ago wouldn’t be a face of a prominent brand and well-known plus-size models like Paloma Elsesser and Ashley Graham have become faces of big cosmetics brands.

However, just as how Rome wasn’t built it a day — neither was these ladies’ confidence! It’s tough enough to put yourself out there,  and to challenge all the beauty norms that’s been ingrained into us for generations? That’s no easy feat.

Here, a few Malaysian women share their true thoughts and experiences that comes with being a plus-size female.

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Ratnadevi

We’re smiling at Ratna’s smile and confidence!

Owner of Adevi Clothing

Besides starting her own line of plus-size clothing that caters to sizes UK 14-28, Ratna was also behind the campaign #justwearlah which encouraged women of all sizes to be proud of their fashion choices and don’t pay attention to all the fashion rules we’ve been thought to abide by!

Surround Yourself with The Right People

“Recently someone left a comment about my uneven legs — I have varicose veins and on one leg, it’s a bit more evident. I replied — of course, upset that this person had to audacity to come to my page and leave such a hurtful comment — but the person continued to make jest out of my reply and said I needed to take a chill pill.

I turned to my friends and spoke to them about it and they were all really supportive. It’s crucial to have friends who are body-positive because they really help shape your thinking and support you when you’re faced with trolls and comments from the public — and sometimes even your family.

There Needs to Be More Diversity

“The fat-positive movement has morphed into the body positivity movement that everyone is a part of now. However, people tend to forget that the movement was initially started by fat women for fat women. I do feel like the movement has sort of lost its context — we need to be more inclusive of our fat folks who are transgender, queer, disabled, black. This is the diversity we need to see. That said, I am still glad that there are people championing the cause because that’s what got the ball rolling.

Start by Being Grateful

“For every day that I am able to move, go places and do things — I am so grateful for my body. It allows me to do these amazing things. I feel like I can say this now, but there was a time I hated how my body looked and the things it was able to do. I was so ashamed of my body that I constantly wanted it to look and be different. I did not give my body the nutrition, wellness and love that it deserved.

CONFIDENCE TIP: Take the time to learn about your body. It is a journey that you have to take if you want to accept your body — know that it will be difficult, but have friends that are supportive of you and your journey. It’s only when I started to learn to love and accept myself as I am, when I stopped seeking for validation outside myself, that I really developed my confidence.

Check out @adeviclothing to peep the newest arrivals!

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