Meet Saudi Arabia’s plus size model Ghalia Amin

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“Beauty comes in all colours, shapes and sizes. We need to accept ourselves and remember that each one of us is precious in our own unique way,” Ghalia Amin, Saudi Arabia’s first curvy model, tells Gulf News tabloid.

The Dubai-based model, who has been professionally modelling for over a year now, has posed for prominent brands such as 11 Honore, a retail giant offering plus-sizing clothing from high-end designers; Khloe Kardashian’s Good American, and bespoke, ready-to-wear Marina Rinaldi. She recently wrapped up her shoot for Vogue Arabia and Reemami. The soft-spoken body positivity activist is the epitome of self-love.

Amin feels proud to be among those who are striving hard to break the stereotype image of “media and society defined beauty” in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.

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“My greatest strength is having a different body type,” she says.

Saudi Arabia does not have a thriving modelling industry, but over the years there has been an influx of passionate Saudi fashion bloggers and designers on social media.

Sharing an anecdote, Amin said as a child and an adult she was always pushed to lose weight and look a certain way by people around her.

“Growing up as a little girl, I noticed that the fashion world and high brands associated themselves with a certain body type, which, initially, made me feel quite conscious about my body. But, I gradually realised that being healthy meant more than just being a certain size or weight,” she said.

The young model, who was born and brought up in Jeddah, moved to Dubai to pursue a degree in fine arts, but occasionally found herself modelling for her designer friends’ projects — and enjoyed it too.

“I knew there was a gap in the fashion world, and I knew I was not the only one feeling that way. I realised it was time to tackle that unspoken issue and make it a point for all women to realise that anyone could look good and stylish irrespective of their body type or size. I then started an initiative ‘Ana Ghalia’ [I am precious] for my social media platforms to promote body positivity because beauty is all about becoming the best version of you,” she asserts.

Amin was then noticed and picked up by plus-size Italian brand Marina Rinaldi, which was her first debut project in the world of modelling.

“It was an exciting project. I love their collection and their stand on embracing your body,” said Amin. Since then, there has been no looking back for Amin as her modelling career kicked off, and she was proudly strutting across high-fashion runways.

Sharing a pro and con of the fashion industry, Amin says: “The fashion world is becoming more inclusive, but it’s still very slow.”

One of Amin’s all-time favourite piece of clothing is a white shirt.

“It’s a must-have item as it not only can be styled in multiple ways, but it looks good on everyone,” she said.

Like her favourite American plus-size model and presenter Ashley Graham, Amin also works as a host for Rotana TV.

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