Nabela Noor   

By Geeta Wahab
Name Nabela Noor
Occupation Plus-size model, vlogger, beauty influencer, CEO and founder of Zeba, founder of Noor House
Category Glamour
Country of Residence USA

Why we felt she needed to be included in this list: Nabela Noor is a plus-size model and beauty and fashion influencer with over 2 million followers on social media. She started a self-love revolution and is breaking boundaries and changing the industry.  

The endless amount of curated feeds, filtered photos and FaceTuned faces on social media have become a breeding ground for insecurity, body image issues and self-hate. Nabela Noor built an Instagram and YouTube following sharing makeup tutorials and reviewing beauty products. But her followers love her most for working to end weight stigma and promoting size inclusivity, body positivity, self-confidence and self-love.   

It is surreal to be celebrating today what so many people have wanted me to apologize for.

Allure

The Bangladeshi-American makeup guru got her start posting fun and creative content with makeup tip videos that included some discussion around more serious topics that interested her like diversity in beauty and empowering women. She created a safe and welcoming platform to talk about body image, healthy self-esteem, confidence and diversity in the beauty industry. She credits her studying sociology for her awareness and understanding of social issues and social conflicts. But it hasn’t always been easy.

Recently, the 28-year-old shared a video of herself sitting poolside, flaunting a high-waisted bikini and while thousands of followers shared their love and support, many people body-shamed the beauty blogger. She shared the hateful DMs she received with her followers reminding them that while the body-positive movement has been powerful and far-reaching, there is still a lot of work to be done.

Noor has worked with the United Nations as a guest speaker, and in 2018 she co-developed The Bright Fight, an AT&T Hello Lab original docu-series, with fellow social influencers Scotty Sire and the Dobre Brothers to light up the internet with positivity, drive real impact and promote civic action. 

This past June, Noor launched her own clothing brand, Zeba, with a unique sizing system that encourages customers to celebrate their bodies. Sizes on Zeba’s labels have been replaced with words of affirmation like Passionate (XS), Brave (S), Inspiring (M), Fearless (L), Radiant (XL), Powerful (2X), Loved (3X) and Independent (4X). The brand’s first drop was a pink T-shirt that read ‘Be Your Own Kind Of Beautiful’ and it served to educate women about the brand’s sizing system. Zeba, named after Noor’s mother and the Arabic word for ‘beautiful’, will also host events and workshops about self-love and have accompanying content on a dedicated Instagram page.

Recently, Noor broke boundaries yet again with a new makeup collaboration with E.L.F. Cosmetics. The E.L.F. x Nabela Noor collection celebrates Noor’s heritage and individual beauty. Signifying how things have come full circle for her — from being teased about being chubby or wearing henna to proudly rocking her South Asian paisley designs on her hands in the ads — Noor wrote: “A Bangladeshi-American, plus sized, Muslim girl has her very own makeup collection . . . A collection celebrating her South Asian heritage and individual beauty. I wouldn’t believe anyone if they told me those sentences growing up. I can confidently say that younger Nabela would have felt less like an outsider if this existed throughout my adolescence . . .”

I will not apologize for advocating self-love. I will not hide my body until it fits society’s standards of beauty. Your words will not destroy my spirit.

Shape

Still very much in its early stages, she also launched Noor House, a nonprofit that will provide free housing, education resources and food and water access for several Bangladeshi families, using a plot of family-owned land.  

Noor embodies what dreaming of a world without labels looks like and how having the determination to challenge those things can make the world evolve to be a better place. 

Thumbnail Image Photo Credit: www.hudabeauty.com

Main Image Photo Credit: www.bustle.com

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Geeta Wahab


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