Ameni Esseibi: the Arab World’s First Plus-Sized Model


When the US-based size-inclusive retailer 11 Honore launched in Dubai, it wanted curvier Arab models to show how the clothes fit on a plus sized model from the area. They quickly realized that finding a curvy model in the Middle East was nearly impossible. Finally, they found Ameni Esseibi. Esseibi never saw herself as a model but has always been confident, despite being a curvy girl growing up in Dubai—a place where plus sized women are not accepted. After she decided to pursue a modeling career, Esseibi began freelancing by promoting herself, messaging photographers, posting on Instagram, and badgering agencies until they finally gave in. Since then, jobs have been rolling in. Esseibi encourages girls who are plus sized to never believe anyone who says they can’t do something because of their weight, pointing to her growing success as proof. She says that plus sized is beautiful and full of possibilities.

For Further Reading

Check out Ameni Esseibi on Instagram @a.essebibi.

Discussion Question

Have your insecurities ever stopped you from pursuing something you were very interested in? What was it? If you could get past those insecurities, would you still be pursuing it?


Action Item

Support brands that are including models of all sized! Some include 11 Honore, Aerie, and Forever 21.


Read more on The National| Image: Ameni Esseibi