Dhaka, Sept 14 (UNB) – Nabela Noor, a Bangladeshi-American beauty activist challenging beauty standards, has urged women and girls to have more confidence in themselves.
“I want everyone to feel beautiful in their skin. I’m challenging the mindset that you have to be one size to be beautiful,” she said at a one-of-a-kind meet and-greet-event in Dhaka on Saturday.
The event, organised by Emerald Events at Hotel Lakeshore, drew a huge crowd. Nabela found herself surrounded by her fans and admirers almost immediately after she reached the venue – something that pleasantly surprised her. “I’m loving every moment of it … really excited to be here!” she said.
One of Nabela’s admirers described her as a person with “magnetic personality”. “It’s her charm … she draws everyone towards her like a magnet,” she said.
Bangladesh’s leading private news agency United News of Bangladesh (UNB) was the event’s media partner while Snapshot was its photography partner.
Brands that participated are – Inglot cosmetics, Kona by Farnaz Alam, Gala cosmetics, La vie en rose, Sugar Rush Cupcakery, Cape Town, Powder Room, Hair Bar, and Miniso.
Mariha Chowdhury, the CEO of Emerald Events, said 75 percent of the companies at the event are owned by women.
She described her friend Nabela as someone “inspiring girls around the world, [and who’s] not only a beauty icon [but also] a body positivity advocate fighting to redefine beauty standards”.
The beauty activist said she is trying to teach people that they are beautiful the way they are – with or without makeup.
“I think people want to tell you that you are gaining weight … they want you to feel bad about it. But how amazing it is to say, ‘okay and? It’s nothing new, I know it already’. That’s important because when you own what they want you to be sorry about, that’s a power,” she said.
“When you’ll say I’m not going to apologise for gaining weight, for getting dark … when you do that, you’re taking back the power. Now nobody can tell you anything. Nothing they say will affect you … when someone tells you something about your body and you don’t like it, say, ‘and?” Nabela said, adding that this would do the trick.
Speaking about beauty, she said in her eyes the beauty is kindness.
“Beauty is being kind, and warm and lovable and welcoming. Intelligence is beautiful,” she told the audience comprising women and girls of all ages. “Eyes are beauty and how someone carries themselves is also beautiful.”
Talking about Zeba, she said it is a movement, first and foremost, and a lifestyle and clothing brand named after her mother.
“It changed the way people talk about size. Zeba uses names that are empowering. For example, if you’re extra small, you’re passionate. And if you’re small, you’re not small with Zeba, you’re brave. If you’re medium, you’re inspiring,” she said.
Size names used by Zeba are – passionate, brave, inspiring, fearless, radiant, powerful, loved and independent.
“It’s amazing to know yourself as more than your size. Zeba is empowering people to rethink how we think about ourselves,” she said.
The beauty activist suggested people to be happy. “I feel successful because I feel happy and grateful. If you are not happy, no amount of success is going to be enough for you,” Nabela said.
She reminded everyone that they have two choices in their short, precious lives – waste time being unhappy or live unapologetically.
“Love yourself without apology. Life is too short and you are beautiful, no matter what size you are,” she said.
Self-confidence, she said, is the key. “People do not go to [Indian actor] Aishwarya Rai and ask her how you are so confident. But when they look at me, they say how you are so confident?
“[I am confident] because I am beautiful. That’s how,” she said.
Meanwhile, parts of the proceeds of the event went to Jaago Foundation. Nabela Noor also contributed to it.
“Nabela Noor is not only supporting Bangladeshi beauty brands but also supporting a local NGO. So, for that reason, she is not only changing beauty standards but she is also advocating for changing Bangladesh itself,” said Faizah Anika Eerina, representing Jaago.
“At Jaago, we believe in eradicating poverty through education by providing underprivileged children free of cost education,” she said, thanking the beauty activist for standing beside Jaago.