“To me, Valiance means having an outlet where all artists are appreciated, accepted, and showcased.”
Fashion modeling began in 1853 by Charles Frederick Worth, who is also known as the “Father of Haute Couture.” When one thinks about modeling, the thought that comes to mind is a slender, slim, tall, petite beautiful woman. Society labeled being slim, tall, petite and beautiful as the only categories that make a model. For many years, that was the standard of beauty. It was all you see in magazines, in television advertisements, on billboards, and on social media. However, recently, the standard of beauty we once solely saw started to shift. Regular bodies, “real” women and men started changing the narrative. Women and men who decided it was time to showcase that it is okay to love the way you look no matter your size. Summar Shaban is one of these valiant women who have decided to stand up and be a representation of self love.
Summar Shaban is an Arab-American plus size fashion model and blogger, born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. In 2017, Shaban began her Fashion, Beauty, and Travel Blog, Sincerely Summar, in hopes of shining a light on plus size women looking just as great as anyone else. Her motto is, “weight is nothing but a number.” For as long as she can remember, she has always been a bit heavier in weight than everyone else. As she grew, she found it more and more difficult to find clothes that were made for girls her size, women her size, due to the fact that some clothing brands do not have size inclusivity. Because of that, she started researching places she can shop that not only fit her properly, but are just as fashionable. Shaban expressed that before she started the blog, oftentimes she was approached by other plus size women asking where she got certain pieces of clothing she wears. She decided it was only right that she shared some of that confidence by sharing where she gets her clothes and how to piece them together; hence the birth of her blog, Sincerely Summar.
“Being able to look good also helps a girl feel good about herself...it helps with confidence.”
Shaban expresses that clothing brands are lacking in representation when it comes to the type of models that wear their clothes. In the fashion industry, the models that are often referred to as “plus size” are more so curvy, they are size 12’s and size 14’s. Shaban explains that by showing models of those sizes, it makes people think that is what a “plus size” model is, when in fact it is not. She explains that having models who are in fact plus size, are at least sizes 16 to 20+, will help that little girl who is a bit heavier to feel that it is in fact possible for her to look just as beautiful.
To the plus size girl and women who are aspiring to be seen, to be valued and accepted, Shaban advises that beauty, confidence and loving yourself starts from within. You have to love yourself internally before you can love yourself externally. Ignore the negativity from the naysayers and to keep pushing in your journey of self love. Surround yourself with positive energies. Never be too hard on yourself, enjoy the process. She also urges parents to affirm their children from a very early age that they are beautiful no matter what.
“Beauty has no size.”
Over the course of the next 5 years, Shaban hopes to be a full time Blogger and Influencer. She hopes to work with a name brand company and/or working as a stylist for a size inclusivity magazine company. Her long term goal for her business is to collaborate and have her own line of clothing collection with well known fashion designers that not only showcases plus sizes but also clothes for all sizes. Through her platform, Shaban hopes to create the change needed for all plus sizes to be accepted and valued.
“The more people see, the more accepting they are...that’s when change really starts.”
Follow Summar Shaban’s journey on her social media @sincerely_summar and check out her website www.sincerelysummar.com