Beauty and the Muse

Posts Tagged ‘Canada



Last year, I won a contest in Toronto and was given a $200 shopping spree by SexyPlus Boutique. I picked out this magenta colored dress by SWAK designs. It fits my wide hips and falls perfectly. I am short, so usually dresses are too short or too long.

20141025_181400So, I was at a wedding recently and paired this dress with a polka dot cardigan and a magenta colored scarf to match. It was cute yet simple.



So, this one was taken at a picnic this summer. I wanted to be a little edgy so I paired the dress with pearls, a twist turban, and some killer 70’s inspired shades from Forever 21.


Which style do you like best? And why?



I met Ophilia at The Fuller Woman Expo in Toronto. She was one of the models in the fashion show. We connected on Facebook and became close. She is pleasant, eloquent, and a positive force in the plus size industry. Here is her story:


LV: What was fashion like for you growing up?

OA: Growing up fashion was fun, adventurous and funky that is until I gained weight in my early twenties. It challenged my fashion standards as I was left with untrendy, shapeless options. Fashion became boring, colorless and streamed lined duplicating the look of every other full figured woman.  I’m in total awe of just how much the plus size fashion industry has progressed in the last ten years. We have options, bold colors, clothing that actually fits my curves and more options to express individuality.


LV: What was your inspiration for starting your organization? 

OA: Ophilia’s Kurves “It’s O.K. to be YOU” is a new organization geared towards the empowerment of woman. Though it’s in its early stages of development, my hope is that Ophilia’s Kurves will have an important place in the lives of women of all ages. I began this organization because I was bullied and made to feel less than. I vowed that I would help other women find their voice of confidence so that no one would ever have to feel what I felt. I’ve begun facilitating workshops one in particular entitled “P.A.C.E Yourself” which is an interactive session geared towards helping women learn how to walk with confidence and success not for the runway but for everyday life.

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LV: What magazines or campaigns have you been featured in? 

OA: Currently, I’ve been featured in Revista Belleza XL as a columnist entitled Kurvacious Canada. In the fall of 2013, I was featured in Canada’s only plus size magazine entitled Dare where I was deemed as “Fashions New Face”. In 2012, I was featured by Daily Venus Diva Magazine as model on the rise. I’ve been fortunate to partake in an ad campaign for Slice TV, SexyPlus Clothing which was featured in Lou Lou Magazine, Wal-Mart of Canada, Best for Brides and most recently I participated in a Positive Body Installation for Your Big Sister’s Closest promoting the message that “all bodies are good bodies”.


LV: What fashion shows have you done, and/or plan on doing?

OA: What a tough question because I’ve been fortunate to participate in several fashion shows. With that said, my most memorable fashion shows would include; Pennington’s, African Canadian Bridal Show, Caribbean Plus fashion Week, The Fuller Woman Expo, and Toronto Naturals Hair and Beauty Show. On Monday March 24th 2014, I will model in Project Diversity Disrupt the Norm created by Kirthiga Rajanayagam and Helen Saygan. This unique show is geared towards shedding light on diversity within the modeling industry.


LV: What types of setbacks or obstacles have you faced as a plus size woman in the fashion industry?

OA: What a controversial question. The setbacks that I have found in the industry include size discrimination and bullying. As a size 18-20, I have found that designers are afraid to showcase a model past a size 16. In fact, I was told by a major Canadian boutique that I was too fat for the camera and that I should lose 10lbs. I’m very thankful to retailers such as SexyPlus Clothing and Pennington’s who’ve taken a stance against such discrimination and now showcase women who are a size 18 and 20.


OA: I’ve noticed a lack of comradery amongst Canadian full figured models especially which is quiet disheartening. I can attest to that because I was bullied several years ago causing me to almost give up my dream as a full figured model. I’m a very spiritual individual, and I thank God every day for providing me with the strength to overcome the harsh words and actions of my bullies.  I am a firm believer that the spotlight is bright & large enough for us all to have a place under it. Fashion is about creativity, diversity and individuality therefore there is ample room for all of us to make our mark in this industry.


LV: What are some big projects you are working on currently?

OA: Right now, I’m working on a monthly article entitled Kurvacious Canada which is featured in Revista Belleza XL, The Fuller Woman Expo, Ophilia’s Kurves which will host an event geared towards young women in the fall of 2014 and I will be modeling for Project Diversity Disrupt the Norm Fashion Show Case geared towards shedding light on diversity within the model industry.


LV: How would you describe your individual style?

OA: Conservative yet super sexy.


LV: What advice would you give other women who are in your position or want to get to your position?

OA: Go for it! Don’t overthink it! Never ask for approval, simply follow your heart! The fashion industry is very competitive and a lot of work however if you follow my personal mantra “hard does not mean impossible” you will do well.


LV: Leave us with an awesome quote.

OA: “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back”- Maya Angelou



Follow Plus Model Ophilia on Facebook and Twitter @ Ophilias Kurves



(Photo Courtesy: Barakah Photography MUA: Madinah M.)

Madinah planned on doing one last photo shoot for 2013. We both have learned so much about the fashion, photography, and makeup industry. So here are some photos that I styled.


I wanted to go for an edgy glamorous look that mixed prints and utilized pearls. The shades are from Forever 21 and the pearl necklace I purchased from VictoriousMe Online Boutique.


I want to give a huge shout out to Brianna of Barakah Photography who is a beast at editing!


Twirl. Twirl. Twirl.



You guys know that I am goofy!



Outfit details:

Boots: Dot’s Fashion

Red pants: Rainbow Fashion

Dress Shirt: Wal-Mart

Blazer: Torrid

Gloves: JC Penney

Pearls: VictoriousMe

Scarf: Thrift Store



(Makeup Courtesy of Beauty Creations Inc.)

1. Hijab by Jazzy Hijabi Accessories/Headwrap by Madinah


2. Naballah Chi is wearing an Emirates inspired hijab style.


3. I am wearing a flower inspired hijab; the flower is secured with straight pins.



4. Naballah Chi wears a simple, elegant, and lightly accessorized turquoise hijab style.


5. I am wearing a headwrap style called the “Hijab-Bow”.



6. Naballah Chi created a one sided turban hijab style.


7. I have a classic mixed style turban wrap on. My favorite photo 🙂


Thanks Naballah Chi for the collaboration. Check her blog out and Vlogs @

Her Blog




Toronto, On

December 31, 2013

Winter Wonderland Fashion Show Hosted by Victorious Me Vme14One of the makeup artists, Shay, at the show. So fab.


Tess, a plus model, and wardrobe stylist who helped in the show.


One of the models before she strutted on the runway.

Vme9The fashion team. Everyone did a wonderful job at putting on a great show.

Vme10One of the hijabi models, sporting a fierce flower hijab style.

Vme8   Vme2

Had to take some pics with the models after the show.


For the grand finale, models came out with intricate henna tattoos.

Go check out for the latest accessories and clothing items.



(Bukola Are, designer, founder of House Versatile Styles)

University of Windsor

November 30, 2013

Charity Fashion Benefit



Caketopia was one of the tasty food vendors that attended the benefit fashion show. The cake pops were delicious.


Before the show, the audience was serenaded by belly dancers.

windsor9windsor8Windsor10Just a few of the amazing looks from Are’s spring/summer collection.


The host, Bianca Golden, from America’s Next Top Model All-Stars



Models after the show draped in HVS wear.




More models in HVS wear. So many patterns. Lovely.


windsor2Fashionable audience members giving the camera love.

windsor1MaadMoiselle came all the way from New York and killed her performance. windsor13Ohhhh killem! I enjoyed the show. Thanks for the invite Bukola.




NB Launch

Nina Bitton is a chic fashion line created in Canada that was just launched this year by sisters, Muriel and Hanna Amar (Above).

“We believe that a woman, no matter the size, is only as beautiful as she feels.” –

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LV: You both are obvious bombshells. How was it growing up for you? Were you always confident or was it something you had to learn as you matured?

Hanna: I personally always had a weight problem, and I only started embracing my curves when this line came out. It taught me to be more bold and confident.

Muriel: I had self-esteem issues growing up, but I’ve worked really hard on loving myself the way I am.


LV: What were your individual styles growing up?

Hanna: Growing up, I was a jeans and t-shirt girl. I wore my hair in a ponytail most of the time but always loved fashion and girly dresses.

Muriel: Growing up, I always stuck to classic pieces but always added something that was in style at the time.

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LV: Can you explain your Spring/Summer 2014 line and how you guys started it?

Both: My sister and I decided to launch a plus size clothing line after seeing how much curvy girls struggled with finding sexy and fashionable clothing.


LV: How would you describe your individual styles now?

Both: Muriel has a more classic, clean cut yet femme fatal look and I (Hanna) have more of a rocker chic look with a pinch of baby doll.


LV: How and when did you two decide you wanted to start a plus-size clothing line?

Both: We decided about a year ago that we wanted to mix our styles together and create a fabulous line.


LV: What types of setbacks have you two faced as curvy women?

Hanna: I’ve always been very creative and would always want to wear clothes that I couldn’t find in stores. It’s very tough because to me fashion is expression.


LV: What are some big projects you guys are working on currently?

Both: Right now, we are in the process of getting our line into stores, and working on our next season.

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LV: What advice would you give other women who are in your position or want to get to your positions?

Both: Go for it because it’s so worth it in the end, it’s a lot of work and stress but when you see someone wearing your dress proudly, that’s the best feeling in the world.


LV: Leave us with an awesome quote.

Both: Dream it. Wish it. Do it.


To see the full Spring/Summer 2014 collection of Nina Bitton go to

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Seeing all these photos (swipe) overwhelm me in a beautiful way. These were taken by family, fans, and supporters from @target stores all over the U.S. This was my face when my sis spotted me in store yesterday with her coworkers. “Your sister is famous!” They gushed. She said she had to stop herself from crying because to see her sister be the first fat, Black Muslim model to be advertised in thousands of stores is a huge feat. I auditioned for Target last summer. I was scared shitless. Shocked that they even gave me a chance to step foot in the studio. On that first audition, I knew I didn’t do well. I left defeated. They didn’t hire me. I went on a second audition. This time ready. I aced it! Again, they passed. I was angry that I probably wouldn’t ever get it because maybe they weren’t ready for a Black Muslim. Yet... The third time, I got it. I got it. Me. So many times I’ve wanted to quit this. So many times people have told me to stop. That I could never. Would never. No one believed me when I told them that I was gonna be somebody one day. I’ve had people, close people try to shatter me. Defile my character. Make me feel bad for striving to be better. I’ve been called fake. A drama queen. Oh, she think she better than us. She’s too much. No one will ever accept her as is. I wanna be petty. I really do to the folks who hurt my feelings. But, I didn’t get here by sweating the little stuff. I got here because I move forward despite my mistakes and failures. I’m in your local Target store because I work damn hard with very little. I’m basking in my win today (even though I’m sick again 😭). Have you seen me in Target? What’s something you’ve accomplished when no one else believed you could? Bonus: how do you keep yourself from being petty? I need answers! Let’s chat. #newyorkblogger #psootd #plussize #instafashion #bodypositive #honormycurves #effyourbeautystandards #pizzasisters4lyfe #blackgirlswhoblog #fashion #londonblogger #psfashion #blackgirlmagic #muslimgirl #bodyconfidence #plusmodel #feminist #wiw #intersectionalfeminism #turbanista #bodydysmorphia #fatacceptance #selflove #goldenconfidence #unashamedleahv #beautyblogger #targetstyle

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