Beauty vlogger Nabela Noor has a massive fanbase with more than 350,000 YouTube subscribers and 130,000 Instagram followers. For years now, she’s been known for her expert-level makeup tips and tutorials. But as she’s starting to post more body-positive content and fashion posts that show her entire figure, Noor’s now facing an onslaught of fat-shamers online.
“I have found that people feel like it’s their obligation, their duty, to let me know that I’m overweight,” Noor said in a recent video titled “Yes I’m fat,” which is inching toward virality with more than 140,000 views in two days. “To let me know that I’m fat and to remind me that it is so unhealthy for me.”
In that same video, Noor then opens up about the comments left on her social media, how it’s made her feel and how she’s maintaining her confidence.
“Sometimes I feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, should I just not post because I’m fat? Am I supposed to hide away because I’m fat?’” she says. “It’s as though it’s wrong for me to be posting online while being fat with a smile on my face, telling people about beauty and fashion.”
“It’s as though I should just be in a closet, hidden away, and not come out until I am thin, or not come out until I am society’s definition of beauty. That’s how I feel sometimes.”
But Noor also understands that these very commenters are the reason why she should continue posting about fashion and beauty and loving herself, to show them just how wrong they are.
“Then it hits me, and I’m like, ‘Wait, that’s exactly why I should be posting,” Noor says in the video. “That’s exactly why I should be making videos.”
“I need to challenge that idea that we can’t love ourselves. ... Yes I’m fat, and I’m fashionable. Yes I’m fat, and I love makeup, and I do a great job applying makeup.”
In an email interview with Mic, Noor revealed that this video was a long time coming. “I was silently suffering from the body-shaming comments I received on my videos and posts for a long time, and recently, I realized enough was enough,” Noor said. “I think there’s this idea that is pushed onto us to just ‘deal with’ hate or to ‘ignore the hate.’ But I can’t think of real powerful change that has come from ignoring a problem. If we want to stop body-shaming and cyber-bullying, we need to confront the issue head on. I am ready to do that now more than ever.”
The entire purpose of the video for Noor was to open up the conversation around fat-shaming and try to build a community of people who understand that these fat-shamers’ words don’t really matter.
“Maybe if I can talk about it, and we can have an honest discussion in the comments and really support one another, we can feel like we’re not alone,” Noor says in the video. “Because sometimes I do feel really alone.”
“There’s nothing wrong with looking the mirror and being like, ‘Yeah, you’re fat and gorgeous. You’re fat and fashionable,” Noor offers. “I will not reserve my happiness for a later date or a later weight.”
“I hope when watching this video, people understand the impact of their words and also realize that an individual’s body is not up for discussion or debate,” Noor said in an email. “My size, how I look and what I do with my body is my business. I hope people think twice before commenting on someone else’s weight/body because you never truly know where someone is on their journey.
I hope this commentary sparks some change even within the plus-size industry, which has in many ways cultivated its own set of beauty standards for plus-size women, instead of creating an inclusive space for us, which is what we desperately need. I just want to spark discussion and be a part of the change that encourages women to love the skin they’re in.
You can watch Noor’s entire video below: