Mina and Dounia: The New York Teens Taking on Body Positivity in the Coolest Way Imaginable

Can you say best friend goals?!

Two friends from New York have blown up Instagram with their cool-girl attitude and curvy body types, therefore  catapulted themselves to Instafame all while projecting a very important message. Dounia Tazi and Mina Mahmood began using social media like every other millennial, to post pictures of themselves and their friends but the two realised that whilst innocently posting, they, in particular, were gathering quite the following on social media.

In what could only be described as a modern day fairytale, the two met on Twitter and realised they had a lot in common including their view on body diversity in American Apparel campaigns. Fast-forward to a few months later, and their online friendship had transcended into two Instagram accounts (@dounia.t and @bae.doe) that have garnered a combined 60K-strong following for their candid comments about body diversity, global politics, and feminism.

The two found that plus modelling also came with limitations and have coined the phrase ‘plus privilege’ to denote the lack of diversity even in plus-size modelling itself.  “When we’re on set, we’re called ‘plus-size,’” Mahmood recounts. “But the average size of American women is a 14, which is considered plus-size in fashion, so it’s a little crazy to us. I fit into mediums, but I’m automatically labeled as a plus-size girl without anyone ever asking me about my measurements or actual size. It takes up space that real plus-size women should have.”

Tazi also thinks that the term plus-size isn’t enough to describe the range of women who are not sample size: “We’re very aware of our plus privilege. It’s just as harmful,” she confesses. “Those women are looking at us and thinking, Wow, they’re small. I would never consider myself a plus-size model because of them. We need bigger women as the faces of what being plus-size really is. We may be bigger than women you’re used to seeing, but we still have access to clothing and spaces that authentically plus-size women don’t have access to.”

 

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The two pioneers sparked the viral hashtag #MyFavouritePictureofMe to encourage young girls to embrace their flaws

In an interview with FEMAIL, Mina Mahmood said, ‘I prefer to call it unconventional beauty. It’s just another form of beauty to me, including acne, fat, body hair and cellulite. It’s easy for me to say they aren’t flaws, but it’s so deeply ingrained in us that they are. It’s going to take some time for us all to unlearn it, and that’s totally okay. Let’s embrace it all whether we consider them flaws or not.n I want young girls to know that they don’t have to be so hard on themselves. Beauty standards have been so forced on us. It’s okay to completely not care about your looks, and it’s okay to be vain and take 100 selfies a day. It’s completely okay to be somewhere in the middle.’

These two despite growing up in the age of social media, have managed to dodge the usual pitfalls which plague millennials such as image issues and inferiority complexes which can grow from constant comparison on social media platforms. They seem to have instead developed an admirably strong sense of self and a pride in themselves as women that takes some half a lifetime to learn. At a point, when it seemed being vacuous and vapid was the way this generation was leaning towards, we are reassured to know that there are some who value a lot more depth.

 

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