Meet Ghaliah Amin, Saudi Arabia’s very own curvy model

International labels have been making strides toward being more inclusive, and our region is following suit. Photo: Arab News
Updated 24 November 2019

Meet Ghaliah Amin, Saudi Arabia’s very own curvy model

  • Ghaliah Amin, dubbed the first Saudi body positive model, is breaking barriers in the Middle East
  • Since making her modeling debut in 2018, the trailblazer has become a beacon of inclusivity

DUBAI: In recent seasons, international labels have been making strides toward being more inclusive in their shows by casting a diverse lineup of models of all ethnicities and body types — and our region appears to be following suit.

The latest edition of Fashion Forward Dubai featured two curvy Arab models, who both live in Dubai, on the glittering runways.




Ghaliah is one of the first curvy models to emerge from the region. Photographed by Arab News at Tania's Teahouse in Dubai

Among them was Ghaliah Amin, dubbed the first Saudi body positive model, who was handpicked by fashion house Reemami in an effort to be more inclusive.

 “People are excited to see diversity on the runway and in the fashion industry,” the model and television presenter shared with Arab News, adding, “It was so satisfying to see this scale of acceptance in our region and I hope for it to continue.”




Ghaliah made her first foray into fashion in 2018. Photographed by Arab News at Tania's Teahouse in Dubai

While it’s more common to see size diversity on New York runways, which offer opportunities for multiple talents to shine, such as Ashley Graham, Candice Huffine and Lauren Chan to name a few, Amin, alongside Tunisian-born beauty Ameni Esseibi, is one of the first plus-sized models to emerge from the Middle East.

She believes that it’s because “the culture and traditions of the Middle East see the profession as taboo.”

However, she is grateful to be one of the first to carve out a fashion niche, in which she hopes many underrepresented women can fit. The model’s intentions are for Arab women to feel more comfortable with all body types that aren’t of the size zero variety and to “understand that their curves are what set them apart from the rest of the world.




She has worked with 11Honore, Marina Rinaldi and Good American. Photographed by Arab News at Tania's Teahouse in Dubai

“Growing up, I noticed from an early age that the fashion world and high-end brands only associated themselves with a certain body type,” the barrier-breaking model shares of never seeing a version of herself on international runways.

“This made me feel self-conscious as a child,” Amin shared. “This is why I make it a point to represent curvier women and help them realize that anyone can look and feel beautiful, despite their body type.”




The model’s intentions are for Arab women to feel more comfortable with all body types. Photographed by Arab News at Tania's Teahouse in Dubai

Since making her foray into fashion in 2018, she has worked with 11 Honoré, a retail platform that offers plus-size pieces from high-end designers, in addition to Marina Rinaldi, a womenswear label that churns out clothing specifically tailored toward the voluptuous trend-setter, in addition to Khloe Kardashian’s Good American brand.

She also launched a social media initiative in 2018 entitled “Ana Ghalia,” which translates to “I am precious,” that aims to promote body positivity and embrace inclusion. 


Zingy rom-com ‘Seriously Single’ offers lighthearted plot with refreshing twist

The film was directed by Katleho and Rethabile Ramaphakela. Supplied
Updated 04 August 2020

Zingy rom-com ‘Seriously Single’ offers lighthearted plot with refreshing twist

CHENNAI: Loneliness can become excruciatingly difficult especially in times like these with a pandemic ravaging the world. And for those who live alone, it can be even more difficult.

Although the South African film, “Seriously Single,” takes place in a happier, normal period, its protagonist, Dineo (Fulu Mugovhani), is single and so lonely that she is desperate to hook up with any man who crosses her path.

A social manager in a Johannesburg firm, she is happy at work and with her close girlfriend, Noni (Tumi Morake). But after two disastrous relationships, Dineo is clearly unhappy. And she commits one mistake that so many men and women with failed affairs do. She befriends Lunga (Bohang Moeko) – on the rebound.

Directed by a brother-and-sister team, Katleho and Rethabile Ramaphakela, the movie, now playing on Netflix, infuses comedy into the gravity of the situation that Dineo finds herself in.

Lunga is already engaged to marry a girl, but does not tell Dineo, hoping that the new relationship would be nothing else but short-lived – a kind of one-night stand. Dineo has other ideas.

“Seriously Single” turns out predictable characters, but then they add a zing to the plot. Supplied

Dineo’s relationship with Lunga flies into turbulence, and she turns to Noni for advice and comfort. Noni firmly advocates independence and believes that women do not need men – except for physical gratification. She proudly keeps repeating that she never goes beyond a one-night stand. Otherwise, it can turn into a relationship, leading to possible heartbreak and sorrow.

“Seriously Single” turns out predictable characters, but then they add a zing to the plot, and this is what makes the film rise above the mundane.

Both women are genially disposed, and the betrayals they face have an element of fun. They are not morose, and there is no need for tissues.

Unfortunately, little attempt is made to capture the scenic beauty of Johannesburg. Supplied
 

There is nothing much to talk about in terms of cinematography, and the imagery is often flat. Little attempt is made to capture the scenic beauty of Johannesburg.

But “Seriously Single” stays away from getting serious and offers a lighthearted story of two women who think very differently, only to prove in the end that both were wide of the mark.

The twist when it comes after several ups and downs is refreshingly different.