In the era of digital body shaming, female celebrities are too often finding themselves in the position of explaining the perceived notions around their weight on social media. Just recently, part-Palestinian model Bella Hadid was forced to take to her Instagram page to amend a caption after her images attracted the unwanted attention of commenters needlessly dissecting her body. Meanwhile, Egyptian star Amina Khalil responded to the media and society at large who have criticized her body in a heartfelt, open letter on Instagram. Now the latest powerful woman to clap back against body-shamers is Layla Kardan.
“I have meat on my bones and I’m proud to show it,” wrote the Dubai-based Iranian popstar alongside an un-retouched, behind-the-scenes image of herself wearing a sequined, backless top, in which her curves are proudly on display. Unfortunately, the image led to a few unwanted comments from online critics who claimed that there was “too much back fat”.
In a series of videos uploaded on her Insta Stories, the Goddess singer went on to explain “Earlier today I posted a picture of me with a little bit of back fat, because that’s what I have, and I’m proud of it, I’m proud to be curvy.” She added, “The truth is I could have not posted that photo, or I could have edited it, but we are not perfect, and it’s nice to have curves. And like I said earlier, these bones need meat to carry me through.” The clips were followed by “examples of gorgeous curvy women”, which included images of Monica Bellucci, Sofia Loren, and Beyoncé.
Many users took to the platform to commend the artist for speaking up against the harsh and superficial media scrutiny female stars face, including industry insiders such as Lebanese fashion designer Dima Ayad, who posted her own video in response to Kardan stating “You as you are is totally enough.”
Vogue Arabia editor-in-Chief Manuel Arnaut also took to his Instagram page to repost the image, writing “Not only is Layla Kardan one of the most amazing singers in the region, she is one of the most dazzling women I have ever met. Not to mention she is a kind soul and special friend. It is this type of ugly behavior that motivates me to edit Vogue Arabia to celebrate all types of beauty, different races, and body shapes.” Arnaut’s thoughtful post spurred an important conversation surrounding cyber-bullying, with many taking to the comment section to share their own messages of support, including accessories designer Amanda Navai who wrote “What a lovely message and support! Layla is beyond beautiful.”
Echoing on his statement was Kuwaiti designer Shouq Al-Marzook, who added: “She’s beautiful and you are right to shine a light on this issue. Body-shaming has taken over social media. We need to spread positivity, not negativity towards women.”
But perhaps it was The Modist founder, Ghizlan Guenez, who said it best: “She’s an absolutely stunning woman in every way. And to call that back fat is baffling to me. She has an incredible figure although that is besides the point. Unfortunate for those trolls, no amount of healthy eating or exercise can fix their small, ugly minds.”