Photographed by Shukri Lawrence
Character: by Raya Kassisieh
Styled by Fadi Zumot and Raya Kassisieh
Set design by Sara Shlian
Creative Directed by Khalid Abdel-Hadi
Intro written by Sara Shlian
Video by Hélène Franchineau
Sitting editor: Eliza Marks
Note: Raya have controlled her hair, makeup and had a say in the styling.
Amman – Jordan
Women have always been pressured to abide by imposed beauty standards, like having flawless skin, symmetrical features, and an hourglass figure, but, not too much of one. This phenomena has intensified with the rise of media beginning in the 60’s, and continues to with the increasing prominence of social media, such as Instagram. Though Instagram has its flaws like furthering anxieties about body image and the pressure to be “flawless,” it has also created a space for all to recognize and display all kinds of beauty that have been excluded from the singular views of beauty. From the big girl to the pimple queen, instagram has it all.
Women in the Arab world have generally embraced their curves, yet globalization has allowed international media to impact how youth in the region view themselves, pushing the preference for slender physiques. Luckily, tides are shifting. Fashion and media industries are refocusing to celebrate diversity in shape, color, ethnicity and gender.
In this photoshoot, we collaborated with a local designer/artist and selfie queenRaya Kassisieh,who blesses us daily with her unique style, OOTDs, and self-love. She embraces her figure and carries herself with confidence. We photograph Raya in Instagram-style photos that juxtapose the contemporary and historic, using a Renaissance-style backdrop to allude to a time when women’s curves and timeless beauty were celebrated and considered the form of highest beauty. We hope to pull this beautiful past and the present together and utilizing social media spaces of acceptance to encourage all women to embrace themselves entirely!
Top – corner 302, vintage; Earrings – Antique Palestinian Head Embellishment (Silver); Skirt – models own
Behind the scenes of: Instagram Renaissance