We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather Abbasi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Heather, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
To put it simply, I wanted to be happy. I have always been a creative extrovert and this was a calling I feel I was always meant to answer. I didn’t expect it to be in fashion and social media but I am so blessed to have found my community and do what I do. It was what I was meant to do. I value my work so much because I get to fight for what is at the core of everything I am, being plus-size. I spent my life in pursuit of creativity and self-expression as a singer/songwriter/plus-model. I deeply love anything artistic and expressive but especially music, fashion, and lifestyle. It has always been a rewarding and satisfying life path. It isn’t always easy but I love the thrill of the challenge. My career has been a great pleasure and a gift. I get to truly express myself through my musical talent, fashion styles, and other lifestyle content and share it with the world.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Well, my art is what I like to put on my body, review and give my honest opinion about as well as how I live my life. For example, clothes or products I actually use, wear and align with my values and lifestyle. I also film my experiences, especially when trying something new and hopefully sustainable or ecofriendly. Then, I post about it on Instagram. It sounds funny when I describe it, but for the most part, that is what I do. I share my experience in lifestyle and fashion. I put together items to make a fashion look from brands that I model for. I sometimes sing or dance and share a workout or the nutritious food I prepare but at the end of the day, I am a plus-size fashion model doing what I love while trying to benefit and give value to my audience with a body-positive and mental health message. What sets me apart from others is that I own my fat and show off my body. I don’t believe in feeling shame for loving my body and dressing as I please. I am not afraid to show my belly and back rolls in my photos and videos. I am painfully positive about my body and life. Yes, I have my low days and will always have my struggles with p.t.s.s. but I never let it hold me back from embracing my curves with love. My body is strong and beautiful as it is. Especially, how it helped me survive to share my story. I want to empower other women to love themselves the way I do. I want them to feel free to wear what makes them feel confident and forget what the haters say. I share that I struggle with PTSS and the fatphobic society we live in. Being vulnerable and open about these personal topics have made it easier to accept and love myself as I am and inspire other women to do the same. I am most proud of and excited about that aspect of what I do. It was a bad health scare while I was going to college that led me to the career I have now. That was only the beginning. My PTSS had just gotten worse with all the stress I was under. I had to stop attending school and get my health to a more balanced place. I did not want to give up on what I had worked my whole life to do and I certainly didn’t want the basic, stressful 9 to 5 as my next move. I decided that I could follow my heart into plus-size advocacy and fashion. I planned to make a career out of it on my own terms and here I am. It was not easy. I worked hard despite my exhaustion, memory lapses, and other symptoms. In the beginning, I did it without pay or reward. I was just happy to do something meaningful and fun. I have learned along the way to choose the companies that I model for thoroughly and investigate each opportunity presented to me with intense scrutiny. Most importantly, I learned to ask for what I deserve. I overcame many of the challenges by relying a lot on my husband, Andrew for most everything and putting my health first. If I needed a break, I would take as long as I needed it, even if it was is for a whole week. My life had to change entirely for the better. I started working out more and refusing anything that wasn’t good for my mind, body, or soul. I want people to know that I am unapologetic and strive to make the world a better place for myself and society. I want society to see big men and women as beautiful, worthy, valuable human beings. They are being just that, human beings. We are all human and going through the human experience of life and deserve to be treated as well as our thinner counterparts. We are all trying our best. None of us asked to be fat. Some of us want to be thinner and some of us don’t mind being fat but all of us just want to be accepted. I can’t tell you how many times I have been discriminated against simply for being a plus-size woman. I was canceled before I even began simply because I was seen as ugly or unworthy. No matter how hard I worked or how talented I was, I wasn’t seen as beautiful. I want to give society a new set of eyes, to see the beauty in everything that you have been taught to believe was not. I want to wake them up to the fact that everyone has their struggle or journey to be on and that we should all let go of those hang-ups and simply love each other for who and what we are. We all have a place in this world even if we have to make it ourselves like I had to. We are all beautiful and unique and should be celebrated rather than seen as less.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend were to come and visit Arizona for a week, I would first take them through my new home town of Winslow and go to The Falcon for dinner and a drink. That is my fave little hangout after a long week. You can get a great meal there with great company. We all play along with the gameshows and its always a good time with good people. On the second day, I’ll take them to the old train station by city hall for some awesome pictures and then hit Relic Road for drinks and lunch. We’re gonna have a prickly pear cactus beer and some of their signature fish tacos. Day three, we would go to Homolovi State Park to see the history of our little town up close and take in some breathtaking views of the landscape and the wildlife that lives there. Day four, we go for a short drive to Two Guns and take in the powerful rock formations and a short hike. Later that day, we drive to Meteor Crater Observatory and Museum. On day five, I would take them to the Painted Desert for a day of adventure and glorious natural scenery and end the day with a formal night out at The Turquoise Room for Dinner and Champagne. Day six, we sleep in until noon and get it together to take pictures at our famous, “Standing on the Corner” statue and go shopping at the local tourist shops for some awesome memorabilia and Route 66 souvenirs, then get lunch at the opposite end of the corner at Bojo’s. We will end the day grilling on my patio while star-gazing. Day seven would be a very relaxed day. We will take a long drive with picnic-style sandwiches, seltzer, and snacks. We’ll drive around the whole, cute, little town and take in the history and vibe of the gorgeous land we call home. We would end the day at PT’s bar for a few shots of, Hennesy and have a good laugh while we prepare to miss each other all over again. Lastly, get some casual but delicious dinner and dessert at Sonic.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a huge shoutout to my husband, Andrew. Since the beginning of my career, he has been by my side in everything 100%. Anything I need help with, he finds the time, gets it done, and always has my back. His dedication to my career and success is a blessing. I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful partner in crime. Without his help, I wouldn’t be as happy and successful in my career as I am today. Thank you, Andrew, for everything you do for my happiness and all the love you give through those actions.
Linkedin: Heather Abbasi
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