Across the globe, diversity is becoming more than just a buzzword; it is being embraced across the board, particularly in the fashion and beauty industries. Today, models, influencers, bloggers of all looks, shapes, and sizes are proudly celebrating who they are and how they look, and one woman who has stood out recently in the wave of figures spearheading diversity is Detroit-based style blogger and content creator Leah Vernon.
It can be said that Leah Vernon is the very definition of diversity; she is a plus-size model, a Muslim woman who dons the hijab, a body-positive activist, a popular online presence with a decent following, and a public speaker. Vernon began her career as a blogger in 2013 as she felt the representation of real beauty was lacking, and today, she has not only established herself as a force to be reckoned with, she has delved outside the world of blogging, launching her very first book.
The 31-year-old blogger is making waves with her memoir entitled “Unashamed: Musings of a Fat, Black Muslim.” An evolution of her blog, “Beauty and the Muse,” Vernon’s memoir is a rich and touching look into her life, one that many people will connect to. In the book, she discusses her weight, faith, divorce, mental illness, abuse, and difficulties she has faced fitting into mainstream clothing and fighting “fat phobia.”
“I wish that I could take my 13-year-old self’s hand and show her a photo of herself now. Show her how curvy and jiggly and fabulous she looks,” she writes.
On Instagram, Vernon has almost 50 thousand followers who she introduces to the world of body-positivity and self-love. Her posts are often about being true to yourself, living in the now and being confident no matter what, being comfortable expressing yourself through your own personal style, and forgiving your past mistakes.
Speaking in an interview with Hello Beautiful last year, she explained, “I was never represented so I thought it was impossible to be a model […] They would be thin and white with the long straight hair like you know really skinny very high fashion, and there wasn’t anybody who looked like me doing it.”