Rukiya Newton is very passionate about empowering the lives of other women and encouraging them to embrace their God given body type and shape. The 24-year-old recently started a campaign via Instagram to raise awareness for normal body types that many women have and to challenge the stigma and unrealistic expectation of having to be size 4 or smaller to be considered beautiful and normal. As a curvaceous woman, Rukiya wanted to see bodies like her own celebrated. After sharing the photo above, it went viral, receiving over 5,000 likes.
Growing up in the U.K., Newton was always teased about her weight, which made her even more conscious about her looks. After losing weight at age 21, she still managed to feel unsatisfied with her body. However, Rukiya says the campaign made her recognize the beauty in her body, allowing her to gain more confidence. She even admits that the campaign made her feel liberated and relieved that she didn’t have to hide or cover up her body any longer. In comparison to how free Rukiya felt after her campaign, she wants women to feel the same and love themselves with the ‘imperfections’ they believe they may have. She believes that if more women are courageous and committed to loving their bodies unapologetically then they can set a positive example for their daughters for generations to come.
Even though the campaign is catered to women, Rukiya also wants men to understand that real women aren’t what they see on social media–that is false. She wants them to stop idolizing bodies that are unrealistic and appreciate and celebrate the bodies of real women.
Rukiya’s campaign received a wealth of positive feedback. Most of the comments she received were from real women who thought it was relatable and inspiring. For her future project, Rukiya is interested in finding out more about men and body confidence and the pressures they feel to conform to body shapes they are heavily exposed to in the media.