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Black, Fat And Muslim: Detroit Model Doesn't Mind Making People Uncomfortable

DETROIT (WWJ) - She gets in your face about what many shy away from.

Leah Vernon calls herself a body positive activist, plus-sized model, Muslim feminist and writer. The 30-year-old Detroit resident recently released a YouTube video with a hashtag "Body Project" that shows her dancing through the streets of the city.

leah v
(Photo: Remus Roman)

She begins her video with the question, "Do I make you uncomfortable?"

"I'm fat, I'm black, and I'm very visibly Muslim, this is going to make some people angry, and it's going to empower some," Vernon told WWJ Newsradio 950's Zahra Huber.

Vernon had some doubts before making the video, as she knew that she would receive a lot of negative comments. She changed her mind, and decided she wanted to "show people stuff that's never been done before, by a person who looks like me. I'm going to be super true, super raw, super high-fashioned with it, to basically make you see it," said Vernon.

She admitted that she lacked self-confidence, even sometimes hated herself, what she looked like and who she was.

But Vernon came to a realization: "Yeah you're fat, yeah you're black, and yeah you're Muslim, but that shouldn't stop you from trying to live your life. I think that's what body positivity is about, about living your best life, in your body that you have NOW."

She hopes her video makes a positive impact on people: "What I want viewers to get from my video is to be yourself, unapologetically. Not fear how other people view you, and not necessarily try to always seek validation from other people, because we have to validate ourselves first."

Follow her blog at this link.

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