The most shocking thing about the April issue of Women’s Running magazine is that the plus-size model pictured jogging on its cover is not, actually, so shocking.
Los Angeles-based Lebanese-American fashion blogger and model Nadia Aboulhosn, 27, is pictured running toward the camera on the front of the magazine’s latest issue, working on her fitness in a pair of black leggings, a sports bra, and a hoodie.
But while a plus-size model starring on the cover of a fitness magazine might have been groundbreaking just a year ago, this is actually the second time Women’s Running has spotlighted a curvier woman — meaning that celebrating all shapes and sizes was never just a one-off publicity stunt.
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Cover star: Nadia Aboulhosn is the second plus-size model to earn a cover of Women’s Running
Dedicated: The 27-year-old also took over the publication’s Instagram page yesterday, sharing this picture of herself in workout gear
Staying fit: She said she is often on the road for work, so she finds ways to exercise in hotel rooms
Working it: On Instagram, she shares pictures of herself modeling clothes and hanging on set
Wearing an Adidas outfit and Nike sneakers, Nadia runs next to a cover line that reads: ‘The best reason to be body positive: Science says self-love makes you run faster.’
And despite what some people might believe about people who fall under the ‘plus-size’ label, plenty of them certainly do run — and do other types of exercise.
‘We originally selected Nadia for our feature on fitness/fashion influencers, but we loved her energy so much, we knew we had to put her front and center on our cover,’ editor-in-chief Jessica Sabor said in a statement to People.
Despite this being the publication’s second plus-size cover girl, Nadia was still shocked and thrilled when she got the news.
‘I was in the airport last night flying from Florida back to LA and went in the store, saw it, and started crying,’ she wrote on Instagram about spotting the issue for the first time. ‘This elderly couple next to me was like…whats wrong? I’m like THIS IS MY FIRST MAGAZINE COVER AFTER WORKING NON STOP FOR FIVE YEARS!
Surprise! The Los Angeles resident was thrilled when she earned the cover and didn’t believe it at first
Getting emotiona: She said she saw it for the first time in an airport and started to cry
Body confidence: She thanked the magazine’s editor-in-chief for knowing how important it is for women to feel good about themselves
‘I know I joke a lot so let me be serious and say thank you to Women’s Running Mag for choosing me,’ she went on. ‘Thank you especially to Jessica Sebor. You amaze me. It’s so important to feel good about yourself.’
Nadia also took over the magazine’s Instagram account yesterday, sharing snaps of herself in Forever21 work-out clothes, her go-to healthy food, and her favorite activewear pieces.
She also posted a video of herself exercising on the road, along with the caption: ‘I’m in hotels a lot because I travel so much for work that I still find ways to get in little workouts here and there. I love doing kick backs to firm my lower half. I use any chair I can find.’
Nadia follows in the footsteps of Erica Schenk, who scored the honor of being the first plus-size model to cover Women’s Running for the magazine’s August issue last year.
Erica had also been shooting a few photos to run in the magazine with the editor-in-chief decided to bump her up to the cover instead.
Breaking barriers: Last year, Erica Schenk appeared on the cover of the August issue of Women’s Running
True athlete: The 18-year-old New York-based model has been running since she was a kid, and especially likes jogging in Central Park
Plus-size spotlight: Erica was already being shot for a feature to appear inside the latest issue; the feature spotlighted athletic brands that are making more plus-size clothing
All-inclusive: Women’s Running editor-in-chief Jessica Sebor said she wanted all readers to be able to see themselves in the magazine
‘There’s a stereotype that all runners are skinny, and that’s just not the case,’ Jessica told Today.com at the time. ‘Runners come in all shapes and sizes. You can go any race finish line, from a 5K to a marathon, and see that. It was important for us to celebrate that.’
The editor added that she recognized that most health and fitness magazines stick to skinny and muscular models, and that perpetuates the idea that women who exercise are all thin — which, she said, is not true.
Erica herself is a runner, and has favored the exercise since she was 8. The New Yorker — who is represented by Wilhelmina Models — especially loves running in Central Park, where she can ‘clear her head and think’.
And there are plenty of other women like her who relish working up a sweat — a fact which Jessica promised to represent more in the magazine — and clearly, she’s delivered on that promise.
‘I think that every woman goes to the magazine rack sometimes and feels like she can’t see herself in the cover images,’ she said. ‘We wanted our readers to feel like they could see themselves in our cover.’