Julia baydzhanovaЮлия
(ufa, bashkortostan)

Fighting stereotypes in Ufa

Elvira Ishmuratova is an unusual plus-size model from Bashkortostan, who dreams of making the beauty a national brand of Ufa city.
Elvira Ishmuratova was born in 1985 in Baymak. She graduated from Bashkir State University and Russian Academy of Public Administration. She became the head, but not of a state institution, but a fashion studio "Stihiya" (Force of nature), that makes plus-size women believe in themselves and keep their natural beauty. Elvira is a winner of international beauty contest and wants to teach every woman in Ufa how to be and how to feel themselves beautiful.
"Measurements of the body, the appearence are just temporary trends. Don`t waste your life trying to fit the perception of beauty and normality of people you don`t even know"
"Didn`t all the girls put on mom`s dresses and imagine walking the runway? I participated in
beauty contests in summer camps. none of us used to wear a meter-long ribbons on their shoulders, and only the bravest would agree to participate".
- After graduation I worked at the fashion magazine, organizing the fashion shows and events. I enjoyed it all, but I couldn`t have imagined I`d become a part of this world and find myself on the other side of the podium. Besides, after getting my second degree I got into a construction field and «serious business».
"I`ve learnt to listen to my heart and act the way my intuition tells me to".
In 2012 after a long period of sickness Elvira`s friend, a photographer, took her to the park, trying to cheer her up, she suggested sending one of her shots to the contest. And unexpectedly for all Elvira became «Miss July» and got the tremendous boost to keep on going.
- I had to learn to do everything myself. However, in 2013 one of the federal media resources referred to me as «the symbol of feminine beauty», and in 2015 I won the international contest «Remarkable beauty» in plus-size nomination. I felt the passion of it, and still have no intention to stop.
The participants for many TV shows are being found on social networks. That`s how Elvira got invited to «Let`s get married».

- They`ve been to talk me into this for a long time, but I was sure, people won`t understand. However, after the show women started writing me, asking how to learn to accept themselves and be beautiful no matter what. All of them wanted a "magic pill". That`s when I realized - by participating in fashion shows I can help women feel normal no matter of their weight, feel feminine and beautiful.

- I organized first fashion shows in Bashkiria where women of different sizes and ages could participate. Sometimes I find the offers myself, sometimes I`m being invited by the orginizers after they see my photos in top and "plus-size" model groups on social media. The most offers come from Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, they often invite me to the final rounds of contests and projects.

From what I know, I`ll be the first woman from Ufa, who climbed that Olympus.
- I`m getting ready for the Moscow Fashion Week now, where I`ll be presenting the european brand Emillia Edda. I got an invitation to join the business women delegation to go to UN in Geneva, to take part in «Miss Universe». There will also be a contest in Saint-Petersburg where I will be sitting in the jury. And one brand offered me to become the face of their new collection.
Beauty as a brand
The girs of Bashkiria often take place among winners in beauty contests and in the future a «beauty from Bashkiria» can become a brand:

- We`re striving for international recognition, but these days we can only promote the region through our famous people - sportsmen, politicians, actors, models. We can be proud of our unique legends, nature and honey however long we like, but until there`s a quality service and clever promotion, we`ll be the only ones who know about it.
«A woman`s life is far from the stereotypes that society shows you. We have to tolerate a lot, to get used to things, negotiate. What we need is for the woman to stop feeling guilty and start living for herself, the way she wants. She should marry not cause it`s time, but cause it would make her happy, have kids not for her grandma, buy car not to acquire some status. She should find herself and do what she loves. The key word here is «do».
The article was published on "UFA.RU"
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