Popular social media influencer and beauty expert Nabela Noor consistently advocates for self-love and self-care.
Her videos also largely centre around celebrating body positivity and being confident in your own skin.
Her debut book 'Beautifully me' where the protagonist is a young brown girl called Zubi, is set to be released this year in September.
Zubi's mother was anxious about her daughter's first day at school because she looked different from other children; she was deemed 'too big'.
But eventually Zubi realised that she is beautiful the way she is.
Nabela Noor's picture book shows the importance of healthy body image and rejects stereotyped beauty standards.
The title 'Beautifully me' and various illustrations of Zubi will help children learn that every individual is beautiful and special, and also help them unlearn the unhealthy beauty standards usually promoted by children's books and movies.
The illustrations of a Bangladeshi-American character Zubi is soothing to the eyes, which were strained for long from only seeing slender, white princesses in children's books.
It's not uncommon for us to have heard or said sentences like:
"I was insecure throughout my childhood for being dark-skinned.''
"I was bullied by my classmates for being obese.''
"A classmate pushed me off the bench because he thought I looked like a skeleton.''
"No one stood by my side; I had no friends because I did not fit in with them.''
Almost every one of us was bullied or at least witnessed someone else being bullied or teased for being 'different' during our childhood.
Little do we realise what the tender psyche of children goes through when we fill their minds with unhealthy notions about beauty and physical appearance.
What do you remember from the times when you used to flip through the pages of fairy-tales and look at the illustrations?
Perhaps the surreal beauties of princesses like Cinderella, Aurora, or Ariel.
All of them had one thing in common; they were described as the epitome of beauty with long hair and slender figure.
Gazing at these pictures gives children ideas that unless they look like those princesses, they are not beautiful.
Children are body-shamed even before they understand its meaning.
When I was in school, I remember buying a couple of children's books with vibrant illustrations.
I remember seeing regal animals and princesses but not a single book was by a local author and the illustrations did not have any local characters.
Children's books, movies, and even their surroundings have been inevitably installing unhealthy beauty standards and perhaps making the little ones insecure of their looks if they do not match the descriptions of some of the Disney princesses.
The Walt Disney Company, whose creations are adored by children throughout the world, was founded as Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio on October 16, 1923 in Los Angeles by Walt and Roy Oliver Disney and inaugurated its journey as the Walt Disney Studio in 1929.
Walt Disney produced their first animated film 'Snow White and the seven dwarfs' in 1937 and introduced one of the most popular characters 'Princess Snow White' but did not create a single princess of colour until 1992 when Princess Jasmine of 'Aladdin' came on-screen.
The fact that it took Disney around 55 years to create its first princess of colour after the release of Snow White depicts the dominant racial prejudice around the world.
With their tan skin and dark hair, Aladdin and Princess Jasmine of Agrabah were however widely accepted by the western audience. Brown children worldwide felt connected with these characters.
But the casting of Naomi Scott as Jasmine for the film 'Aladdin' in 2019 stirred anger among audiences for interchanging the identities of Arabs and Indians and for representing Jasmine as almost white.
Although people of colour are slowly getting recognition by Disney and some authors of children's books, plus-size characters still seem to be non-existent.
Po from 'Kung-Fu Panda' is one such character but he is an animal after all.
The lack of representation of sizes teaches children that being oversized is an anomaly.
However, due to Nabela Noor's popularity across the globe, others might follow in her footsteps and include diversity in their work as well.
The representation of a Bangladeshi-American character like Zubi will be an inspiration for many in our country.
'Beautifully me' is a much needed children's book to help our younger generations become confident and learn that they are beautiful just the way they are.