An introduction from Lena Dunham:
"I like a photoshoot that has varied faces and body types. I’m obsessed with these girls: Nadia Aboulhosn, 26, a fashion blogger and model, and Margie Ashcroft, 28, a blogger and fashion journalist, both from New York. They are hot, sexy Instagram stars, who are super into fashion – and not skinny. They made me think, for the first time in my life, ‘I don’t have a big enough ass and this sucks.’ It’s a new body monopoly and I’m excited."
I love how you’re inspiring other women to celebrate their bodies…
M: Thank you. As a plus-sized person, it can be hard to put yourself out there. I like that I’m confident enough for other girls to follow me, and I even have girls who Instagram me saying, “I see these pictures and it makes me feel better about myself.”
You’re both gorgeous, sexy women, but when did you realise you wanted to model?
M: My mum was a huge role model. She was plus-size too and exposed me to fashion. From a young age, I would dress up as Madonna and dance around saying, “I’m gonna do an outfit change.” My mom was like, “Oh boy, this is trouble!”
N: I always loved fashion so I started blogging, then Seventeen magazine asked me to model for them. I bought a $400 plane ticket to New York just to get to the shoot – you have to invest in yourself. Then I won American Apparel’s model contest in 2011. I faked it till I made it.
What are the major obstacles you encounter day-to-day as a plus-size model?
N: Being slut-shamed for the clothes I wear. People are quick to label you a ‘whore’ if you’re fat and confident and wear the same clothes as skinny people, because there’s more of your body showing. I say, if something makes you feel good, wear it.
M: There are like four stores we can go to for fashionforward pieces. It’s hard to keep up with the trends but it’s made me great at vintage shopping.
You both have big followings online. Do you get any negative feedback?
N: I do get negative comments. There are “I hate Nadia” blogs out there. I used to read them but I don’t need that – these people don’t put money in my pocket.
Because screw them, right?
N: When I was 13 my mum put me on a diet. I lost 50lbs and everybody treated me differently – people were nicer, guys liked me… I quickly learned how shallow some people can be.
M: When you’ve always been plus-size, you can either have self-hatred for the rest of your life, or you can be like, “OK, this is who I am.”
Nadia Aboulhosn and Margie Ashcroft model a/w 2014’s rich, textural investment pieces in the gallery above.
Lena Dunham is the guest editor of this week's issue of Stylist. Download the full issue to your phone, tablet and Kindle here.