Fox Al Rajim
Agender, disabled muslim, and fat activist of colour
On a journey of self-love? Take advice from the wonderful Fox Al Rajim.
While contributing to the photoshoot for our Raw Beauty collection, Fox shared with us their incredible and uplifting discovery of self love, gender identity and faith.
Fox moved to the UK in 2002 after fleeing Pakistan with their family, and lived illegally in several countries around the world until they arrived in the UK where they could finally live legally as a Pakistani citizen for the first time.
Fox describes their upbringing as “restrictive” and as an adult they left their family home and chose to reject their muslim faith.
At this point, Fox started to explore their gender and sexuality, and find out who they were as a person.
After Fox was introduced to drag, they started performing as a political drag act in London. Experiencing what it means to be a queer muslim in drag gave them an opportunity to reconnect with their religion in a way that had not seemed possible before.
Fox began to think about what it meant to be a queer muslim and the importance of creating visibility of that. They talk about the subject on stage, with a flavour of politics and an abundance of comedy in their performances.
What we can learn from Fox’s journey of self-love
Fox reflects on her upbringing as a time when they experienced shame around fatness and body shape. The big change for them happened when they were introduced to drag.
After their first performance, Fox was photographed and sent hundreds of images of themselves, but having never seen themselves at those angles before, , they initially felt horrified. Seeing similar imagery the next time they went on stage, and the time after that, eventually Fox began to realise “That’s just my body,” and a feeling of neutrality developed. Fox didn’t hate their body or feel it was flawless either, leaving space for an acceptance to emerge. Now Fox feels true acceptance without aspiration.
“It is still a challenge to love yourself, it’s an active choice to not look at all the curated images that are so easy to create of yourself and actually say, ‘That's what my chunky belly looks like from the side, that's my flabby armpit. That's just it. That's just my body.”
“You don’t have to settle for these archetypes of beauty: hour-glass, or flat or smooth or slim [...] I love myself and I always have, and I celebrate myself every day by doing the things I love and things that make my body happy. “
Fox’s advice for anyone starting out on their journey of self-love is to expose yourself to true and authentic imagery of yourself. Take as many photos of yourself from all of the unflattering angles that you have been avoiding and just enjoy looking at them. The more you take, the more normalised they become and the more normalised your body feels.
"When we present a highly curated view of ourselves, we think we are presenting perfection to other people, but the people we know and love see and know the real us. They see us every day at all of those angles and they don’t love us any less for it. "
Fox was a model for our Raw Beauty collection and a contributor to our self-love initiative.
Read the full story: Reigniting self-love with the birth of the Raw Beauty collection.