NATASHA Toffa’s dream is to live in a world where differences can be put aside and love and unity reigns.
It was early last year when the 28-year-old Harrisdale resident, who describes herself as a “plus size Australian Muslim social changer and fashion blogger”, decided she was no longer content to sit back and wait for someone else to create the change she was looking to see.
So in April Ms Toffa founded the Women’s Unity Movement with the aim of encouraging social change by promoting female empowerment, unity, education and celebrating diversity.
“It all came about when I was being attacked on a Facebook post for trying to educate a close-minded person who was claiming that all Muslims are terrorists and that no Muslim in Australia is an Australian, regardless if they were born here,” she said.
“At first it made me want to blog as writing is something I have always been good at but for me writing wasn’t enough, I needed to do more, which is when hosting events came to mind.
“Let’s face it, we live in a messed-up society where many women of all backgrounds are constantly made to feel as if they aren’t good enough or that they aren’t socially accepted because of their uniqueness and individuality.
“Having grown up as a Catholic and converting to Islam five years ago, I have been on both sides of the fence – my family and friends are non-Muslim – so I felt a calling to be the one to put Women’s Unity Movement to plan.
“I wanted to create an environment where women could come together and celebrate one another while at the same time being educated about another person’s upbringing or way of life.”
With half a dozen local Women’s Unity Movement events already under her belt, which could be attended by as many as 125 women of various faiths and ethnicities, Ms Toffa has decided to take her movement international, scheduling events in Los Angeles and New York in April.
She said while the long-term goal was to help create a big change, little changes had to happen first.
“I believe we as women need to remember our worth and that we are all equally beautiful in our own ways, regardless of our skin colour, our size, our faith and backgrounds,” she said.
“The cattiness, bashing and judgement needs to stop; it’s not going to happen overnight of course, however we need to do our best to uplift, empower and support one another equally as women.
“This is why I created my upcoming project Body Beautiful; the aim is to not only celebrate female empowerment and unity, but to redefine the stereotypical ‘media beauty’ and take a stand for all women worldwide.”