This summer, Life&Style editor Tara Kergon encourages body positivity and a celebration of diversity instead of attempts to fit ideals of perfectionWritten by Tara Kergon on 16th June 2018
Fashion Brands Begin to Diversify their Models
Life and Style's Bethan Lewis discusses how the fashion industry is finally beginning to diversify the models they use and how their portrayals in photographs is changing
>Models always appeared to be ‘perfect’ and more beautiful than the rest of us, a standard that was unattainable to the general public. Airbrushing created this illusion that models never had any imperfections, which along with making us all envious, also made us sometimes feel insecure about the so-called ‘flaws’ we may have.
“Models always appeared to be ‘perfect’ and more beautiful than the rest of us, a standard that was unattainable to the general public
Recently, many more well-known brands such as Missguided and Asos have ditched airbrushing and instead started to include models with stretch marks, arm hair and moles on their websites. With over 80% of people having stretch marks, this change in the way models are being shown conveys a new message to society. Instead of models being so overly-edited that they became unrealistic, the fashion world is showing that beauty isn’t defined by how ‘flawless’ we are, and that it’s those things that make us who we are.
“The fashion world is showing that beauty isn’t defined by how ‘flawless’ we are, and that it’s those things that make us who we are
These influential brands are therefore working to change the perceptions of beauty, with Missguided’s head of brand saying, “we feel we have a strong sense of social responsibility to support young women and inspire confidence. So we’re on a mission to do just that by showing our audience it’s okay to be yourself, embrace your ‘flaws,’ celebrate individuality, and not strive for what the world perceives as perfection. Because basically, it doesn’t exist.’
Notable brands like Hollister have also started including plus-sized models on their website alongside other models and not restricted to their own section. For a brand such as Hollister to start doing this shows that the public’s plea to have models that aren’t all size 8 is starting to be heard. Hopefully, this means that we’re one step closer to achieving what people want by removing ‘plus-sized’ sections altogether, and simply expanding the size range in the main section so that some people aren’t limited to the small clothing choice that’s currently available to them.
The rise of influential models like Winnie Harlow who has the skin condition vitiligo shows how much models are diversifying from the stereotype we think of. Her success has brought her millions of followers and inspired many others to reconsider the traditional views of beauty in the modelling world.
“Models are finally beginning to represent all women in society in a way where we can actually relate to them
The AW18 fashion shows showed a lot more inclusiveness, with diversity levels slowly increasing in terms of more ethnic minority groups being included, New York with a 37.32% diversity percentage and London with 34.56%. Though non-white models are still the minority on the catwalks, this does show some progression for the modelling world.
Models are finally beginning to represent all women in society in a way where we can actually relate to them. This means that our ‘flaws’ are more accepted and no longer something we should be hiding as influential models redefine our old-fashioned, and let’s face it, unrealistic definitions of beauty.