Diversity Finally Fashionable in Industry

Mathya Clay, Staff Writer

Racism, color-ism, and fat shaming are some of the many issues that aspiring models throughout the years have dealt with in the fashion industry. Models are expected to have an “ideal” look, the “ideal” look being whatever is most accepted by society. In 2017 and 2018, this look may no longer be as ideal.

It is well known that in past years, the fashion world has not been perfect. Many models have spoken about their encounters with racism, starvation, colorism, and more inside of the fashion industry. Small or large, almost all fashion industries have some form of bias standards.

For instance, in the past years Victoria Secret has gained backlash for its lack of diversity. According to NBC San Diego, Ashley Graham, a plus sized model, had made sarcastic comments like, ”Got my wings!” to make fun of the size restrictions for Victoria Secret models. (Victoria Secret is big for having angel wings on their runway shows although, Ashley Graham was referring to another runway show she was involved in.) Such arguments and comments close to Graham are continuously being made. Some in the fashion industry are making little to no effort to change. However, it seems majority is overruling.

Multiple sources from the website The Fashion Spot show data of the percentage of non-white, plus- size, and transgender/ non- binary, models increasing since 2015 by over 30 percent. Diverse people have been playing big roles in runway and showcase fashion recently. New York Fashion Week is proof. Rihanna’s Fashion Week showcases included of models different races and sizes. It even featured a model who was nine months pregnant. It seems as if the fashion industry is on the path to becoming more open minded to different looks.

“It’s a shame that women have to feel insecure or self-conscious about how their bodies look,” Rihanna said, according to The Irish Times. That statement is very powerful and truthful. Both young boys and girls think less of themselves because of the high standards of beauty.

The diversity showcased in this year’s New York Fashion Week and current ad campaigns for brands such as Fenty, Tommy Hilfiger, and Calvin Klein showed that the world is changing. In hopefully a few years, beauty standards will not be restricted to one look or stereotype. At that point, standards will not be related with beauty.

Norristown is diverse and beautiful. People are of multiple ethnicities, sizes, and races. No one should have to think that they cannot be a model because of a beauty standard. If you decide to pursue a career in fashion, take it with confidence, knowing that no restrictions are standing in your way.