The need for diversity within the fashion industry, as well as the media as a whole is a discussion that is often talked about. I was recently reading the Sydney Morning Herald, and came across an article titled: Skinny models and Photoshopped images are hurting women. As I was reading it, I thought that it explained it quite well. There are images that are unrealistic – yet they are exposed to us and created into a norm. In the video it mentions “France is now banning excessively thin fashion models. Violators will be fined up to $75,000 Euros..and could even face jail time. The law will enforce regular weight checks. Models will be required to present a medical certificate showing that their Body Mass Index complies with regulations, before being allowed to work.”
I do agree that it wouldn’t be right to have people who are underweight or have an eating disorder to work within the industry. However, the only concern I have is the accuracy of BMI’s. There is a difference between people who are naturally thin and people who try to achieve this body shape. It is also not right (as previously written in the skinny theory), to tell someone “You’re too skinny” or “She’s too fat.” The reason being is that some people are naturally that size. The video explains how France does not want to have models who may be more suspected to an eating disorder, nor do they want to be encouraging people to be underweight.
As I type my information, the calculator tells me I’m underweight, even though I’m healthy. Throughout the years, my BMI is considered underweight, which is similar to Iskra Lawrence’s case, when she was considered overweight as a model, but she works out and eats healthy. This is because BMI doesn’t take into account age, gender and muscle mass.
Previously, I wrote about how we need Racial Diversity in the Fashion Industry. The growing influence of social media and the fashion industry, means there are good and bad influences. The bad being the alteration of images with photoshop and the idolising of one body type. There are influential people who are obese or have an eating disorder that are popular on social media. Even though we truly do need to embrace all body types – health must comes first. The good is the message of embracing different body types and spreading a positive message on body love and health. I think we can all relate to this. As individuals we all have our insecurities. However, I find it disconcerting when people put emphasis on #goals at a persons body image. It puts the importance on the way we look even more so.
Acceptance is key. When we have diversity, we are inviting acceptance, as our differences are no longer hidden, but acknowledged. I believe the change may be slow, but it will gradually happen as long as we continue to question why beauty is narrowly defined. My general question is why thin, white and tall models is seen as the ideal beauty in fashion? Sure, sample sizes that are smaller, require less money and material, and thin models tend to showcase clothing the way a mannequin can display clothing. The reality is that the mass majority of the population are not the same size. We cannot fit into that platform because we are not all the same. We need to accept that there are different body shapes, the way we should accept someone’s sexuality or race.
I feel that young women should grow up knowing that they are beautiful the way they are. That they shouldn’t have to think of any alternate way to be, but simply themselves. I feel like people should be told to love themselves, which seems so obvious, yet the world we live in often aims at bringing us down in order to gain money through our insecurities.
“Women all over the world are evaluated and oppressed because of their appearance. Age, size, skin tone and appearance of genitals are political issues” – Caryn Franklin
Spreading body positivity and realising that being healthy and yourself is the best you can be is liberating, and needs to be spread in the fashion industry. Everybody is different. Every body is beautiful.