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Body Positivity and its Recent Rise in the Fashion Industry

It is safe to assume that every person has had struggles with their body confidence at some point. This can be blamed on unrealistic beauty standards pushed by society through many mediums, one of the most prominent being the fashion industry. However, it is no secret that the fashion industry has a history of excluding most bodies. Though the industry has gone through many waves of different preferences, the common denominator of what fashion has called ideal has been being white, tall, and thin. However, with the rise of the Body Positivity Movement, the fashion industry has been forced to challenge its exclusive past and push the boundaries of what it considers to be beautiful. 

The Body Positive Movement was created to help people with marginalized bodies feel worthy of loving themselves. Bodies of different sizes, races, abilities, gender identities, and more have been excluded from the media’s perception of beauty, which is what prompted the movement. Now that body positivity is dominant in mainstream media, the old fashion industry expectations are not as widely and blindly expected, and thus so many beautifully unique bodies have been shown in the spotlight. While there is still a long way to go in terms of societal expectations and body positivity, there has been a big, beautiful boom in the fashion industry. But how has this happened? Lucky for you, we have a few events that enforced body positivity within fashion that you should be aware of.

 

Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty

Queen Rihanna has not only dominated the music industry but she also created a beauty brand that exponentially embraces diversity. Her brand Fenty is so inclusive that it exposes the lack of inclusivity in the beauty and fashion industry, thus pushing more brands to grow their diversity. Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty 2020 Fashion show shined the spotlight on body positivity immensely through having plus-size models, racially diverse models, pregnant models, transgender models, and overall more diversity than any other mainstream show in the past. The excitement for the show and the praise afterward was well deserved, as it made a conscious and rare effort to make everybody watching the show feel beautiful while watching it. This moment in combination with the backlash ending the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is sparking a new meaning of beautiful in the fashion industry. 

Models: On the Runway and On Instagram

Models have been breaking the mold of what beauty is to mainstream media, and it’s amazing to see. Instagram models like Ali Tate, Paloma Elesser, and Megan Jayne Crabbe have built entire social media followings based on their openness with their true bodies regardless of how mainstream media perceives them. Their differences from the mainstream model script have gathered millions of devoted followers who relate to them personally. Additionally, plus-size runway models like Ashley Graham, Tess Holliday, Charli Howard, and Tara Lynn have made huge impacts in high-end fashion by openly expressing issues within the industry and embracing their differences from societal expectations. Runway models and Instagram models have been breaking molds and gathering praise for their diverse bodies amidst the strict rules. 

Brands Moving Forward

Since the movement’s popularity rose, many fashion brands have dedicated campaigns and messages towards body positivity. For example, the clothing brand ASOS has over 30 different sizes for all of their clothing all for the same price and features models of all sizes in their clothing on their website. Similarly, the clothing brand H&M features models with no airbrushing of stretch marks or blemishes, thus promoting the normalization and support of real bodies.  

 

Overall, body positivity is here and present in fashion, and while there is still a lot more progress to be made in terms of normalization and acceptance, the industry is incorporating much-needed diversity that should be embraced.