I can’t think of any woman, young or old, skinny or curvy and of any race/color/ethnicity, not have being affected by body image at one point in their lives, or harbor life-long doubts about their physical appearance. C’mon, even first lady, Michelle Obama’s looks where changed to be more beautiful. And lets not forget Duchess Kate Middleton, who swindled her body size down after becoming royalty. And why am I leaving out men, too? It seems we’re all affected by the way we look, labels we’ve been given and the fashion industry’s history of relentless images of women like Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Gisele Bunduchen, Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kendell Jenner and all of the Victoria’s Secret models to be what many women see as the epitome of beauty, up until recently. Ashley Graham is one women who has walked the runway for VS that is atypical in body size.
Designers certainly have influenced those of us concerned with our appearance, to look to who they’re sending down the runways for what is deemed attractive. However, many newcomers are setting the pace to be more inclusive. Good American jeans by Khloe Kardashian and Emma Grede seems to be listening to their customers. Their inclusive line, which ranges from $159-$169 is still high-end, but is still working on attempts to improve client experience. The setting of the new tone is in part due to the reigning top, long-standing list of major fashion labels – the designers whose clothes have just now started to be sent down runways on all body types and skin colors – besetting the inclusivity. It probably is, sadly, yet another marketing tactic. But I hope there is some genuine interest in women helping women and men these days.
In the movement to more inclusivity in the cosmetic industry, Rhianna came out with Fenty by Rhianna, offering foundation in 40 shades. She now has a underwear lined intended for the same countless sizes and shapes. Many women have not seen this as a tool to sell to more people, but as a genuine attempt to not exempt anyone from enjoying makeup and clothing. I’ve heard the stories of even dark-skinned fashion models having to mix up their own formulas to use on themselves and other models backstage in the past, or being told they were too dark to need foundation at the beauty counter. A lot of models have spoke up about the pressures to be thin in the industry. I think the movement is away from any label applied to women’s bodies, such as skinny, full-figured or even athletic. It tends to breed negative comments associated with these labels. (I’ve heard men say that if a woman says she’s athletic, then expect her not to have a chest.) I can’t think of any woman or man, young or old, skinny or full-figured and of any race/color/ethnicity, not being affected by body image in some way.
I’ve blogged about Khloe Kardashian and Emma Grede’s line, Good American before. I’ve binged-watched “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” and I think Khloe, despite what we can judge her for, really enjoys seeing women of all types appreciate their bodies and find some sisterhood in a newly, all-inclusive environment such as fashion!
So after realizing that most of their returns were between the sizes of 14 and 16 in their line, Khloe and Emma created a new size, size 15. Designed to be the size where neither curvy or straight fits, the sort of breaking point.
What are your thoughts – is this honest desire for inclusivity – or another way to just find a niche in the fashion world? I’m hopeful that designers have a sincerity about an industry that is historically, based on a person’s looks alone, and that it has reinvented itself not to make more money, but to make more women and men feel they are attractive and represented!