The fashion world and body positivism

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In 2009 UK fashion designer, Mark Fast, sent plus-size models down the runway. Some members of his staff were so outraged that they quit.

With the recent news of Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch saying that “Fat people shouldn’t wear their clothes”  I thought I would talk about the world of fashion and body positivism.

Body positivism is a term used to describe someone who accepts the body for all shapes and sizes. The fashion industry has lacked in its body positivity. However, recently the fashion editorial world has taken a step in the right direction. Marie Clare publishes an article every issue called “Big Girl in a Skinny World” that focuses on trends someone can find in plus size sections. There have been multiple blogs popping up all over the Internet that focus on body positivity.

The fashion world has been commonly known as having distinct physical qualifications. To be a model, you have to be a certain height and a certain weight. There is plus-size modeling but what the fashion world decided is “full figured” is not collectively agreed to such standards.

These blogs have helped multiple women find a voice. Some young women have decided to take actions into their own hands. After 14-year-old Julie Bluhm, organized a petition about magazines digitally altering their images of their models, Seventeen magazine created a Body Peace Treaty. The treaty was signed by various celebrities to encourage their young readers to feel more comfortable with their bodies and personal beauty.

Also in 2009, Glamour magazine published a photo of a naked, non-retouched plus size model. The photo was published as a way to let women feel comfortable in their bodies to see what an average sized body looks like under all that fashion.

But can an entire industry change and conform to a new idea of beauty after decades of routine?

How far does the fashion editorial publications affect the public’s body image?

“It’s better to be realistic than to give little kids (a certain image),” Alyssa Rodriguez, 19, fashion design and production major, said. “When I was in high school, I was thinking I would be skinny forever and that doesn’t work out so you look at all the models and think I wish there was someone like me.”

Does it want to change?

I think we need a change. How can we support and industry that does not support its loyal fashion fans?

“It’s not going to be a fast change at all. I mean…the whole world knows what they like already so to change something completely drastic is going to be pretty crazy.” Rodriguez said.

Well, maybe desperate times should call for drastic measures. In a time when self-esteem and teen suicides are at their all-time high, those responsible for body image need to change their ways of thinking to change the way we think.

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