We are constantly bombarded with images, movies, advertising, and social media posts, but rarely do we really see ourselves reflected in them. Having people who represent all parts of the population is a step towards a fairer, healthier, and more loving world.
Oftentimes, people believe that fashion is a superficial industry detached from what is actually happening in the world, it actually manifests the moment that we are experiencing as a society. We are surrounded by images that serve as a record of our history and identity, so, the fashion industry—in its catwalks, advertising campaigns and magazine covers–speaks to all of us and not just to a very small segment of the population.
We have historically seen white, blonde people in campaigns around the world and classify as “exotic beauty” brown skin and indigenous features. This is why beauty ideals have become so skewed and many people do not see themselves identified in the media. When this happens, people can come to think that their bodies are not valuable, and societies perpetuate racist, classist, ableist, misogynistic, sexist and homophobic beliefs and attitudes.
Little by little the industry has been changing and we are seeing more diversity that reflects how the world really is. A good example of this is Sofía Jirau, the first Victoria’s Secret model with Down Syndrome. The 25-year-old Puerto Rican has gone down in history by becoming an angel of the famous lingerie brand, through the “Love Cloud Collection” inclusion campaign. We have also seen models on the covers of magazines such as Vogue or Elle, an example is Paloma Elsesser who has defied all beauty standards with her curvy body or Valentina Sampalo, a trans model who has starred in covers and campaigns. The model Beverly Johnson was also a pioneer, being the first African-American woman to appear on the cover of Vogue in 1974. Her appearance influenced the course of fashion—with the launch of her cover, more models, makeup artists, photographers and designers got opportunities in the industry.
It is time to normalize and visualize an inclusive future in all aspects of our lives, starting with what we consume, support, and consider “beautiful.” Goodbye to stereotypes, hello to diversity!