One thing that the fashion industry has always done wrong: shown women what they “need” to look like naturally. Intentionally or unintentionally, set unrealistic expectations which have fueled low self-esteem and bruised the confidence of several. Luckily 2017 has changed that and embraced the mantra of inclusivity.
Now no more is anyone, man or woman or trans, bound by those iron shackles that the media once made them wear. Sure, there’s a lot more that needs to be done. But with an incredible start like this, we’ll get there soon.
The idea that a lady can only be of a certain size, fit a particular mold to be able to feel and look beautiful. The concept that if you’re not white, you’re not attractive. These barriers have been broken and big names have genuinely started welcoming everyone in their sphere of representation.
While being overweight is risky for health, it is not set in stone that everyone should have a sculpted body or a pale complexion. Health at one side and beauty standards at another. This year though is coming to an end with all smiles and unicorns for many.
Magazines, fashion retailers, brands, and models have all represented or spoken for the right of every individual to feel comfortable in his own skin. After all, beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Beauty doesn’t have a gender.
This year we saw Teen Vogue and Allure nod inclusivity. Beauty moguls like Rihanna, Huda Kattan, and Pat McGrath saluted the concept. Maybelline and Rimmel London contributed greatly too. Brands like Forever 21 and Nike made sure that plus size women are not only properly represented but also that these women who are not at the thinner end of the spectrum feel welcomed with clothing that is not limited to a few set sizes.
Curvy women felt accepted and understood. What stood out of these all was the role the Rude Boy songstress played; her makeup range set an example and featured not just shades for every skin tone but featured more models of color than white ones.
About this move of hers, Rihanna told Refinery 29, “I wanted things that I love, then I also wanted things that girls of all skin tones could fall in love with. In every product I was like, ‘There needs to be something for a dark-skinned girl; there needs to be something for a really pale girl; there needs to be something in-between.’”
She further added, “There’s red undertones, green undertones, blue undertones, pink undertones, yellow undertones—you never know, so you want people to appreciate the product and not feel like: ‘Oh that’s cute, but it only looks good on her.’”
This wasn’t just a marketing tactic from the Queen of music and perhaps 2017’s throne-owner of the beauty industry. That’s because Rihanna was not expecting the response that the audience gave to her. As proud as her fans are, she’s also pretty drunk on all the appreciation she is getting.
About the response that Fenty Beauty got, she told Time, “I never could have anticipated the emotional connection that women are having with the products and the brand as a whole. Some are finding their shade of foundation for the first time, getting emotional at the counter. That’s something I will never get over.”
Not just the commoners but big names, bloggers, celebrities, everyone is obsessed with their Fenty products. Glossier is another makeup company that has taken the anthem of inclusivity seriously.
ASOS’s debut cosmetics collection’s campaign didn’t just feature women but men too. The e-retailer’s accompanying press release read, “There are no rules or limits, just endless ways to be you.” Genderless makeup has taken a step up, with cosmetics giants like Mac, Milk Makeup, and Kat Von D, shaking hands with men and showcasing that makeup doesn’t have to be just for the females.
Models from different races or different colors have been given space for representation by Sephora, Covergirl, and Fenty Beauty. Missguided’s campaign #MakeYourMark made sure to display stretch marks and normalize something that most people have. Because there is no point in hiding; makeup and fashion are for fun, but not for feeling unhappy with who you are and what you look like.
Ashley Graham surprised once again as she became the first plus-size model to grace the runway for the Michael Kors show. Premme launched this year, selling out amazing new pieces each month that target women of all shapes.
Project Runway opened doors to variety. Now it features 22 curvy models. Victoria’s Secret was slammed for not being inclusive. Both model Tabria Majors and Ashley Graham took to Instagram to point out this lack of diversity that the lingerie line holds.
Fashion Weeks were more inclusive than ever. Brands have finally understood that by catering to the needs of the all types of people, they can actually make more profits. Here’s to hoping that 2018 has more of all these positive vibes. More acceptance.
Graham pretty much summed up the need for representing curvy people when she said, “I’m walking on the runway in lingerie, these photos will go all over the world. I’ve got cellulite, I’ve got back fat. I told myself to get over it. I’m doing this for all the young girls and boys who have ever had an insecurity or ever thought they weren’t good enough. This is why I do the show.”