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Inclusion in fashion: a tough topic

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

We've all probably seen the media's push to offer a more realistic and inclusive picture of human bodies during the previous decade. We're now seeing less photoshopping to erase cellulite, flaws, and even ribs in order to create the illusion of an "ideal" body type. We're seeing more unspoiled photography and a broader depiction of regular, everyday bodies in its stead.


However, as body positivity became more popular, a more conventional beauty ideal pushed women of color, women with disabilities, and transwomen out of the limelight. White women with hourglass proportions were referred to as role models.


It may be difficult to find language that doesn't insult, harm, or disrespect individuals while still being able to uncover and display pictures of diverse body types as our imagery and message shifts toward inclusion and a greater depiction of body diversity.



Inclusivity and media

How to see and speak about persons with curves is the most frequent body subject in today's media. Plus size has become a popular description in recent years. Still, it has the potential to be problematic since it presupposes a numerical baseline and that all persons who are larger than an established clothing size are considered "different."


Women recently desire to be characterized by their body form rather than their size. However, plus size remains a popular phrase with a position in the media, but as we, look for and use photos of curvaceous individuals, it is vital to consider combining plus size with a curve or curvy figure for more inclusion.


Today, the concept of beauty is evolving in a good direction. More individuals are letting go of body ideals and questioning the media's portrayal of them. The fashion industry is now starting to broaden its range, offering a variety of acceptable sizes in inclusive apparel businesses.


Despite these good developments, many of us still have body image issues. The demand to appear a particular way hasn't gone away, thanks to the rise of social media. Through social media, we are now exposed to more false expectations than ever before. As a result, a rising number of young girls are comparing their bodies to what they perceive to be perfection in their minds.


Social media, on the other hand, has provided a platform for people to celebrate their natural body types. With over 4.3 million hashtags, the word "body positivity" swept Instagram by storm in 2017.


Conclusion

As the number of persons who are classified as "plus-size" or "large and tall" continues to rise, we are seeing a shift in the "average" human's appearance. Rather than using language to indicate that curve models are the new norm, we may seek to eliminate the term "norm" altogether.


It is within our ability to begin shifting attitudes and taking responsibility for the messages we convey about body acceptance. Individuals can only do so much to overcome marginalization from representation and respect. The media has the power to influence public attitudes of body diversity and increase inclusivity.



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