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Bridging the gap in fashion diversity

It is hard to believe that diversity in fashion is still a topic for discussion. In such a culturally diverse world it seems shocking that the fashion industry continues to favour a certain stereotype when choosing models; white, young and slim.

Social media has played a huge role in bringing this diversity debate into the fore and is helping to fuel a change in our attitudes. The prejudices within the fashion industry are fast becoming more talked about. Social media platforms allow people to confidently share their views about an issue that has for so long been pushed to the side.

Long-held discriminations have been compounded by the continued assumption that in order to sell products, models need to fit a strict stereotype. Slowly, we have seen a trickling in of plus-size models and ethnic models, however very rarely do we see an older model on the runway. A large array of people in terms of size, ethnicity and age are buying fashion items, so it seems incongruous that they are not represented in the fashion shoots or on the runways.

Maybelline’s newest brand ambassador, model Herieth Paul, has recently voiced her opinion on this absence of diversity. Using her prominent position as Maybelline’s brand ambassador she plans to inspire diversity in the modelling industry. Paul’s ambition is to become a role model for diversity in fashion, setting an example to the rest of the world.

Not only are models supporting this desire for diversity but also some significant brands are showing their support. Selfridges have just launched their #EveryBODY campaign which celebrates diversity and the beauty of the female body. As a step against the strict stereotype Selfridges has used real women in their #EveryBODY shoot, championing the variety of beautiful people within in our society.

Although not all of us truly believe this, beauty comes from within. Therefore, we need to both acknowledge the diverse mixture of beautiful women within our society and believe in our own unique beauty. To really create diversity within the industry, we first truly need to believe that each and everyone of us has a beautiful quality.

To have a significant impact on the industry, change needs to come from all of us. We need to voice our desire to see a range of ethnicities, sizes and ages within the modelling world. Beauty is all around and it should not be narrowed down to one out-dated and narrow-minded stereotype.

What is the key to fuel further change in the fashion industry’s selection of models ? I would love to hear your views on this, please comment below.

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