The Fashion World Is Changing So You Don’t Have To
Feb 18 2017
By Featured Style & Beauty Blogger: Beth Cheney
Recently, the world of fashion has been reinventing itself. Small steps towards inclusiveness has brought confidence to many young girls and women, including myself. Long gone are the days of skinny, tall, white girls standing alone as fashion icons. There’s nothing wrong with these women, because they, too, exist and deserve representation; but now is the time for women of color, plus-size women, disabled women—women with obvious differences from the mainstream—to get their representation.
Ruby Rose, Ashley Graham, and Winnie Harlow are a few of the more well known diverse models. Rose, who represents the LGBTQIA+ community, is an androgynous beauty who is perhaps best known for her role in Orange Is the New Black. Graham, a plus-size model, has made major strides in the modeling industry. She even starred in a DNCE music video alongside Joe Jonas (swoon!). Winnie Harlow, a striking beauty with vitiligo, shot to fame when she appeared on season 21 of America’s Next Top Model. Although these women are creating an amazing impact and inspiring millions of impressionable young people, we must admire the diversity amongst models on a smaller level.
Rain Dove, Photo Courtesy of buzzfeed.com
Rain Dove (formerly Jon Premosch), a firefighter turned fashion model, is a self proclaimed gender capitalist who uses they/them pronouns. They model as both a man AND a woman, using their androgyny to capitalize on job opportunities. Dove has been open about their relationship with sexuality and gender, which in turn, has opened many doors for them in the alternative and mainstream modeling scenes.
Philomena Kwao, Photo Courtesy of jagmodels.com
Philomena Kwao is the face of Swimsuit For All’s #SwimSexy campaign. London-born and New York-raised, Philomena has not neglected her African roots. Plus size, dark skin, and striking features make her one of my absolute favorite fashion icons.
Tess Holiday, Photo Courtesy of Instagram
Tess Holliday, formerly Tess Munster, is a plus-size model, mother, and body modification enthusiast. While some plus-size models are just a size eight or ten, Tess wears a size 22. Her curves, cellulite, and rolls don’t stop her from wearing what she feels and looks best in. The mother of two has made headlines for promoting body positivity in the fashion world.
Diandra Forrest, Photo Courtesy of omgvoice.com
Diandra Forrest is an albino African model. In 2016, she made headlines for carrying her newborn daughter down the catwalk. This was not the first time she appeared in the spotlight. Forrest modeled throughout her pregnancy, and before that, gained notoriety as she capitalized on her albinism. Her one-of-a-kind look has only pushed her further in her successful career.
Just a few years ago, the fashion world was an extremely different place. The only models we saw—in catalogs, on posters, and on the runway—were tall, slender white women. Now is the time to give equal representation to all women, celebrating all body types, faiths, skin tones, and abilities. Gone are the days of longing to look like the women you see; now is the time to be you!
The diversity being exhibited in the fashion world is creating a revival of self love and positivity. Representation is crucial! And finally, we are at a time where everyone is accounted for. The fashion world has made major strides towards the inclusiveness we all crave and need; perhaps because you never had to change in the first place.
Author, Elizabeth Cheney, 16
Aspiring writer, avid reader, intersectional feminist. Lover of all things music and the arts. Big city dreamer.