It’s no secret that the fashion industry hasn’t been the best environment for body positivity to thrive. For as long as I can remember, brands have tailored to one type of body—usually tall, slim, cisgender, and generally white. There was always one image of what “looked good,” which caused many people to feel they had to hide their bodies if they didn’t fit that image. It is only in the past few years that industry leaders are finally catching up to the new generations’ understanding that every body is a good body, despite age, gender, ability, and size. But even though the industry has made strides recently, there is a long way to go from here.
Retailers are starting to offer more plus-size options, but they often differ from and lack the creative range of their other collections. While designers have inclusive campaigns, they don’t necessarily translate to the size range of their actual collections available for consumers to shop. Influencers and fashion insiders may share inclusive messages on their social media channels, but they won’t bat an eye when a brand skyrockets to become an “It brand” but lacks in inclusivity.
The phrase body positivity has almost become a trope. Brands will use it and tell women that they should feel beautiful no matter their shape, but the size range they offer will say otherwise. As an editor, I have my own work to do on not only acknowledging my privilege as someone who has more products and media catered to me but also learning how I can share the true message of body inclusivity on my platform. Now, more than ever, it’s time for us to step out of our bubble and see how we can make any change wherever possible in our work and day-to-day lives. In an effort to find out what we can do better from all aspects of the sartorial world, I reached out to leaders in the industry who not only are vocal about fashion’s effect on body image but also have used their platforms and careers to add to the betterment of the industry as a whole.