Every day, we are surrounded by pictures that suggest supposed ideals—the best car, the ultimate bag, the one and only chocolate bar, and of course, the perfect body. There’s a problem here, but it’s not the advertisements per se. What is highly problematic is how those pictures distort our self-perception and feed into feelings of insecurity and dissatisfaction. Since the rise of the fast fashion and diet industries, most ads spotlight one thing—the physical body. And what society has presented us with as ‘normal’ might very well represent less than one per cent of the world’s population! For decades, we have been bombarded by pictures of non-disabled, white, thin, cisgender bodies, and something has to give. So, what needs to change? The answer is simple: include more body positivity and diversity in fashion and beyond.
Movement become mantra
Body positivity is deeply rooted in the fat liberation movement that started in the 1960s. The aim was to begin celebrating fat bodies, especially of women, and thereby smashing the stigma around fatness. The movement, which boldly called attention to the medical industry’s fatphobia, was largely driven by exceptional organising from feminist and queer groups. Many positive aspects of fair fashion brands endorsing and promoting body positivity are owed to political activists’ work pushing back against the oppression of marginalised groups. Since then, many have rightfully mentioned that #bopo has lost some of its radical nature and nowadays often misses the mark to continue the fight. Rather than simply focusing on fatness vs thinness, the movement ought to include people of all shapes, sizes, genders, colours, and abilities.
Below you can find some of the fair fashion brands inspiring us by celebrating diversity in fashion with consistent representation, not just tokenisation. These brands are leading the charge on body positivity and inclusivity in fashion.