Two words that are trending when we discuss the progress in the fashion industry are diversity and inclusivity. The purpose of fashion is not just to sell clothes. It is also to inculcate self-empowerment and personal identity. The art form will not be able to fulfill its true purpose if it lacks diversity and inclusion. Racism and white supremacy have always been a struggle for people of other races. Hence, ‘The Diversity Project’ aims to promote equality, not only in terms of color but also in terms of height, size, etc. ‘The Diversity Project’ at World Model Hunt promotes an inclusive community by providing a positive environment for young models.
Diversity is the key
The fashion industry is mainly dominated by tall and thin models. Therefore, many brands fail to include models of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Since only a small percentage of the population matches those characteristics, many people are unable to see how the clothing will look in person. This needs to change. Besides including the different sizes, it is also important to include models of many different races and ethnicities. The beauty of the world lies in diversity. No one can make a better world alone, therefore it is important to be diverse and inclusive in our approach.
Abolishing white supremacy
Fashion brands have heavily relied on European beauty standards to promote their products for decades. The beauty standard includes light eyes, fair skin, and straight hair. Fashion has a history of only featuring white faces. There was no space for diversity in magazines, billboards, or behind the scenes. In consequence, women of color are not well represented on catwalks and in advertising campaigns. Hence, racist ideologies are often replicated in plain sight. It is time to say goodbye to white supremacy. Other races deserve equal representation on boards, in management, and creative spaces.
Need for inclusivity
When it comes to inclusivity, the fashion industry still has a long way to go. We may discuss the lack of diversity when we consider race, gender, size, or disability. There is a tendency to believe that inclusivity has to start on the runway, in the boardroom, or editorial spreads. The changes are necessary, but if we truly hope to disrupt social norms in the fashion industry, we must start in the classroom, so that tomorrow’s children learn how to accept all types of bodies.
Increasing representation is one of the main reasons to be more diverse and inclusive. Hollywood and the cosmetics industry also struggle with representation. As people cannot find anyone who resembles them, many of them feel unrepresented. Many debates have erupted in Hollywood recently over the number of white actors and directors winning awards. It is also unsettling to see straight actors portraying LGBTQ+ characters. The people of these communities do not feel represented on screen. The same can be said for clothing. Including diverse models and sizes, on the other hand, will make people feel more represented in the fashion industry. Every consumer deserves to feel represented in the fashion industry.
Embrace diversity with inclusivity
It is commonly believed that diversity, followed by inclusivity, is the first step. Inclusion involves making your workforce more diverse, including more sizes in-store and on your website. Whereas, diversity means having models of different races. Diversity should be the goal of every company, regardless of its size. A major component of fashion is expressing oneself. But, unfortunately, there are currently many people who cannot express themselves fully. Nevertheless, brands will not be the sole source of change. Consumers hold a great deal of power and should be conscious of what and who they support. Hence, ‘The Diversity Project’ is not just for the people who belong to the entertainment industry. It is also for the people who believe in spreading awareness about unjust practices and taking steps towards abolishing them. If this project succeeds, the day when the perception of beauty changes will not be obscure.