Whether we like it or not, we are often bombarded by fashion trends – even if we are not fashion junkies. We are subject to styles and trends because when we need new clothes, we often get them in stores – and most of the time, they sell the latest styles. Hence, we also put bodily expectations based on women on billboards and how they look like. What happens then?
We narrow down on what is acceptable for our bodies.
Elements like love handles, muffin tops, stretch marks, cellulite, scars – those are abhorred!
However, the reality is that most, if not all humans, have them. So why put that expectation on women? Are we dolls to be sold as a plaything? If we are, we should have barcodes attached to our bodies – but we don’t!
And it is time for us to accept our bodies – flaws and all.
Today, we shine a light at companies, big and small who, realising this have established campaigns to educate and market fashion using REAL bodies, not photoshopped ones.
Claiming 2019 as the year for women, Nike has made its debut at the Oscars with Dream Crazier; a film that highlights women athletes who have broken barriers and seeks to inspire future generations. Featuring big names in the sports industry such as Serena Williams, Simone Biles and Chloe Kim it is certainly making waves.
However, Nike is not stopping there. New launches are in the timeline. The Nike Explore Team Sport Research Lab is currently running research and tests to understand women’s bodies and how to design sportswear that will help their athletic performance. The Motion Adapt Bra is an example of a hyper-adaptive and comfortable sports bra that uses a special fabric that becomes more supportive as an activity gets more intense.
Stay Wild Swim
This swimwear comes with a rather hefty price tag – but all in good cause. Stay Wild Swim is a brand based in London that makes swimwear for all sizes, using regenerated plastic collected from the ocean – yes, killing two birds with one stone. Designed to flatter women of all sizes and putting sustainability into their pieces, co-founders Natalie Glaze and Zanna van Dijk are ‘water babies’ that grew up with a deep connection with marine life. Marrying body-positive branding by not editing ‘flaws’ on their models and highlighting women of all shapes and sizes, their swimwear is also functional. Swimwear with thick straps and supportive elastic under bands make it a choice piece for bigger busted ladies – so yes, now everyone can swim!
Savage X Fenty
When it comes to diversity, Rihanna is determined to ensure everyone is included with her brand. After her successes with Fenty Beauty and Fenty x Puma, Rihanna slays again with an ultra-sexy lingerie line that is all about feeling good in one’s own skin. No matter your size, there is surely a Savage X Fenty lingerie for you.
Audrey Ritchie, a plus-size model and also one of the faces of the brand explained that even with ‘giant’ bosoms she was able to feel appealing in the lingerie styles. Their bra sizes range from a 32A to a 44DD with underwear sizes ranging from XS to 3XL.
Not only that, Rihanna shut down the innerwear fashion runway with a line-up of models that range from the supermodel Hadid sisters, curvy models, pedestrians and two pregnant models!
Probably the trailblazer of body-positive, Aerie is a branch out of American Eagle Outfitters that has been preaching this news since 2014. Still spearheading forward, they have run a campaign using the hashtag #AerieReal that promotes no airbrushing and encourages shoppers to upload selfies of themselves to show off their true self.
Aiming to create a judgement-free and positive environment for all their consumers, they are looking to train sales assistants to fit customers for bras without tape measurements. Instead, they will guide customers towards a fit and not size.
As for social media representation, they have not been using Photoshop since 2016. Today they are stretching diversity to include models with illnesses and disabilities in their campaigns.
Work does not discriminate, everyone has got to work to earn money. However, workwear seems to discriminate! That is why former fashion editor and plus-size model Lauren Chan is taking matters into her own hands by coming up with a body-positive line of fashion-forward clothing gearing toward women in the workforce. She believes Henning, a line that will release in the final quarter of 2019 will be the answer.
Expect structured trench coats, button-down shirts and blazers to fit women that do not fit the regular sizes available in the market. Taking charge of your body and being able to feel confident in your work clothes will do wonders to confidence levels of women at the workplace – enabling them to feel as capable and powerful as they think they are.