It’s a breath of fresh air to hear about diversity and inclusion frequently – it’s not just a seasonal trending topic. Its growing, robust roots are here to stay. Many organisations are now dedicating themselves to open dialogue and promoting awareness about society being fairly represented. Breaking down these barriers is no different in the modelling industry.
Breaking the beauty norm
What was once the traditional beauty standard and norm, is not so any longer thanks to people stepping forward and pushing for positive change. This drive is now shaping the industry in a way that has never been done before, and we are now seeing successful diverse models making it into mainstream media. Models like Precious Lee, Anok Yai, Bella & Gigi Hadid, and Sherry Shi demonstrate how the modelling industry has diversified and become inclusive of those who are different to the standard textbook model.
Initiatives taking charge
Forward-thinking initiatives such as All Walks Beyond The Catwalk set up in 2009, have aimed to challenge the limited and unachievable-for-all beauty and body ideals. Caryn Franklin, Debra Bourne and Erin O’Connor have since participated in several parliamentary campaigns, and also presented their program at thirty-three colleges and universities and voicing their wish for changing the beauty standards in the modelling industry looking for a broader range of ages, body sizes, shapes, abilities and ethnicities.
In addition to this, DiversityNow! is another initiative running since 2013 in association with i-D Magazine, where full-time or part-time college students in any fashion-related course including journalism, photography and illustration can receive the DiversityNow! Award. This has been set up to motivate young creatives to think into account diversity within their work.
Going beyond fashion
Non-profit organisations that provide social inclusion workshops, training and consultancy services such as Diversify, The Diversity Trust, and the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (enei) exist to break down barriers and stereotypes so that a more realistic representation of society can be demonstrated not just in industries such as fashion and media but across other business sectors.
We’re living through very interesting times and even though there is a lot of negativity poured into our digital world, there’s a whole world of positivity too. You just have to look (and not so hard either) and you’ll see and experience it. Now more than ever diversity and inclusion are a positive force to be reckoned with, becoming louder and being incorporated into all aspects of business, life, and most definitely in the modelling industry!
Take a look at some of our blogs where diverse models have been booked for amazing assignments!