by Rachel Warden
On the surface, many people view the fashion industry as something negative. Modeling is often generalized as young girls who stand at six feet tall with a flawless complexion, and weigh in at ninety pounds. However, this is not always the case. Within the last couple of years, the fashion industry has begun to change for the better; designers are beginning to cast models that are more relatable to the variety of everyday people.
Models, such as Cassandra Bankson, make a statement about what beauty and success truly are. As a young woman struggling with cystic acne, Cassandra worked hard to prove to the world that she could become a successful model despite her skin. After posting a video of herself on YouTube without a trace of makeup, she became a modeling sensation (See video).
Many girls struggling with acne now look up to her as a role model. Large cosmetic companies such as Sephora and E.l.f. collaborate with her to trade beauty secrets and develop product campaigns. Not only are things looking up in the United States, but there are also changes being made worldwide!
In Europe, another change was made when a clothing company called Pro Infirmis used disabled people as models to mold their mannequins after. The results were art and awareness. After the mannequins were manufactured, they were displayed proudly in the store window for all to see. The reactions were priceless. It was impossible for the shoppers to ignore the diverse mannequins. Upon completion of this project, the models were very pleased by how they looked. They showed a great sense of pride in seeing their bodies molded into something beautiful. By using these real people as mannequins, Pro Infirmis was able to display the beauty in diversity and to prove one simple point: nobody is perfect. Model and psychologist Danielle Sheypuk is a great example of how beauty has no boundaries. Last year she made a debut on the runway at New York Fashion Week as the first model in a wheel chair. Images of her began to spread like wildfire throughout the internet, touching the hearts of people across the states.
Although the fashion industry has a long way to go, change is already being put into motion. Yet, there are still many flaws in the advertising and fashion industry across the world. As consumers, the best thing that we could do is to look past these photo shopped images and look within our own beauty. Through these designers and models breaking the “mold” of society’s standard of beauty, imperfect, beautiful art is being created- beauty is being redefined.
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