London Fashion Week is a big event in the calendars of models, photographers, designers and general fashionistas. It’s a great chance to show off some creativity and to connect with others and network. It does have its flaws though. Apart from the problems of fast fashion impacting the environment, there are also problems with the lack of diversity and inclusivity on the runways. In a previous blog post, I talk about The Importance of Diversity and I included examples of where advertising has become more inclusive – which is great and about time. But the problem goes further than that. If we want fashion and the media to change completely, we need to incorporate the same philosophy to our runways! (See below:)
I had the privilege of being invited to take part in Love Disfigure’s protest: ‘London Fashion WEAK’. Why did I do this? Why am I walking around London in my underwear? Because we need change. Yes, the campaigns/adverts on TV and magazines are slowly starting to change but it’s not enough. What about all the other ‘fashion events’ that make an impact on how we feel on our bodies? What about designers? Why can’t these change too? As Sylvia Mac said on Saturday, the models on London’s runways haven’t changed since 1989 – that’s 30 years. The world has changed dramatically since then.
Why can’t diversity be on London’s runways as well? Why can’t we see something different than the same model copy and pasted again and again.
I am not shaming these models or saying that they’re not worth celebrating because everyBODY is. But a runway shouldn’t be reserved for just models who are tall and skinny. Because the average women doesn’t necessarily look the same as them! Shouldn’t fashion be available for everyone, regardless of how they look? There are young people who feel as though they have to look like that in order to be happy and successful in life – in order to be admired and loved. It is putting an almost impossible ideal in front of us that is making us feel as though we ‘have to conform’ to it as that is ‘perfection’ – apparently. But it’s not! Perfection doesn’t have a specific look/size/shape/ethnicity/gender/ability etc. We are all unique; the world would be so boring if we were the same! We did, though, meet some amazing people on Saturday who are just as committed as creating a change as well. Fashion should empower us. Not shame us.
For the last year or so, I’ve never been so happy and content with how I look. Despite my thighs touching, my belly rolls, stretchmarks, scars, cellulite and, of course, stoma bag. And I never thought I’d be able to feel that way. The thing is, there’s never been a thing wrong with my body! And there’s nothing wrong with yours either – it’s just all these different things in society that tell us ‘we have to look a certain way’ in order to be loved and love ourselves. But, plot twist: guess what? You don’t need to change!
London needs to have a more variety of people on their runways – why haven’t they when New York Fashion Week was so much more inclusive of different bodies this year?! What’s going on London?! Have a whole variety of models so people know it’s okay to look the way they look naturally. So they know that they don’t have to starve themselves. So they don’t go on crash diets and exercise until they faint. So they don’t go under the knife just because they feel as though they aren’t good enough.