Smooth skin, flawless smile, and a size 36 – standard in the world of fashion. However, something is changing in the meantime – more and more brands are discovering the value in model diversity and limiting photo retouches. Here we introduce brands who celebrate body positivity.
These days, self-love and body positivity are the words on everybody’s lips. We have the right to find ourselves beautiful, exactly the way we are. Things are trending clearly towards diversity. All bodies are good bodies and appearance should never be a reason for a person to be discriminated against, insulted or made to feel bad about themselves. This mode of thinking is brilliant and incredibly important. Unfortunately, media and fashion labels, both big and small, show us that diversity is not that important. These five labels are completely different.
#1 Dear Kate
The New York label Dear Kate specializes in lingerie and activewear, which uses special technology to offer a new level of confidence during periods. The pieces are simple yet functional. With the slogan, “We bleed. We sweat. And we don’t let anything hold us back,” Dear Kate describes their agenda to a tee: secure and comfortable clothing for any situation. The brand also sets itself apart with ads free of retouching and highlighting diversity. Yeah!
The lingerie brand Aerie is an offshoot of American Eagle Outfitters and has long been known for their celebration of body positivity. In 2014, the “Aerie Real” campaign highlighted models of all sizes, with all body types and skin colors, as well as tattoos, scars and pigmentation spots. Since then the lingerie brand has also become known for their refusal to photoshop pictures or hide so-called blemishes. I found one picture of a model on the home page especially relatable, as she had large bruises on her leg. I often have the very same bruises of my own.
GRRRL is one of the few labels I know that does not offer standard sizes. The American activewear label gave itself the challenge to make all women feel good and that begins with size-related stigma. A precise list of the measurements helps you to choose the right items and, just in case it’s confusing, the “sizes” are modeled by and named after athletes. Sport bras and leggings are the main focus, but there also printed shirts with phrases like “Lift like a GRRRL.”
Rebdolls created the 2015 #sexyforall campaign with the goal of ending the idea that sexiness is limited to particular clothing sizes. Every person can and should be able to dress sexily, it comes down to personal taste and should not be dictated by the number on a clothes tag. With this motto in mind, Rebdolls offers modern fashion in sizes ranging from small to 5X.
As of 2017, ASOS no longer retouches any photos of their models. Any stretch marks, bumps and scars remain clearly visible. ASOS serves now as a role model for other big clothing companies, as photo editing and retouching remains the industry norm. But wait, there’s more – the British online store also offers a wide variety of sizes and fits for every body type. Finally, people with shorter legs can find pants that actually fit. The “short-legged” amongst us know exactly what I am talking about.
And finally, I will leave you with a tip. Many smaller brands put a lot of effort into their products to ensure they meet individual needs. Support the smaller labels and you are likely to become one of the individuals that they are catering to. It benefits both sides.