Fashion Fights Body-Shaming With More Diverse Models

By Sara Bauknecht
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) From fashion shows to photo shoots, more designers and brands are doing their part to help ensure that women of many shapes and sizes see reflections of themselves on the runway.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In the wake of last month’s presidential debate, “body-shaming” has become one of the media’s favorite buzzwords.

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton criticized her Republican opponent Donald Trump for calling Alicia Machado, the 1996 Miss Universe pageant winner, “Miss Piggy” and “an eating machine” because she had gained some weight.

Since then, around-the-clock news networks have played the soundbites on a loop and tapped dozens of commentators to opine on the topic.

Meanwhile, the fashion community has been leading its own conversations about body- and weight-shaming, in hopes of making it a thing of the past. From fashion shows to photo shoots, more designers and brands are doing their part to help ensure that women of many shapes and sizes see reflections of themselves on the runway and in ad campaigns.

At New York Fashion Week last month, 16 plus-size models walked the runway, making it the most body-positive season ever, according to the Fashion Spot’s Runway Diversity Report.

“I just wanted to have different sizes. That’s all it was,” designer Christian Siriano told NBC’s “Today” Style. He cast five full-figured models for his spring 2017 runway show. “But it’s great that it made such an impact.”

Eight transgender models and a number of models older than 50 also were featured, the report said. Retail chain J.Crew and designer Tracy Reese celebrated their customers’ individuality by inviting everyday people to take part in their fashion week presentations.

“They are friends of the brand, members of our team and all people we admire. They range in age from 13 to 70,” J.Crew creative director and president Jenna Lyons said about the models. “They’re students and parents and grandparents.

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