An Epiphany about shifts in the Fashion Industry
As a PLUS Model in an industry that struggles with the acceptance of diverse body types; I was asked in an interview recently why I thought there is a surge in promoting bigger sizes. Prior to this question in this particular interview, I had never given it any real thought. I absolutely LOVE the fact that I am seeing more real sized people in mainstream images. Whether in the fashion industry, entertainment, media or product advertisements, body shape and size diversity has a greater representation than ever before.
So when this question was asked, I paused for a moment to think about what the motivation could possibly be for this societal shift. My answer… the one underlying factor that motivates any change of thought or perception, MONEY.
No matter what industry we look at, the previous alienation of larger (whether in height, weight, or both) individuals left a lot of money on the table. As a Plus individual, I am more likely to purchase or pursue my interest in a particular area if I am presented with images that I can relate to.
I have NEVER been a size 0-2! I know they exist, however I have never been in that category. Unlike other things I have never experienced like a trip to Paris, or touring a vineyard, I cannot just decide to shrink my body to that size (in a healthy way), just to relate. I can, however decide to travel or experience new activities, without effecting my health negatively.
So, when it comes to making a decision to purchase or not, to participate or not, or to accept a concept; if I cannot relate to the imagery I am presented with, I may not connect or invest my dollars either. On a subconscious level, it does not apply to me. Even if it is never stated as such, the unintentional consequence of the exclusion is missed opportunities and lost profits.
In my opinion, the world has now awakened to this fact. Creating storylines, images, products and services that show “real people” as average folks, makes whatever they are pushing much more relatable to a wider audience. It is what Reality TV was birthed on… real and raw, and the world eats it up!
This groundbreaking idea has generated trillions of dollars in profits for those businesses who get on board and take advantage. Sadly, it’s not inclusion for the sake of doing the right thing. It truly is about the all might dollar.
Nevertheless, acceptance is growing and those who hold tightly to the old mindset will find themselves struggling to maintain profitability simply because of a segregated stance.