Fashion Body Positivity In Fashion Adora NwachukwuApril 7, 2022

To me, body positivity means being comfortable in your skin. It doesn’t necessarily mean it is directed at plus-sized people alone which I found out during my research on this topic.  In Africa, being plus-sized is quite normal. Here we see women do a lot to get their ass enlarged, change their natural skin color, and also some people want to be as sexy as Naomi Campbell. 

Body positivity is the idea that all human beings should have a positive body image and the body positivity movement challenges the way society promotes unrealistic beauty standards. The movement advocates for the representation of all body types, sizes, physical abilities, races, and genders. 

Body positivity in fashion has its size connections. Brands and media portray unrealistic standards of beauty through, their models and designs and marketing choices. This affects women in our society. Approximately 80% of US women don’t like how they look, and 70% of normal weighted women want to be thinner. In Australia, nearly 15% of men report an overvaluation of weight and shape. In the UK, 1 in 5 adults has felt shame because of their body image over the last year. People who think of their bodies negatively are at the risk of experiencing depression, social anxiety, and eating disorders. 

WHEN IT STARTED

The term body positivity emerged in 1996 when a psychotherapist and an individual who had been through treatment for an eating disorder founded the website bodypositive.org.

The movement started in 2010 as a social media campaign and it was directed at brands to involve all sizes of beauty in their sections. Brands like Nike took it in and added their plus-size collections, while brands like Dove and Aerie incorporated marketing campaigns on body positivity. 

Instagram has had its fair share of supporting the campaign. Instagram is filled with Plus sized influencers who are proud of their body size and also help others like them accept who they are and be comfortable with it. These brands have started improving their collections by adding petite size and plus-size collections to their websites. Also, this has led to the use of plus-sized models on runways. Showing the realistic way of beauty.

I asked a few people what they thought of body positivity in fashion. 

Peculiar said “people can be who they want to be now and that is the best part about living in this generation. Being comfortable about your size and being able to find your size of clothing anywhere is one big deal. 

 

Chioma said “most times I looked at the screen and I would always see girls either they are skinny or they have a tiny waist and big ass, but now everyone is out there like you have to be yourself and no one else.  

With the help of plus-sized influencers like OGE @she.is.oge on Instagram. Has created a platform for plus-sized girls to come out and be comfortable with their bodies. 

Even though this body positivity has been more with women raising their voices, there are still men. Male models are mostly skinny or able-bodied men. It is hard before you see a pot-bellied man on the runway. Even if men are not advocating for it as we the women do, a potbellied man is normal and realistic and I feel that the shapes of men should be acknowledged in the fashion industry as the shapes of women are being acknowledged too. Not everybody gets married to able-bodied and skinny guys. There are a lot of men that are not able-bodied and there are plus-sized too.  There is still a taboo on the nature of the topic of male body positivity because society doesn’t create a comfortable space for men to express their thoughts and views about male representation in the media. 

Getting information on males Chuks Bright said when I asked him about his thoughts on the representation of the male in the fashion industry “well it is nice seeing all those nice-looking men with their bodies on the runway, but to be clear it is not a realistic form of representing them. Even if men are silent about it. I think they should be a realistic representation of men in the fashion industry. 

Although body positivity in the fashion industry has come a long way, we still have a long way to go and there are some changes we are still waiting for from some brands. Social media has been a huge help in exposing people’s thoughts on this and making people love themselves again. But I think we still have a long way to go in it.