Let’s stop this

We should be proud for our diversity

All photos by Eleonora Mezzo

 

This post represents all men and women who want to rebel against what the fashion industry call perfection. Through social networks, this industry influences billions of people every day by posting a photo online of a pretty girl who we consider perfect. Their photos have lots of likes and we often feel jealous. Every time we post something we want to be them, to look like them. We think likes are everything. We think it’s all about likes. Little hearts which compare on a screen when you tap twice. Enough for a smile, or at least to show satisfaction. It’s unbelievable how much power social networks have on us, almost like they told us how popular and important we are. Almost like they could say if we are pretty or not or if we are interesting or not. We often judge a person by the Facebook account or the Instagram feed, like it could tell us everything about him. We dream of people who don’t exist, we wish we looked better, we want to look better. Boy, girl, no matter who, we all aim at something, at being someone, and most times at being someone else. We are envious of girls on Instagram whose lives look perfect, where every photo is bright and cool, made to be liked by all her followers. The truth is, it’s not always real life because these figures are often paid for looking perfect.

They all are part of a strategy of marketing the fashion industry invests in. We rely on ideals of perfection which don’t exist and can’t exist. We want to be skinnier, we want to look absolutely perfect, like it defines who we are, without thinking that if we want to turn into someone we are not, we will never be ourselves anyway. Even if we reach the ideal of perfection we wanted to, there will always be a prettier girl or boy, a more successful or smarter one. We can’t be perfect and we should be proud for our diversity. 

All these interviews were made to show you guys that our personality is the real fabric of our clothes and to warn about the real power which photos have on us. Some respondents have had to overcome difficult situations mentally and physically and the main objective of this post is to avoid that this happens to someone else. There are plenty of people all over the world who feel intimidated by the ideal of perfection fashion industry shows and yet it keeps promoting perfection as ordinary, like everyone should look like a model.

We keep forgetting we are all models because if we are truly happy in our own bodies then we are the models of ourselves.

Interviewed: Melissa, 16, student, from Sweden.

 

What do you think about fashion?

I like it but I don’t like how people use fashion sometimes. It can be used in a negative way, when there are too many rules. On the other hand, I like it because it’s a way to express yourself, an art form, it gives people confidence and makes them feel pretty.

 

Have you ever felt judged by your clothes by someone else?

Yes, more when I was younger. I think that when people mature they realize it doesn’t say everything about a person. And also I feel like when you are little you have a view which is more black and white, while when you grow up people start experimenting, specially when they are teenagers. They learn to be more open-minded and start to experiment with their own fashion style as well.

What do you think of the idea of ‘woman’s perfect body we usually see in fashion magazines, photos or media?

In the past the ideal of perfect woman was skinnier and less real but now it’s changing a lot, which is a good thing. I feel like people don’t want to be too skinny anymore because the trend now shows that the real beauty is curvy. A lot of celebrities like Meghan Trainor and Nicki Minaj incorporate this message in their songs by repeating that skinny people aren’t “good”.

Have you ever felt ugly/too fat just because of a photo of a model seen on a magazine or media?

Not much because ever since I was little all my friends used to tell me that they wanted to be as skinny as me or like a model they saw on social media. Personally I’ve not really thought that also because I don’t spend so much time on social media, which can be one of the reason why people want to be more like models.

 

What message would you like to send to other girls who feel judged by the idea of perfect body of the fashion industry?

I strongly believe the ideal of perfect body is always changing. There will always be someone who is not a “trend” because they’re not skinny or not curvy and for this reason we don’t have to think too much about how we look.

Do you have any solutions which could be adopted by the fashion industry and fashion media to make fashion achievable by all?

Yes, we should include curvy models in the commercials and magazines as well but not to show that the curvy is an ideal of perfect woman and the skinny is not anymore, but to show that every kind of woman is beautiful, without any preferences.

Interviewed: Alice, 16, student, from Sweden.

 

What do you think about fashion? Do you like it?

I love fashion but I wouldn’t say I’m terribly good at it. I try to be hip and stand out with my clothes but my budget keeps me from achieving that goal.

Do you think clothes define people’s personality?

I certainly think they do. I can tell immediately how confident a person is in themselves just by looking at how they dress. I myself try to dress as confident as possible, expressing self confidence and that I’m a person that likes taking risks. I also dress in a way that people will take me more seriously since I think of myself as more mature person than most of the people my age.

Have you ever felt judged by your clothes by someone else / have you ever judged anyone by what they were wearing?

I have never felt judged by my clothes since I think it’s all about your attitude when you wear them, If you feel sexy and confident in your clothes, than others will think the same thing. I don’t judge other people’s fashion choices but there’s not a day when I don’t see someone’s outfit and tell something I would change about it.

What do you think about the idea of ‘woman’s perfect body’ we usually see in fashion magazines, photos or media? Do you think it’s dangerous for young or old people?

As someone who has suffered from anorexia, an eating disorder which I gained during a time period where I tried to compare myself to others, I certainly can testify that the fashion industry and the “idea” of a perfect female body affected me. This idea of a perfect body that is so far stretched from the reality of what we look like as human beings, is toxic for both young boys and girls growing up and is something that we have to change for the sake of our mental state. Getting people to define and label our bodies as ugly or imperfect is something that messes with our brain and produces self destructive thoughts very easily. It is absolutely dangerous, and much more than many think. When we start seeing the faults in ourselves is when we can’t stop finding faults.

 

What message would you like to send to other people who feel intimidated by the idea of perfect body?

I would like to tell them exactly what I have to tell myself every day. That you should be confident in your own skin and realise that beauty comes not from the fat, the skin that is attached to our body but from who we are as people. I also think it’s important to make people realise that models, people that are portrayed as perfect also have their own insecurities and imperfections. No human is perfect.

Do you have any solutions which could be adopted by the fashion industry and fashion media to include every kind of body and personality in magazines?

I think a solution would be if the models themselves raised awareness, if they spoke out about the problem and pressure of being perfect and gave an intel on their own insecurities. This would make them look more “human” and relatable. I also think the fashion industry should portray clothing, lingerie etc with models in different sizes and colours and when casting models they should look into ordinary people, people they necessarily wouldn’t consider “beautiful.”

Interviewed: Gemma, 16, student, from Italy.

 

What do you think about fashion? Do you like it?

I believe that fashion is all about creativity and change. It is a way to express one’s personal style through clothing, accessories but also modifications to one’s body — for instance hairstyles or tattoos. To a certain extent fashion is a form of art that can be interpreted in many different ways by different people, of all ages. I believe that fashion is everywhere in the world that we are currently living in and it is very hard to avoid it: even by dressing up with simple clothes one can create fashion.

Have you ever felt judged by your clothes by someone else?

When I was younger I was judged on a regular basis by the clothes I wore in school. Although most of the times it was a positive judgment, other times there were negative comments such as dislike for a new pair of boots I bought. This tended to change my style: I suddenly would not wear those boots again in school, but did when going out with other friends because I didn’t feel judged. My style therefore changed a lot according to the people I was with.

What do you think about the ideal of a ‘woman’s perfect body’ we usually see in fashion magazines and photos on media?

I believe that with the rise of new technologies and social media all over the world the “perfect” body of a woman has been heavily stereotyped. There are numerous images of models that are very thin and tall: that constitutes the ideal body of a woman, that every girl would want to achieve, making it their personal goal. Nevertheless, It has to be noted that not only are the majority of images photoshopped, but many models do not carry out a necessarily healthy lifestyle. In fact, being this thin may cause problems of anorexia, for example. I believe that every woman has a different body type and it is impossible to achieve the “perfect body” portrayed by the media, as that body may not be perfect for every woman.

Do you follow any fashion influencer?

Yes — Chiara Ferragni, although I do not follow her style because I do not like it.

 

Have you ever felt ugly/too fat just because of a photo of a model seen on a magazine or media?

Yes — Victoria’s Secret models lower my self-esteem sometimes.

What message would you like to send to other girls who feel judged by the ideal of perfect body which fashion industry promotes?

Every single girl has a different body type — learn to embrace it and ameliorate it in the best way that you can. The ideal of a perfect body is not even real.

Do you have any solutions which could be adopted by the fashion industry and fashion media to make fashion achievable by all?

Firstly, plus-size models could be promoted more. Secondly, fashion industry could promote shades of nudes also for people with darker skin, from shoe color (like Louboutin did) to lipsticks and foundation (like Kim Kardashian’s line did). Lastly, by stop photoshopping photos.

Most people who have been interviewed in this post have come up with new ideas which could be adopted by the fashion industry in order to break the ideals ads promote and which can actually help globally solve this problem. The majority of the responses regard the possibility to include models of every age, shape, colour and religion in magazines and runways, like Dolce & Gabbana did in the last fashion shows in 2017, where not only models but also normal people from all over the world took part on the catwalk. This change has determined a real breakthrough into the fashion industry and the whole audience loved it. So the question is: why can’t all other brands do the same? We have to remember that even if the ideal of perfect woman is changing over the years, particularly because of new celebrities such as Kylie Jenner or Kim Kardashian, models on ads and fashion magazines keep embodying the skinny ideal or woman. I do believe magazines should talk more about people’s health and how to appreciate and valorise our appearance by being ourselves and not by changing drastically. Since fashion covers make-up and beauty as well, a good turn could be to create more colours and also darker shades of foundation, nail polish and lipstick in order to find the right colour for everyone, which invites more people from all over the world to join the beauty industry. The industry should include models of every religion and from any part of the world to show the beauty of diversity and its interests in people’s roots.

Another way to eliminate the problem of integration in the world of fashion is to stop photoshopping photos indeed. Magazines let the readers think all visuals included it their pages are real and that the models in reality are as perfect as they appear on paper. Some people don’t know however that the majority of those photos are previously edited and that what we see in a magazine is the product of hours of refinements. The solution of eliminating the photoshop step has already been adopted by Asos.com, the English website which has reached a huge popularity in the globe. 

This breakthrough has had a great success everywhere and helped Asos show the genuine models as they appears in real life without any touch-up.

Afterwards fashion is a form of art which is able to describe our personality without the need of any word. It is a way to show everyone who we are and our tastes, if we are professional, sporty, sophisticated or funny. Let’s try to see this as a great chance to look different one from the other and not as a limit. Like art, anyone can do fashion and you are next.

I hope this post was useful, let me know what you think about this issue.

Remember, being yourself is the best way to show your style.

I really hope these interviews inspire you,

xx Ele

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