Modeling world and fashion industry lack diversity

Although great strides have been made regarding the promotion of diversity and inclusivity in the modeling world and fashion industry, the Eurocentric standard continues to be upheld by society as the embodiment of allure and beauty.

Diversity and inclusivity in the industry are essential in tackling underrepresentation among those of different sizes, races, religions, and abilities.

The industry has set the standard of beauty, which tends to exclude minority groups. Not only is this harmful to those in the modeling world, but also to young girls who begin to believe society’s unrealistic expectations of what beauty is.

An article titled One Size Does Not Fit All: The Rise of Diverse Fashion Models written by Saida Dahir from the Berkeley Political Review explains “The Doll Test” which tested young girls to see if they preferred a doll with European features or one with African features. They continued to choose the one that fit the Eurocentric beauty standard and associated many positive attributes with it.

“People of color who grow up in a world that tells them white is beautiful will impose these unrealistic views on their children,” stated Dahir. “Colorism, self-hate and skin bleaching are all consequences of Eurocentric beauty standards.”

Media and modeling representation for young girls in minority groups allow them to envision themselves in the same position and promotes acceptance. It provides them with encouragement and the confidence to believe they are capable of achieving whatever they put their minds to.

Additionally, those in underrepresented communities may begin to feel negative impacts on their mental health as the Eurocentric beauty standard continues to be praised and noted as superior.

Many models have similar features; therefore, celebrating plus-size models, uplifting those with disabilities, and encouraging models of all ages and religions to be acknowledged in the media, is essential in advocating for a change.

Furthermore, agencies must be inclusive when casting and hiring people to represent their brand. Tokenism is extremely harmful to those of underrepresented communities as it provides a false impression to the models involved and minority groups.

The modeling world and fashion industry have the ability to promote diversity by welcoming models from different backgrounds and providing them with opportunities to show society and young girls that beauty does not only derive from European features.