Cracking the Code: Fashion and Body Positivity

Social media is both a gift and a curse. While it provides us with the latest news and trends and connects us with other people, it is also responsible for fuelling unhealthy and unattainable beauty standards. These standards can be detrimental to a person’s overall well-being.

Body positivity is a movement that empowers people of all body types. It holds the belief that everybody is beautiful, despite what popular culture makes you believe. People can be empowered through fashion and clothes, like crop tops, shorts, skirts, bold makeup, or loud music. Empowerment can be anything that makes them feel comfortable in their skin and optimistic about their bodies.

The things that give people confidence can vary. What matters is that people should be able to feel comfortable and positive in their skin, despite the beauty standards that persist around them.

How Can Fashion Be Body Positive?

Fashion is one thing that many people turn to so they can feel better about their bodies. Clothes, makeup, accessories, and other things that fall under the category of fashion are popular vehicles for fostering a solid and unshakeable appreciation for both yourself and your body.

You may be wondering: how can clothes help someone become more positive about their body? For the longest time, and even until now, the fashion industry perpetuates unrealistic and unhealthy standards of what beauty should be. That is tall, white, and impossibly skinny.

How, then, can an industry as toxic as this promote acceptance for all bodies, regardless of race, gender, and physical abilities?

Below is a list of ways how fashion can be body positive:

  • Diversified Representation: Many-body positivity advocates have taken the industry by storm. Plus-sized and differently-abled models are making it to billboards and fashion spreads, spaces previously occupied only by the whitest and the skinniest.
  • Brand Support: Big and established brands across the globe have embraced the body positivity movement by diversifying their products and ads to include more bodies that do not fit the previously established mould.
  • Accessibility: Aside from giving different bodies a platform to shine, it is also vital that fashion becomes more accessible to people who aren’t size 0s. People of every body type should be able to shop at their favourite clothing outlet without worrying if they have their size or not.

Despite its tumultuous past, fashion is quickly becoming an effective tool for fuelling the flames of the body positivity movement. Many people feel empowered and confident in their clothes, despite society’s beauty standards.

That, in itself, is already a win against the unrealistic and unhealthy beauty standards that have plagued many people, both young and old, jaded and impressionable.

There are still many things that have to be done before humankind achieves a completely body-positive society. Structures that support, enable and fuel unhealthy standards must first be dismantled. Toxic mindsets must first be unlearned.

A positive and sustainable change must come into effect, and you can do this in little ways. Encourage your friends to wear things that make them feel good about themselves. Wear that bold lipstick you’ve always wanted to try but have never felt confident enough to do. If you want to sport crop tops and shorts, or a long-sleeved top with a midi-skirt — do it!

Nothing is stopping you from looking your best, and always remember – the sky’s the limit!

Author:  Alison Lurie