What type of women do you think of when you hear the word ‘model’? Is she tall? Thin? Perfect hair, smile, etc.? Usually, when many people picture the “ideal model” it is the tall skinny beautiful girls with perfect bodies that we see all across magazines and billboards. Models have to be perfect, right?
That’s where you’re wrong. No longer do you have to imagine that type women when someone mentions the word model. In this day and age, the model image is changing with the help of amazing woman breaking through and making a revolution.
In the latest show for Max Mara in Milan this past February, the runway was full of big name super models, but it was none of them who stole the show. Halima Aden, the Somali-American former Miss Minnesota USA pageant contestant, is the one who had everyone talking. She took the runway in her hijab, making it her second appearance on in a fashion show with her debut at Kanye West’s Yeezy show just a few weeks before.
The talk about Halima was all for the right reason. Customers of Max Mara were able to see diversity being presented which makes it easier for them to connect with the collection; it shows REAL women in real clothing. The brand directors wanted their runway show to reflect authenticity and not show all similar looking women wearing the clothing.
The modeling and fashion world has always been under continues criticism for having a majority of models being white, young and tall with the ‘perfect body’.
Other brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, J. Crew, and Simone Rocha have also celebrated diversity within the modeling world by having models cast who are of all ages, ethnicity, and body types to wear their collections. It is refreshing for customers to be able to see a wider range of beauty represented and show how powerful and beautiful ALL women can be.
But the question still at hand is if this trend last in the long run. Will designers continue to bring in diversity or is it just a phase?
Right now it seems as If the fashion industry is not just taking this ‘revolution’ as a fad that they think will pass. James Scully, a notable casting director who is known for calling our discrimination against models, feels that the modeling world is in a good place right now.
The growing culture of people not being afraid to speak their mind and call out when they see as bad behavior is a huge factor to this new trend among diversity, according to James. Diversity is happening all over the world and America is not the same as it always was; culture is changing and people are changing along with it.
Many in the industry are still on the fence if the addition of diversity is really a good thing. But this isn’t about it being a good or bad thing, it’s just a sign of the times changing. People are letting go of stereotypes and letting go of what use to be seen as ideal. There is no longer a ‘one look fits all’.