A few days ago I was standing in the checkout line at Target (where we all find ourselves on an unhealthy basis) and was sucked into the magazine stand as usual. I’m a huge follower of fashion and pop culture so I find myself picking up copies of magazines more often than not when grocery shopping. The one that caught my eye this time was Vogue’s 125th Anniversary Edition. It was massive and looked dreamy with Jennifer Lawrence gracing the cover. After shamelessly spending 10 whole dollars on it, I started flipping through the glossy pages filled with glamorous celebrities, endorsing fashion and beauty companies. After getting about halfway through, I started thinking about the ads that made up 90 percent of the magazine. I was happily surprised to see a lot of diversity in the advertising. As I thought about it more, I realized that a lot of beauty and fashion companies have taken the step forward into creating ad campaigns to represent the diversity of the world. Slowly these industries are realizing that there is no “ideal” or “perfect” woman. When little girls look up to billboards of the fashion/beauty industry, they shouldn’t just see a white, skinny woman. They should be able to see a representation of themselves, whether that is black, white, gay, thin, plus size and everything in between. There are some companies that have gone beyond the boundaries and have created campaigns to embrace diversity and start a revolution.
Aerie has been one of the biggest front-runners in creating diverse campaigns to show that beauty is not a one-size-fits-all. Aerie is all about getting real and only showing authentic photos of women. They have made it their missions to no longer show super models and never retouch photos taken by the models in their ads. They have created a campaign that is relatable and unique to everyone. A girl can look at their billboards and feel like she belongs. No lies or gimmicks, just real women being confident in who they are.
In the wake of HB2, Secret released its own ad that pushed the boundaries of what it means to be a woman. The ad features a transgender woman in a public restroom, clearly apprehensive of coming out of the stall when other women walk into the bathroom. Secret was able to portray an accurate struggle for transgender women. As the actress finally works up the courage to leave the stall, she is able to show that there is no finite definition of what it means to be a woman in today’s society.
Rihanna recently launched her own beauty line at Sephora and, of course, I was there the next day to check it out (no shame). If there is one thing the beauty industry lacks, it is definitely the extreme limitations on makeup to match every persons skin tone. A lot of companies will bring out 5-10 shade ranges, but that doesn’t cover a quarter of the different types of skin colors there are in the world. Rihanna took a huge step in changing the norm by bring out 40 shades of her foundation in her first release. Now women can find their shade no matter what tone they might be, making it so much easier to feel confident in your skin and beautiful when wearing makeup.
The fashion and beauty industry still have a long way to go, but companies are taking a step in the right direction to make these industries more inclusive. What are some other companies that stand out to you in embracing diversity?
(Photos from Pinterest and TVcommercialspots.com, Video from YouTube)