By Katie Burke
New Year, New Me. It has been long established that January is the time for people to break out their fitness clothing and begin some form of diet. Unfortunately, such ideas can have a negative impact through putting pressure on people’s perceptions of themselves. However, one fashion story was a positive light during what can be a difficult time for body positivity and people’s confidence in wearing clothes. Images of overly-slim and ‘perfect’ models, achieved using extreme photoshop technology, has long been associated with the fashion industry. From the visibly frail models on the haute couture runways, to models of size 14 being considered plus-size, the industry has a chequered history with promoting body positivity to people of all shapes and sizes.
Over the past decade, efforts have been made to encourage people of different body types to enjoy and engage with the world of fashion confidently. In news that unfortunately is still considered groundbreaking and newsworthy, the fashion brand Missguided launched a campaign called Make Your Mark. Following on from widespread praise for using images online in which you could clearly see a model’s stretch marks, which they used without any fanfare, Missguided decided to launch a campaign which celebrated what our bodies naturally look like. On Missguided’s website, it states they’re striving to
“inspire babes the world over to love themselves, for themselves…and to not strive for what the world perceives as perfection…making a pledge to never retouch (their) models’ perfect ‘imperfections’ out”.
The campaign features nine “babes of Missguided”, who vary from bloggers to body positivity activists, and aims to champion women, especially. Model Felicity Hayward said: “I think it’s super important that we promote body confidence because let’s face it, we were all born into this world as an individual and our individuality makes us beautiful”. While speaking about the campaign, she added,
“I believe that flaws are created by the media to make people feel insecure about their body, and when we feel insecure that’s where they can make money.”
The campaign drew further congratulations from the public and has seen an increase in visitors to the site. While these benefits to the brand are fantastic, for many the biggest positive to take away from the campaign is the impact it will have on shoppers. As online shopping continues to grow, it is important for customers to see models that look just like them. It appears that the campaign is not about celebrating “flaws”. It is about celebrating what is natural. Regardless of your body shape, this fashion brand declares you can wear whatever clothes you want, with confidence. Here’s hoping more fashion brands, both online and in-store, follow suit.