Updated: Apr 18, 2021
Is the fashion industry inclusive in 2021?
I’m about to get hometown-speech basic here and recite a couple of dictionary entries for y’all, but I promise its purpose serves for more than just a time-filler. Hear me out:
1a(1): the prevailing style (as in dress) during a particular time (2): a garment in such a style
b: a prevailing custom, usage, or style
c: social standing or prominence especially as signalized by dress or conduct
2a: mode of action or operation
b: a distinctive or peculiar and often habitual manner or way
If you haven't picked up what I'm layin' down, let me just put it to you this way: in no "fashion" does the definition exclude any group of people from enjoying the latest trends. For that matter, no interpretation even expressly states that you can't be rocking the trends from decades past. That's right, my friends! Merriam-Webster says you can enjoy fashion regardless of your sex, orientation, size, color, or style aesthetic.
And don't be ashamed. The people who try to make you feel like an outsider clearly can't read a dictionary, honey. Be a nice fellow Earthling and share the passage with them if they don't seem to understand. I'm sure it will go over very well.
I think a lot of people forget that "fashion" is also a verb - and that is my favorite version, sweaty. *dramatically whooshes cape*
1: to give shape or form to : to make, construct, or create (something) usually with careful attention or by the use of imagination and ingenuity
2: to design or devise for a particular use or purpose
Do you know why I love the verb tense of fashion? I believe that fashion is an active and ever-changing form as opposed to a heap of lifelessness. I like to think of fashion as the first verb definition: "to give shape or form to: to make, construct, or create... by the use of imagination and ingenuity." When you fashion, you are breathing creative life into something, darling. That's pretty empowering.
If you change your perspective about clothing, it becomes so much more than material. It is an art form of expressing yourself through what you wear and showing off your unique sense of creativity to the world.
With me so far?
Let me continue my string of logic to prove that fashion is inclusive by definition, and that anyone who tells you otherwise is a damn fool. If you believe the above definitions are correct, that there are no exclusive parties who are entitled to enjoy fashion, and that fashion is an art form, then here is something else to add. Art is a study of humanity. What does that mean? It means that art is used to study and make assessments of a people of a certain time. Just like any other data set, the more complete the better the full analysis will be.
Let me sum it up for you via bullet points:
- Fashion is not exclusive by (literal) definition
- Fashion is a VERB, TOO
- Fashion is an art of self-expression
- Art is a humanitarian study
- FASHION = FOR ALL HUMANITY
We all know, however, that the fashion industry is in fact exclusive for the most part, and we have allowed them to do it. We give permission to not include others when we don't stay woke. It is so important to think of others and make sure that your decisions are not directly negatively impacting someone else or a group of others. Here are some suggestions for YOU to perpetuate the fashion inclusivity movement:
Support the Woke Brands
It isn't cute why the beauty and fashion industry are exclusive. It's a toxic method of perpetuating the feeling of not being enough. If fashion and beauty are exclusive, then you will be willing to pay a lot of money to be a part of the scene. You want to belong.
Brands can only sell this notion inasmuch as we will buy it. WE are the consumers. If brands start losing us, they will have to change tactics or face extinction. Show your support of fashion inclusivity in a big way by supporting brands and stores that already advocate fashion for all. Accepting that a store has a plus size section is not enough. Is the fashion equitable? I love Target and the brands in their stores that are including ALL SIZES for the SAME PRODUCTS. (This is not a paid endorsement, I'm just that basic. ILY TARGET!)
Take a sec to think about how you truly feel about fashion inclusivity. Even if you aren't directly affected as others are, do you feel that it is fair to make others feel less than or excluded from the market? In my opinion, this is a huge issue we face as fasion-loving people of all sexes.
SAY SOMETHING. Talk to your girlfriends about the issues. Express your disdain in reviews. WRITE A BLOG. If you also believe that it is important for every person to feel comfortable with self-expression, TELL IT TO THE WORLD. Everyone deserves to know they are enough as they are.
Cute little heart,