For my book, Fashioning Fat, I experienced the world of fashion from the inside.
I stepped in front of the camera and onto the runway. I peeked behind the curtain and found women who yearned for a fashion authority to recognize their intelligence, confidence, and beauty. They wanted to change the way people thought about beauty, diversifying its definition to include curvy bodies. They championed for size acceptance.
Ultimately, they remained voiceless dolls, dependent on agencies to direct their careers and clients to mold their image. Instead of challenge a social system that perpetuated preoccupation with the body, these plus-size models reified it. In order to succeed, they altered their bodies according to others’ specifications.
If we want to seek out actors who challenge hegemonic beauty standards, we must look elsewhere. Instead of the objects in the billboards, we must look to the designers of those billboards.
How will you change fashion?