If there is any doubt that women are in the midst of a tremendous shift in consciousness, one only needs to look to the news to know that, as women, we are all part of a ‘revolution.’ It’s happening everywhere: from the Olympics, to the fact that a WOMAN is running for President (fingers crossed), to numerous examples of women speaking out- we are stepping up. The world has shifted- our world has shifted- and we are ready to take it on. We have never been so ready.
It’s fascinating to me. I have been following (and supporting) this shift for a long time, and bearing witness to it has been breathtaking. Every time I see an example of a woman ‘pushing back,’ of a crack in some long-held bias against women, of women and girls changing society – like 11 year old entrepreneur, Egypt Ufele, who created a clothing line, ChubbiLine, for all shapes and sizes after being teased for her weight – I take that collective step forward with my sisters.
Seeing examples of this from young women, is particularly heartening. It makes me believe that this change is within all of us in a deeply organic way. In the fall issue of Teen Vogue with Tavi Gevinson on the cover, written and styled by Grace Coddington -talk about breaking the age barrier through inclusion; Tavi is 20 years old, Grace is 75- there is a piece titled, Why People Are Caring Less and Less About Traditional Beauty Standards. Different is in. I take that to mean that the need to see other versions of beauty is becoming more and more frequent.
In Calvin Klein’s Fall 2016 global campaign, they are, “pushing the boundaries of traditional advertising with their content and cast,” according to Calvin Klein’s chief marketing officer, Melisa Goldie. And, by the way, Grace Coddington was one of the models featured in this campaign.
Kate Spade has also changed it up, using a variety of models (ages and otherwise) for her Spring 2016 campaign. I love this. We need this. The unbelievably narrow version of beauty that we have been conditioned to accept has had a deeply damaging effect on all of us. And that conditioning has divided us on many fronts: young vs old being one of them.
In The Beauty Myth, the author, Naomi Wolf states, “Aging in women is “unbeautiful” since women grow more powerful with time, and since the links between generations of women must always be broken. Older women fear young ones, young ones fear old, and the beauty myth truncates for all the female lifespan.”
I love seeing ads with women of all ages, sizes, and colors and I yearn for a society where women respect each other, admire one another, and learn from one another. A woman’s weight, age, color, clothing, or nationality do not define who she is at her core.
“If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies, how very different our ideals of beauty would be.” That is one of my very favorite quotes. Yes, different is in. And that means different in all forms. And that means that we need to start looking beyond the superficial. Making beauty inclusive is a step forward. “If only…” is here.
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