So I went into River Island and picked up a pair of size 8 jeans and did the same from Topshop, yet the pair from River Island were too tight for me! Does anyone else have this problem? After trying on the River Island jeans I felt really deflated and down about my image. However, I couldn’t understand how the two pairs could differ in measurements so much. No wonder I struggle to clothes shop without having to buy 3 different sizes. This shouldn’t have to be a problem in this fast moving industry.
We all have Differing Body Shapes
In today’s society we seem to think that the size we wear determines the person we are and I very much think this for myself. This way of thinking is very harmful and seems to be affecting this generation the most. Anxiety and body dysmorphia are just 2 of the common mental illness circulating young people due to fashion. We seem to value ourselves by the size of our clothing and inspire to be those who can fit into size 6 shorts. What we don’t realise is that all our body shapes are different. We could have 5 people who all weigh exactly the same but look completely different and wear different sizes.
The fashion industry very much idolises the way we should look rather than the realistic body. This especially happens on social media platforms such as Instagram when photos are airbrushed and completely edited. The clothes given to models to style never look the same when you actually buy them. I have had too many disappointing buys but then again, I’ve been comparing myself to the person that was modelling the clothes. Constantly comparing yourself to others can have series mental health consequences. You have feelings of self-doubt and then begin to lack confidence.
The New Campaigns of Body Image
Recently fashion brands have been starting campaigns about the reality of body image. One brand that springs to mind is Missguided. They have used the power of Instagram to bring light to the reality of body image https://www.instagram.com/missguided/?hl=en. Scrolling down their feed, they include all body types from plus size to those with stretch marks and hip dips and hip dips seem to be a major problem for girls confidence at the minute. Looking at the images you already feel inspired. However you then go onto look at an influencers Instagram page which is basically perfect and all your confidence comes crashing down again. This then turns back around to the size of clothing you wear and you question why you don’t look like them. Thankfully, Missguided are teaching us different.
There’s no wonder Missguided’s sales are on the rise with their brand’s slogan being ‘Inspiring self-confidence in mind, body and potential.’ This shows how much the fashion industry does affect mental health. Even just having negative thoughts is how the fashion industry influences your behaviour. It doesn’t matter how much it affects you, it is still having an impact. Boohoo is another brand that’s using their social media to promote the reality of body shapes https://www.instagram.com/boohoo/?hl=en. Its empowering to see that fast fashion brands are doing this however we don’t see designer brands doing the same. Maybe they should take a leaf out of the fast fashion brands book. Brands like Victoria Secret who have the perfect models walking down the runway can cause mental health issues. Although we are in awe of the girls who look amazing, it isn’t always realistic for everyone to look like that. For starters we aren’t all 6ft tall, am I right?
Those Working in the Industry
I have spoke about how the industry effects us on the outside, but what about those actually working in the industry. We all know how tough being in the fashion industry can be especially for likes of Victoria Secret models who are in the lime light. Also on influencers like Molly-Mae who are used to promote clothing https://www.instagram.com/mollymaehague/?hl=en. Her biggest critics seem to be those behind a keyboard who we never see. The words they write about her are terrible as if they except a normal young woman to be perfect. It’s reading comments like theirs that can harm mental health. You would have to have a tough back bone to ignore the comments that I have seen on her pictures. Others who see the comments must then questions themselves, ‘well if Molly-Mae is not so and so then I’m definitely not.’ It then spirals out of control and creates a re-occurring process. Our biggest critics can be ourselves and also those who are jealous, which is who you usually find are the ones making all the comments.
If you’re reading this…
I hope you feel inspired, motivated and confident to not let the fashion industry ruin how you think and view yourself. No matter what dress size you wear, if you have cellulite or hip dips you are still beautiful. We should focus more on empowering each other and sharing fashion positively, not bringing people down. Harsh words are hard to shake but just think, that person doesn’t have the same heart as you. Look at the fashion industry in a different light and see all the positives that have come from it. As I said before, just scrolling through Missguided’s Instagram can leave you feeling more confident that other people are just like you. Normal bodies should be the new fashion, so let’s help make it.