Thursday 8 March 2018

Gender Inequality In Fashion

I love fashion and always have, and I love that it is an industry that is focussed around women, but the fashion industry has always been detrimental to us as a gender. It has always defined beauty and the way women should look - and it was defined that women should be slim, perfectly made up and predominantly white.

I think that in today’s society that is changing, and with the rise of Instagram there has become an easier way for women of different backgrounds, size and race to come to the forefront of the fashion world.

I’ve always held feminist values close to my heart, even before I really knew what it was, and I think it’s important to be aware and highlight the issues in every industry – even fashion.

Despite fashion being an industry that is built around women and marketed almost completely to women, the inequality within fashion when it comes to fashion designers is still very prevalent.
A study taken on the CFDA awards (think ‘the Oscars’ of the fashion world) show that between the years 1981 and 2013, 98 men have received an awardcompared to only 29 women.

In fashion it’s referred to as the glass runway - where women in fashion find it much harder than men to rise to the top in their career. When it comes to the CEOs of top labels and fashion houses, there are very few that are women.

As I mention previously, fashion creates a problematic ideal of beauty which is damaging to so many women who consume it from high fashion to teenagers on social media, causing depressing, anxiety and eating disorders.

It is this creation of women as objects of male desire which inevitably increases the risk of sexual harassment in the industry. With the Me Too movement relevant in fashion as well, with men such as Terry Richardson able to work for many years with huge fashion names despite multiple public allegations towards him.

But it is changing, with Conde Nast refusing to work with Richardson as of 2017, and the fashion industry increasingly moving towards diversifying the runways and the top level jobs within the industry.

So on International Women’s Day I thought it was appropriate to write something short, but very relevant, to me and a lot of people who I follow on Instagram.

As women we have the power to change this industry, and it is slowly changing as attitudes are changing and people come to realise that the current way things are run isn’t right, and we have a voice to make a change.

I want to end on a positive note, that everyone reading this has a power to make a difference. So here’s to 2018…the year where women should support women and the year that we should make sure we turn around and speak out when we see something that isn’t right because we have that power.

And most importantly, Happy International Women’s day!

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