MINI PENNY: How Will Fashion Ads Represent Us?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How Will Fashion Ads Represent Us?

New York Fashion Week is upon us. With every runway show, we see beautiful men and women on the catwalks — but most of the time, something is missing. It's rare that we see someone 5'1" with a a short inseam or that is considered "plus size", and some brands are viewed as 'edgy' and 'brave' for showcasing their entire lines with non-white or gender non-conforming models. Beyond Fashion Week, most of the websites and magazines, billboards, commercials, kiosks and beyond leave us with cookie-cutter models and lacking a true representation and what we as women look like.

It's not to say that these models aren't "real women." This is a term that is thrown around far too loosely — we're all real women. But the real range of women is not being portrayed fairly from many of the venues we see every day. We may not know it, but it can be damaging in many aspects.

Today I'm standing up with ModCloth to spread the word about #FashionTruth. Modcloth has pledged to continue to cast a variety of women on their site, as well as make a range of clothing sizes for us all. Beyond, ModCloth is asking you to sign the petition to support the Truth In Advertising Act — this would prevent companies from advertising to youth with Photoshopped images. Over 50% of young teenage girls are unhappy with their bodies, which can result in eating disorders, low self esteem, and depression. And beyond our own self-images, we must take into account how women's representations via advertisement can have negative effects on our progresses in gender equality as well.

I am far from having a super model's body and I'm okay with that. But I'm not okay with that fact that I'm being advertised to from every angle — and it's rarely for the body that I have and love. A big reason why I got into blogging was so that I could share my style my way. It's the same reason why I read so many others'. I love getting inspired from women of all shapes and sizes and would love to see more major brands taking note from our strong and varied communities.

I applaud ModCloth for taking a stand and bringing the conversation to the surface. You can read their Susan Koger's (Modcloth's CCO) letter on their blog today. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, participate in the #FashionTruth tag, and sign the petition!

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