Northwest Missourian Opinion

Trends within fashion are always changing as many things are going in and out of fashion every day; especially now with fashion brands promoting its styles online.

Fashion magazines such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan and ELLE are well-established for their stylish clothing coverage, exclusive interviews and targeting a global audience.

Kindra Malone, a sophomore and oral public relations major, is a fan of fashion magazines.

“I love fashion magazines as I am subscribed to Marie Claire and I love reading magazines online,” Malone said.

However, there are certain stereotypes around fashion magazines, where they cater towards heterosexuals and white social class women who are pretty, thin and attractive to men.

Since the 1960s, the portrayal of women in media has been a prime concern, and is still an issue today because mainstream media portrays inaccurate representations. Women are often sexualized and objectified in media to attract male audiences by showing a strong, visual and erotic impact to entice people to buy the magazine.

Freshman Adrian Marlin thinks fashion magazines are solely based for females only.

“Magazines get slightly repetitive as it is all women, and all of the models shown are skinny, which I don’t like because it feels like body shaming to me,” Marlin said.

The social stigma around skinny models has been circulating for years. Magazines never show other body types because they want consumers to see that being a ‘perfect’ size is acceptable. There are other body types which should gain as much coverage so people can relate, as not everyone has a slim, toned body.

Malone says there are lots of stereotypes in magazines which have become an occurrence ever since she was young.

“A lot of stereotypes I see in magazines are models that are fit, and a lot of times there are more women than men because people are more attracted to female beauty,” Malone said.

However, for the last few years, plus-size modeling has hit mainstream media, breaking the norm that everybody should accept other body types and that ‘one size for all’ is not a positive message to portray.

People think plus-size means unhealthy and overweight, but many models say that being curvier is something people should be proud of. Plus-size model Iskra Lawrence said, “The fashion industry tore me apart, but it allowed me to rebuild myself and realize that I can have purpose,” according to The Cut. Since the rise of plus-size, there are many online communities supporting models to be accepted in magazines and catwalks.

Marlin says that having a variety of models can impact how people perceive the industry.

“A variety of different models would definitely change my views of the runway. This would help with people’s body confidence issues, plus more people would attend the fashion shows if there was more diversity,” Marlin said.

One problem that always occurs within fashion is the lack of gender and sexualities portrayed. According to The Guardian, 78 percent of models in fashion print campaigns are white, with only 8 percent black, 4 percent Asian and 3 percent Hispanic.

The lack of representation within fashion has always been a major concern for various reasons. For instance, many stylists and make-up artists refuse to work with ethnic models as they don't have the right products for their skin tone. There are so many products for people with different skin tones and suitable for everyone, but since the industry has always abided by traditional and stereotypical ways, ethnic models don’t get the same recognition.

Malone said that representation in fashion is not something she is personally opposed to.

“The lack of other ethnicities in fashion affects a lot of my friends, rather than myself because my body type is small, but I also realize that not everyone is like that so I think showing more body types and ethnic models will make more women have a higher self-esteem and feel more confident within themselves,” Malone said.

The fashion industry dominates the way people think and how they view others and themselves. Fashion is a sector that takes time to adjust to new aspects, with the industry trying to overcome the barrier to make it suitable for different age groups. However, with the rise of digital media, people have seen changes within communities by spreading positivity amongst others.

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