Tyra Banks, Cara Delevigne, Kate Upton, are just a few of the photo shopped faces we see plastered on every ad and magazine. Today's society has twisted the upcoming generations of what the idea of true beauty consists of especially within themselves. Young girls are idolizing these flawless beauties. But there are many women trying to make a difference in the modeling industry. These are the women we should be looking to as role models; Tess Holliday, Winnie Harlow or Jamie Brewer. These women are the definition of true beauty.
The modeling industry follows a very strict, unrealistic list of guidelines in order to be considered a model. One must be between 5'8 and 6'0 and have a stick figure body type (90 to 120 lbs). But what about the girls who actually enjoy eating? Too many of these models suffer from eating disorders to compromise their health for fame. The idea of a "plus size" model in this industry consists of being 5'8 to 6'2 and being a size 10-18. Still this is not realistic for most women. Why are we discriminating all the other body types and making anyone bigger than a size 18 feel awful about themselves. That's when Tess Holliday stepped in to make a difference. Tess describes herself as a "body positive activist" and even started an Instagram movement called #effyourbeautystandards to celebrate all body types. Holliday is 5'5 and is a size 22. Being above and beyond the 'plus size' requirements, she was named one of the top plus size models in the world by Vouge Italia. This year Holliday stepped back into the spotlight, she was signed by Milk Model Management being the largest plus size model they had ever signed. Holliday is showing the fashion industry that not everyone has to be stick thin in order to follow their dreams.
"I hope that the movement continues, not just myself but other women being vocal about the fact that we want more options in clothing," Holliday said. "We want more diversity and more representation of body types in the media."
Diversity. Now that's another thing the modeling industry is lacking. There have only been a handful of successful African American women models throughout the years. But has there ever been a model who is both white and black? Not until now. Chantelle Brown- Young also known as Winnie Harlow was born with a skin condition called, vitiligo. Harlow began her modeling career on cycle 21 of Americas Next Top Model. That's when the phones began to ring. Walking the catwalks during New York Fashion week, being the 'brand manager' for Desigual and landing a Diesel 2015 spring campaign. Harlow is making a name for herself in the modeling industry.
"Even the top models right now have a lot of personality and I feel like that's what people are looking for, you know, something they can relate to, a real person," Harlow said. "So I feel like the industry is very much opening up, widening their eyes."
While Harlow isn't letting her spotty skin get her down, Jamie Brewer isn't letting her disability get in the way of chasing her dreams either. Brewer was born with Down syndrome and is known for her role on American Horror Story. This past week Brewer made fashion history. She was the first ever model with Down syndrome to walk in a New York fashion week show. But why has it taken this long for someone with Down syndrome to be in a fashion show? They are just as beautiful as the next model. Yes it is amazing that the modeling industry is trying to be more diverse, but why can't it always be this way.
Opening up a Cosmo magazine and all one can see is a flawless, skinny, tall, beautiful model and then we begin to compare that image to ourselves. These three women are breaking the cookie cutter model stereotype and making everyday women feel confident in their own skin. We can learn so much from these three brave beautiful women.
"Young girls and even young women [see me] and say 'hey, if she can do it so can I,'" Brewer said.
Seek out the unique beauty within one another, look past the flaws and see the positives. We need to stop comparing ourselves to these stick thin models that are not realistic and start to love the skin you are in. Quit editing all your selfies and begin to accept yourself. Once we start to love ourselves maybe then the modeling industry will have a more realistic lineup. But until then be your own kind of beautiful.