These Women Are Trying To Change The Ideal Beauty Standards

'In order to see real and lasting change in our warped standards of beauty, it has to come from deep within the fashion industry.'

Jenny McQuaile, the director and producer of the upcoming documentary Straight/Curve (which comes out in 2017), speaks about her mission to change the way magazines portray body image:

Straight/Curve Trailer from Jenny McQuaile on Vimeo.

For decades, we have been programmed to believe there is only one measure of beauty: the white, thin "ideal." This is damaging and divisive. Through making the documentary, Straight/Curve, over the last year, I have seen firsthand the effects the "thin ideal" can have on people's lives. It's time we change the message. 

We need to discuss diversity and inclusivity in the fashion industry and media, and stop shying away from it because of health misconceptions, lack of education, or stigma. We need to see images of women of all sizes, ages, and ethnicities in campaigns, on billboards, in magazines. This is what Straight/Curve is doing. We are creating the imagery we should be seeing more of in fashion and the media. We are showcasing the pioneering people fighting to change society's unrealistic standards of beauty. By showing women of all sizes — 0 to 22 — ages, and ethnicities in the same beautiful aesthetic, we hope to show the fashion industry how effective this imagery can be, and that it will not dilute or destroy a brand  — it will in fact empower women.

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Real change is happening and it is happening right now. More high-end designers are broadening their size ranges, commercial brands are realizing body positivity is the way forward, and we are moving toward more representation for every woman. But there is still a lot more left to do. Straight/Curve will inform and bolster a growing movement that demands a healthier and more realistic body image for women and girls — and by extension everyone.

In Straight/Curve, we are including models across the size spectrum to speak to the fact that women can be healthy at many sizes. This is a vitally important message for us to share and one that is often wrongly talked about in society.

Magazine editors, like REDBOOK's Meredith Rollins, designers, agents, models, doctors, teachers and more will bring their perspectives to this conversation. We will examine the pernicious misconceptions around health and size, body shame, the lack of diversity in fashion and media, and the limited scope of education in fashion schools among other issues. 

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Straight/Curve tackles these universal issues, which affect each and every one of us, head-on by creating the images that we don't get to see in the fashion industry or media. Through this film, we hope to lift the veil and open the conversation globally so women, and men, can learn to appreciate and respect their bodies and feel represented in the fashion industry and media.


This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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