Recently, some other bloggers and I have been thinking about diversity in the world of lingerie. At the moment, it is extremely rare to see full-bust lingerie modelled by anyone who does not fit the usual mould – namely white, young, able-bodied, feminine, conventionally attractive, moderately curvy, slim cis women. There is little to no representation of women of colour, plus size women, women with visible disabilities, older women, women with other body types, trans* women, women with body hair, or women with scars/cellulite/stretch marks. For this reason, we would like to start a campaign: one asking for Diversity In Lingerie.
We would like to encourage lingerie-wearers of ALL bodies and backgrounds to join in with this. As a white, able-bodied, hourglassy cis woman in her 20’s, I would say bodies similar to mine are already fairly well represented, so I am not participating to ask for more models that look like me. By participating you can show the lingerie industry that, yes, you would buy lingerie from a diverse group of models, not just the ones currently shown. To be clear, this is nothing against the body types currently shown – all women are real women, and all bodies are good bodies. Rather, we would like to see a bigger range of models, so that ALL people can see someone they can relate to and identify with when looking for lingerie.
What really sticks out to me is that there is a huge discrepancy between everyday women and the average lingerie model. 14% of women in the UK are POC, but less than 7% of Bravissimo‘s items are currently modelled by POC on their website, and Freya and Panache‘s latest collections are modelled almost exclusively by white women. The average women’s waist size in the UK is around 33 inches, but on Brastop‘s selection of new styles, 95% of the sets shown are modelled by women with undoubtedly smaller waists. When it comes to older women, women with visible disabilities, trans* women, or women with body hair, representation is basically non-existent.
Starting from now, if you would like to join the campaign, just take a picture of yourself alongside the hashtag #DiversityInLingerie. It doesn’t have to be in lingerie or even include your face – you can be fully clothed, in your undies, whatever you like. Then, post it on as much social media as you can and make sure you type the hashtag in the text accompanying your post. You can also email it to June at Braless in Brasil to put on her blog, or feel free to add it to my (or another blogger’s) facebook page or to send it anonymously through a message. The more people participating the better!
Finally, here are some amazing articles that discuss the importance of diversity and representation in the lingerie industry far better than I ever could:
- What It’s Like to Be a Woman of Color in the Lingerie Industry
- What It’s Like to Be a Lesbian in the Lingerie Industry
- What It’s Like to Be a Woman with a Disability in the Lingerie Industry
- Token Diversity: A Step Forward or a Way to March in Place?
- Why Lingerie for Women is Ageless and an Ode to Helen Mirren
- Fashion Doesn’t Need to Make Women Feel Like Shit in Order to Make Us Go Shopping
Throughout today, other bloggers will be coming out with their own posts and pictures, so make sure to check out Braless In Brasil’s post for the links! What do you think? Will you be participating?