A *controversial* debate over skinny jeans, a push to incorporate body image in school curriculums, new stats on just how biased the fashion industry is towards white men, and more.
01 Are skinny jeans dead?! Gen Z thinks so.
Aaaaaaand cue the generational debate between millennials and Gen Zers on…what else?…TikTok. Over the past few weeks, videos have popped up of the younger generation mocking the 2000s-era style, skinny jeans included. In fact, since January, there have been 274,000 videos tagged “no skinny jeans” and 8.3 million millennial vs Gen Z videos. Because apparently, baggier bootcut and straight leg jeans are what’s “in” now? (Gen Zers are also going after side parts, but we won’t get into that one).
Thoughts? Chime in down below in the comments section!
02 Wait — why is Facebook rejecting ads by businesses that make clothing for people with disabilities?
Turns out the mighty Facebook algorithm doesn’t know everything (*gasp*). Over the past two years, the social platform’s gatekeeper has routinely misidentified adaptive fashion products and rejected their ads for violating the policy of promoting “medical and health care products and services including medical devices” — even though there was no such thing happening. Brands such as Mighty Well were left to appeal each rejection on an item-by-item basis. (This, BTW, has also happened to yours truly, Revelle.)
“At a time when the importance of representation is at the center of the cultural conversation, when companies everywhere are publicly trumpeting their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion’ (D.E.I.) and systemic change, and when a technology company like Facebook is under extra deep scrutiny for the way its policies can shape society at large, the adaptive fashion struggle reflects a bigger issue: the implicit biases embedded in machine learning, and the way they impact marginalized communities,” writes Vanessa Friedman, who cites a report by Coherent Market Insights projecting that the global adaptive clothing market will be worth more than $392 billion by 2026.
03 New research emerges about the impact of virtual meetings on body image and self-perception
In May 2020 — just about two months into the pandemic — Gabrielle Pfund had a hunch that an increase in video chat usage would correspond with decreased satisfaction in appearance.
“This is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced,” said Pfund, associate professor in the psychological and brain sciences department at Washington University in St. Louis. “I wonder if [it’s] affecting people?”
To find out, she surveyed 438 women between the ages of 18 and 70 years old — although all but 5% were 55 or younger. Participants were assessed on a scale of self-objectification (defined as “a measure of a person’s conscious thoughts about how they believe others are perceiving them”), how often they compared their appearance to others, and how satisfied they were with their own appearance.
The findings revealed that, for those who scored higher on self-objectification, there was a small negative association with appearance satisfaction the more time they spent video chatting — which raises questions about the use of the platform by those with certain conditions, such as eating disorders.
04 Add “increased online fashion sales” to the list of pandemic paradigm shifts
Over the past year, consumers have become increasingly comfortable purchasing clothing without trying it on. And in the case of Farfetch, that trend extends to luxury items as well. According to a report by Bain & Co, online sales accounted for 23% of all luxury sales during the pandemic — bolstered by technology such as 3-D geometry algorithms and neural networks, which allow customers in China to virtually try on a pair of sneakers.
It’s worth addressing the elephant in the room here, which is that the pandemic has widened the wealth gap, making the rich richer with more disposable income to spend on luxury items in the first place…which begs the question: will the trend continue post-COVID?
05 There’s a push to incorporate body image in school curriculums, and we’re 100% here for it
Body dysmorphia and eating issues can affect children as young as three years old — a sobering statistic that has led some to advocate for body positivity education as part of the K-12 curriculum. With the perception of what’s “normal” shaped by social media, family, culture, community, and societal norms, schools are an ideal environment for children to begin developing a positive relationship with themselves — a process that begins with training staff to recognize early signs of body dissatisfaction or eating issues.
06 A new report shows just how biased the fashion industry *still* is towards white men
The report, published by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, revealed that white men outnumber anyone else in executive roles, with 63% of Black employees reporting that they are regularly the “only” Black person in the room. Other staggering findings? Just 57% of Black fashion industry employees believe that their company is appropriately addressing racial and gender inclusivity, compared to 77% of white colleagues. And when it comes to compensation, 37% of Black employees report having to supplement their income, compared to just 23% of white employees.
“Like most other industries, fashion has suffered from the Mad Men syndrome — the idea that successful leaders look and navigate the world in one specific way,” said Amber Nicole Alston, founder of Hyphenate Management. “That affects who is offered a seat at the table and who gains the power to create the kind of change that would genuinely make the industry equitable.”
07 Billie Eilish reveals she’s struggled with body image and extreme dieting since age 12
At just 19 years old, five-time Grammy winner Billie Eilish is one of the most celebrated young musicians in the world. But as is the case with most every celebrity, increased visibility has led to increased scrutiny, specifically around body image. In response to a photo taken of her at the beach in tight clothing rather than her signature baggy look, Eilish opened up about her past struggles with body image.
“To be quite honest with you, I only started wearing baggy clothes because of my body,” said Eilish. “I was really, really glad though, mainly, that I’m in this place in my life, because if [the photo] had happened three years ago, when I was in the midst of my horrible body relationship — or dancing a ton, five years ago, I wasn’t really eating. I was, like, starving myself.”
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