Real Love

September 3, 2014
Dear Fashion Industry,
 
As far back as I can remember I have always had a love affair with you.  This love affair is often times one sided since I clearly love you more than you love me,  (“me” —  being a plus sized woman of color.)  
It’s crazy because you have been such a big part of my life in one way or another.  From the moment I started to plan my outfit for the first day of school to styling a friend on her wedding day —  I know the power and confidence that can come from looking and dressing your very best. 
As a young girl I would make vision boards from the Penny catalogs that were ever present in my house and oh, how I longed to purchase the lifestyle of the happy, smiley, thin girls that were so chicly dressed in their plaid pleated skorts, knee high socks and micro backpacks.  And since then, the thousands of digitally altered,  perfected  images I’ve been bombarded with BY YOU, have only proven to me that not only do you not love me — you don’t really like me that much either.   
 You constantly sell the dream and the idea of beauty, style and fashion as being truly attainable – but by your advertising it’s only for the few.  The few and the photoshopped.

I can’t remember flipping through a magazine to see ads of women that looked like me, my friends or even the featured model or actress in real life to be quite honest.
 
Do we not exist to you? 
Are we not real?  
I know my money is real and I also know that you have no problem taking it so why don’t I see myself in your advertising?  It has been said that the girl in the magazines doesn’t even look like the girl in the magazines, so who is your consumer? 
By altering every image in your ads to unattainable perfection (and sometimes your photoshopping leaves the person with alien like features, missing limbs or both) is it safe to say that your ideal consumer doesn’t really exist. 
What I do know exists are the facts and the facts are this: Only 13% of women feel “‘Real women’ are accurately portrayed in the fashion industry” and 65% of women never see themselves reflected in fashion advertising.  The truth is that my brown skin or my large, dimpled hips and thighs are not the problem – you are and the lack of diversity that you continue to promote is only reflective of your narrow-minded views of beauty, style and fashion in an industry that prides itself on having no rules or restrictions – being limitless.

So even though you have treated me so unfairly in this love affair of ours I’m still willing to give you the opportunity to do right by me and every other woman that has been jilted by your partial advertisements.  I dare you to show me some love… real love.  Stop reducing my female essence to a photoshopped carbon copy and showcase the beauty in the differences of your consumers.
Jilted but not Jaded,
Thamarr 

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Dress ::: ModCloth (sold out but similar here)
Leather Jacket ::: Simply Be
Pumps ::: Vicotoria’s Secret
Purse ::: Yours Clothing UK c/o
Bracelets ::: Charming Charlie (old)
Are you tired of the lack of diversity in fashion advertising, the promotion of unhealthy and unattainable standards and most of all the overdose of photoshopping?  I’m excited to be part of this movement for change and encourage other retailers to listen up!  Times are definitely changin’ and the  Founder & CCO of ModCloth Susan G. Koger has been the first to sign on to take the “Truth in Advertising Heroes Pledge.” Read Susan’s own open letter to the fashion industry petitioning for change here and join in the fashion revolution by tagging your real world fashion photos with the hashtag #FashionTruth.

Join the Revolution & 

Stay Lovely Signature

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4 Comments

  • Reply ModCloth Summer | July 14, 2015 at 4:20 am

    […] Truth campaigns.  If you’ve been following me for a while you might remember that I wrote an open letter last fall along with ModCloth CEO’s Susan Koger, addressed to the fashion industry and the […]

  • Reply withwonderandwhimsy September 5, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    This look is just as lovely and fiercely feminine as your letter. I think many plus-size women have experienced the same feelings and frustrations, and I really feel like there’s a growing movement of voices urging for more inclusion in fashion, yours included. Those voices are so needed, and I so appreciate you voicing your own thoughts, as well.

    <3 Liz
    http://www.withwonderandwhimsy.com

  • Reply Joi Smith September 3, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Fantastic Read and superbly written!!! You’re Gorgeous! I’ll bevusing the hash tag ♥

  • Reply Miranda @ Miranda Writes September 3, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Thoughtfully and beautifully written… As someone who has been categorized as ‘plus-size’ and now fits more in the ‘average’ demographic (though I reject both labels and prefer to think of myself simply as a human female), I have to say that I echo many of your frustrations. While I cannot say that my race is under-represented in the industry, I certainly see the evidence of a lack of diversity, and wish that it were different. I do think that things are changing, although change appears to be happening slowly. Luckily we have style and fashion blogs like yours to look to for inspiration and enjoyment when we find ourselves disappointed, yet again, by the industry that we love. Your outfits and style are so well put together and that’s what made me want to read (and continue reading) your blog. Not your shape, skin color, or even gender. So, thank you for your lovely blog and your even lovelier words.
    P.S. Love the dress. =)

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