A Unique Paris Fashion Show Promotes Body Positivity.
Bad weather and global pandemics cannot stop women from promoting body positivity. Women from all over the world gathered in Paris in late September for a unique fashion show. At the base of the Eiffel Tower, women of all shapes and sizes modeled a wide range of outfits. From lingerie and swimsuits to plus size dresses and casual outfits, the fashion show was held to promote body positivity, not sell clothes.
Almost every fashion show held during Fashion Week promotes a brand. Designers show off their latest work, celebrities take note of the newest trends, and viewers gawk at super-thin models in tight clothes. But fashion shows are rarely reality, and several hundred women took matters into their own hands to showcase real women in real clothes.
“The goal of this fashion show is for everyone to be able to identify themselves, for everyone to accept themselves as they are,” said Georgia Stein, the fashion show’s organizer, model and founder of The All Sizes Catwalk. “It’s a movement of kindness towards oneself and others, whatever the age, whatever the body type, whatever they disability, whatever the disease.”
Hundreds of women strutted a makeshift runway in front of the Eiffel Tower, braving rainy weather. The women, in face masks due to COVID-19 safety guidelines, walked, strutted, and danced their way in front of large crowds that cheered them on. Some women wore elaborate costumes, some wore detailed lingerie, and other wore their favorite outfits. Blind women graced the runway with their walking sticks, women of all colors were represented, and groups joined together for pictures and important conversations.
The fashion show comes at an important time for women around the world. As the health crisis keeps us isolated and growing political tensions further separate communities, it is incredible to see women of all backgrounds joining together for a great cause.
What is body positivity?
While bringing together women of all backgrounds, races, and classes, the ultimate goal of the unique Paris fashion show was promoting body positivity. But, what is body positivity? Body positivity does not regard societal norms or what is considered to be the “right” body type. Instead, body positivity asserts that all people have a right to a positive body image, regardless of size, shape, or general appearance.
The body positivity movement is gaining traction, as women around the world become more vocal. While social media can be used to promote society’s view of “acceptable” bodies, it is also being used to showcase all kinds of bodies. Women around the world are addressing the unrealistic expectations of modern beauty and body standards. Individuals call out photo-shopped images, altered to depict unhealthy and false ideals of beauty.
Women are also promoting body positivity by building one another up, offering words of encouragement and support around the world. Strangers from all walks of life offer compliments and praise on social media, drowning out negativity and rude comments. For years, women have been challenging the unrealistic beauty standards promoted by popular culture and the media.
How can you be body positive?
Body positivity is often easier said than done, especially for individuals who struggle with self-confidence or self-esteem. There are many definitions available online for what body positivity means. In simple terms, it involves appreciating and enjoying your body exactly the way it is. Changes occur naturally to everyone over time, including pregnancy, aging, and changes in lifestyle. These occurrences are likely to change your body, but that is not a bad thing.
If you are interested in practicing body positivity, try to find ways to appreciate your body. Instead of pointing out what you perceive as flaws, or what the media categorizes as flaws, focus on what your body does for you. Getting you from place to place, offering hugs to loved ones, giving you the ability to dance, your body does so much for you.
Feel confident in your skin by dressing in clothes that make you happy. Plus size clothing does not have to be “frumpy” or “boring.” Every woman deserves to look and feel their best, wearing clothes that reflect their true personality. Accept your body’s size and shape, and dress however you want. Surround yourself with positive body messages and give yourself permission to love your body – exactly the way it is.
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