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  • Translator: Ivana Korom Reviewer: Krystian Aparta

  • As fashion designers,

  • our decisions have the power to change our culture.

  • We choose who is cast in our runway shows and campaigns,

  • and ultimately, who is celebrated and considered beautiful,

  • and who is not.

  • Having this platform is a responsibility.

  • One that can be utilized to exclude people

  • or to empower others.

  • Growing up, I was obsessed with fashion.

  • I pored over all different types of fashion magazines

  • at my local Barnes and Noble.

  • To be fashionable was to be tall, skinny, with long, shiny hair.

  • That's what I saw as the ideal,

  • and it was reinforced everywhere I looked.

  • And to be honest, it still is.

  • I wanted to be like the models, so I stopped eating.

  • It was a dark time in my life;

  • my eating disorder consumed me.

  • All I could think about was counting every single calorie,

  • and waking up early before school every day

  • so I could run a few miles.

  • It took me years to finally release the grip

  • that the eating disorder had over my life.

  • But when it did,

  • it freed up so much brain space

  • to think about what I was truly passionate about.

  • For so long,

  • the fashion industry has worked hard to set an ideal of beauty

  • that celebrates thin, young, white, cisgender,

  • able-bodied models as the ideal.

  • It's impossible not to be bombarded

  • with images of models that have been photoshopped

  • to where there's not a single pore,

  • fat roll or stretch mark in sight.

  • You don't need to look hard to find examples.

  • This definition of beauty is damaging, dangerous and destructive,

  • and we need to explode it immediately.

  • (Applause)

  • I'm glad you agree.

  • (Laughter)

  • One of the worst things I've realized over the years

  • is that my experience with disordered eating

  • is not an anomaly.

  • In fact, it's par for the course.

  • I think there's a study that says 91 percent of women,

  • and likely those of all gender identities,

  • are unhappy with the way they look.

  • It's unforgivable

  • that we live in a society where it's normal or expected

  • for teenagers to grow up hating themselves.

  • We've been fighting for fat acceptance and women's body autonomy since the '60s.

  • And there has been headway.

  • We have plus-size models like Ashley Graham

  • and musicians with body-positive messages,

  • like Lizzo, breaking into the mainstream.

  • Thank God.

  • (Laughter)

  • There's brands like Area

  • that have released campaigns without any Photoshop retouching.

  • But we're still inundated with unrealistic expectations.

  • I love this quote by Lizzo, who said,

  • "Body positivity only exists because body negativity is the norm."

  • So how do we change the stigma around looking different

  • or not fitting into this narrow definition of beauty?

  • I believe it's by celebrating beauty in all different forms,

  • bold and unapologetically.

  • But many fashion designers continue to reinforce

  • this narrow definition of beauty.

  • From the way they are taught in school

  • and into the real world,

  • they drape on mannequins that are only size four,

  • or sketch on bodies that are super stretched out

  • and not anatomically proportioned.

  • Different-size bodies aren't taken into account

  • during the design process.

  • They're not thought of.

  • So who are these designers designing for?

  • But the conversation around exclusivity in fashion

  • doesn't begin and end with size.

  • It's about seeing people of all different gender expressions,

  • different ability levels, different ages,

  • different races and ethnicities,

  • celebrated for their own unique beauty.

  • In my own work as a fashion designer,

  • I started a brand called Chromat,

  • and we're committed to empowering women, femmes and nonbinary #ChromatBABES,

  • of all shapes and sizes,

  • through perfectly fit garments for every body.

  • Swimwear has become a huge focus for me,

  • because of the power that this single garment can have

  • over the way people feel about themselves.

  • We wanted to take our focus on celebrating all body types

  • to a garment that's fraught with insecurity.

  • On our runways, you see curves, cellulite and scars worn proudly.

  • We're a runway show, yes,

  • but we're also a celebration.

  • I didn't start designing 10 years ago

  • with the mission to change the entire industry.

  • But the models we cast at the time,

  • who just happened to be my friends who had begged to be in my shows,

  • were so radical to some people,

  • and, unfortunately, still are different or strange to some,

  • that it became a huge part of what we're known for.

  • However, inclusivity means nothing if it's only surface level.

  • Behind the scenes,

  • from the photographer, to the casting director,

  • to the interns,

  • who is making the decisions behind the scenes

  • is just as important.

  • It's imperative to include diverse decision-makers in the process,

  • and it's always better to collaborate with different communities,

  • rather than trying to speak for them.

  • And this is an important piece of the puzzle

  • that many young designers may not think about

  • when they're first starting their careers,

  • but hiring a plus-size or a transgender photographer,

  • or a woman of color as your casting director,

  • or a black makeup artist -- hey, Fatima Thomas --

  • who intimately understands how important it is

  • to be able to work with all skin tones:

  • it's essential to creating a holistically inclusive output,

  • like this one.

  • As a fashion designers that do a lot of swim,

  • we wanted to rewrite the rules around having a bikini body.

  • So we cast a team of babe guards

  • to enforce guidelines around inclusion and acceptance at the pool.

  • Instead of "no diving" and "no running,"

  • how about "celebrate cellulite,"

  • "body policing prohibited,"

  • and "intolerance not tolerated."

  • And this was enforced by babe guards Mama Cax, Denise Bidot,

  • Geena Rocero, Ericka Hart and Emme,

  • all activists in their own right.

  • I've always felt it was important to show a range of different bodies

  • in our runway shows and campaigns.

  • But it actually wasn't until recently

  • that we were able to expand our size range in a major way.

  • We first launched our curve collection

  • five years ago;

  • we were so excited.

  • But when it launched, it fell flat.

  • Nobody was interested.

  • None of our department stores stocked above a size large,

  • and if they did, it was somewhere else in the building entirely.

  • In fact, one time our sales team said,

  • "You know, it's so cool you have trans models

  • and curve models on the runway --

  • I love what you're doing.

  • But when the buyers come in to see the collection for market,

  • they want to be sold a dream,

  • they want to see something that they aspire to be."

  • Implying that our models weren't that.

  • But I've realized it's so much more important

  • to open up this dream to more people.

  • I want the consumer to know

  • that it's not your body that needs to change --

  • it's the clothes.

  • (Applause)

  • There needs to be more fashion options at all sizes and in all retailers.

  • So finally, in 2018,

  • Nordstrom actually placed an order up to 3X.

  • And this was a huge game changer for us

  • to have a major retailer invest in adding these units,

  • so we could go to the factory --

  • now we go up to 4X, which is about a size 32.

  • Having that investment

  • helped us to change and realign our entire design process.

  • We now have different-sized bodies to sketch and drape on in the studio.

  • And if more fashion schools taught these skills,

  • more designers would have the ability to design for all bodies.

  • (Applause)

  • So as fashion designers, it's our job to utilize our platform

  • to explode this narrow and restrictive definition of beauty.

  • My goal is that one day,

  • teenagers growing up don't feel the same pressure that I did to conform.

  • And I hope that our work contributes to the fashion industry's opening up

  • to celebrate many different identities.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause and cheers)

Translator: Ivana Korom Reviewer: Krystian Aparta

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B1 INT US TED fashion beauty body size runway

【TED】Becca McCharen-Tran: Fashion that celebrates all body types -- boldly and unapologetically (Fashion that celebrates all body types -- boldly and unapologetically | Becca McCharen-Tran)

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    林宜悉 posted on 2019/11/13
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