Last night I came across an Instagram account that features two beauties of completely different body shapes celebrating women of all shapes and sizes and it made me think…we need to revisit exactly why we started our business and how we came up with our concept with you guys.
“Two models and best friends that believe there’s no size standard for the modern woman” is the tag line for @any.body_co, an Instagram run by Australian models @georgiagibbs_ and @katewas_. Their feed is filled with stunning photos of them both, celebrating their beauty in all their differences.
One of the posts (accompanying the photo at the top right hand corner above) reads “We posted this picture online, just as best friends going out on the weekend. It got reposted a lot and the controversy started…”you have photoshopped yourself thinner or your friend bigger, what kind of friend are you?” was one of the comments. It broke my heart because Kate and I are best friends, why would I do that? The fact that a simple picture of two people together went so viral purely because of their body types shocked me…and @any.body_co was created because no one should have to deal with that and it shouldn’t even be acknowledged. All I see here is two women…not one “skinny” woman and one “curvy” woman. Stop comparing everyone to each other and accept every person as beautiful in their own right.”
And sadly, it’s completely true. Society is so quick to judge simply based on looks. The fact that so many people even acknowledged that one was “skinny” and one was “curvy” and felt the need to express it is alarming, let alone the fact that they quickly jumped to assumptions about photoshop and got personal by judging their friendship. Why do we assume everything is photoshopped? Why do we assume that a woman who is not true to societal ‘standards’ must not be happy with herself? Why do we allow looks and body shape to hold so much weight in our judgement of other people and of ourselves?
It’s simple – because society as a whole has taught us nothing else. Society hasn’t moved on from the times when sizing was first introduced all those years ago when the female shape and the ‘average’ size was completely different. We have failed to keep up with the always changing times and, in turn, failed to nurture the confidence and self-love that our women and, in particular, our young women need. We have taught our girls to compare themselves to the photoshopped and unrealistic images they see in the media, to obsess over their weight and their bodies and to try and fit themselves in clothing sizes that have been deemed ‘average’ by companies who’s main focus is sales, not their customers wellbeing (read my previous post about Australian Standard Sizing here).
And this is exactly the issue we created our business concept around and exactly the issue we want to make a difference for, no matter how big or small that difference may be. There aren’t as many fashion brands out there embracing and celebrating all women as there should be, especially not here in Australia. While we absolutely love the style and quality of the pieces we order in from other Australian brands, the size range offered is just not good enough. It’s not good enough to say that the women who want to wear their gorgeous clothes and feel stunning in them must be within a size range of 6 – 12. It’s not good enough that, even though they go up to size 12, the pack breakups include more 6, 8 and 10’s than they do 12’s.
Our ‘Clothing Playhouse’ concept is exactly what we feel today’s women need – a space that offers good quality, affordable retail clothing that covers a large range of sizes, that also offers fabrics and haberdashery for those who want to brave their own DIY projects, that also offers custom made services that caters to all those women who know what they want but either can’t find it on the shelves or can’t buy it in their size otherwise, and a brand who celebrates and embraces all women. We want our girls to have the freedom to play with fashion and to celebrate themselves and their beauty through their clothing choices. We want our customers to be confident enough to say “this is what I want, made especially for my body, and I will rock it no matter what other people think”.
We aren’t there yet, and we have a long way to go. Our sizing range isn’t what we would like it to be at the moment, but we will fix that once we release our own designs. We aren’t able to offer the custom made services to anyone outside of our local clientele just yet, but we definitely want to work on a solution for that when the future allows us to. And our fabrics and haberdashery range isn’t as large as we would like it to be to cater to our DIY customers, but we will build it as we can. But it felt important to me to remind you, and ourselves, why we’re here, what trying to achieve and how we’re going to do it. And I think Kate and Georgia for reminding me of that.
Check out their Instagram @any.body_co and let me know if you feel as inspired as I did. And please, suggestions on how to achieve self-love throughout our customer base is always welcome. What do you struggle with in terms of societal expectations on women and how would you like it to be fixed?
Love yourselves, babes. Because if you don’t see your own self worth and your own beauty, how can you expect anyone else to?
You are more than enough 🙌😘