Hats off to Refinery29 for realizing something the fashion industry has been ignoring! The digital media company has noticed that while 67% of women are plus size, only 1 to 2% of women represented in the media fall into that category. After realizing they were guilty of this themselves - with only 5 to 8% of their images featuring a plus size woman - they teamed up with Getty Images to launch the 67% Project. They found photographers and models and created a new set of stock photos that lets women be represented how the average woman actually looks.
Make no mistake — this isn't R29 Plus. The very concept of a plus-size issue underscores the message we're trying to spread: Plus is not niche. It is the norm. Kelsey Miller - Refinery29
They were actually turned down by some of the photographers they approached who were worried about their clients opinions on the images. That statement alone shows just how broken the beauty/fashion industry really is. They discuss the "unconscious bias" that is found throughout society and it spreads across many issues not just weight.
It's the surprised, back-patting tone when we call a Black woman "articulate." It's the judgment we reflexively withhold when a woman reports abuse at the hands of her famous husband. It's the distaste for fat people that we dress up as concern. Kelsey Miller - Refinery29
The essay announcing the project explains how the world is different for plus size women.
I've been asked a variation on the question, "How did you find your confidence?" The assumption being that "someone like me" (another phrase I hear a lot) should have none to begin with. Kelsey Miller - Refinery29
So even if you are confident, you are expected not to be and are forced to endure the back-handed compliments that go along with it. They created this project to challenge people to look into their own biases and conquer them. They aren't without their concerns and know they will have critics but they are adamant that in order to correct the imbalance the other side needs to be focused on.
If you're worried this is taking something away from thin people, you're simply wrong. If you're worried this is upsetting the norm, you're damn right. There are a lot of norms that need upsetting. Kelsey Miller - Refinery29
Refinery29 is hoping to increase awareness of body diversity and give better representation to all women so we can all change the perception of beauty. Personally, I am so proud of them and Getty Images for teaming up to do this because it is such cool project. What do you think? Share with your friends and help everyone embrace who they are!