Plus-Sized Beauty in India
It used to be a fairly normal practice to watch TV or log onto social media only to notice lean, slim, attractive "socially-excepted" bodies on our screens. Since the 1980s, Indian audiences have been fed a poisoned ideal to aspire to by the beauty culture. Fashion magazines and exhibitions have long promoted the "ideal" size and shape. On top of that, it is very challenging to find clothing at high-end brands that fit unconventional body types and plus sizes.
In India, the standard for beauty has been raised so high that it is practically impossible for anyone to fit in. The common narrative in ads, TV shows, and brands is that slim people can afford all the perks in life, such as societal acceptance, successful careers, and healthy relationships, among other things.
However, things have been gradually improving. The way that companies, the media, and society have represented different body sizes and shapes over the past five years has undergone a significant shift. Consumers' collective consciousness has begun to press clothing and cosmetics brands to cater to all body types and shapes. Women, who primarily focus on the celebration and radical self-love of all body types, can make a significant contribution to the broader acceptance. The shift can also be attributable to fashion brands. These companies, together with their advertisements and production team, can significantly alter the mindset of the average person to a large extent. In order to accommodate larger body types, plus-size fashion and lifestyle firms are expanding their size portfolio. There is no denying the enormous opportunity that the inclusive size market offers. Beauty companies that take a comprehensive approach to size inclusivity can build a substantial base of loyal customers.
Furthermore, the ability and power of social media to hold businesses responsible for their decisions has increased tremendously. Since practically all brands are on social media, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, customers can quickly contact them and have a direct connection with the brand and call them out easily. A noticeable increase in the number of plus-size bloggers and influencers on social media has been fueling a revolution in body image and self-love that has permeated the general public. The collective voice of ordinary people seeking inclusion from beauty products has been strengthened by the remarkable pioneering work of these influencers in educating and raising awareness.
Fashion and cosmetics brands have already started moving in the right direction in response to this transformation. Fashion companies and designers can be seen actively collaborating with models of various sizes to reflect this change. Additionally, clothing brands are being sensible and are offering more sizes in-store and online. However, brands have a bigger role than just creating an all-inclusive size choice rather the idea of inclusivity must permeate every aspect of not just the brand but its consumers as well.
We should strive to overcome and eventually break through that mentality and conditioning.
(Arindam Chakravorty is the Head of Aurelia)