Hello, and welcome to my first blog. Please be kind and excuse any blogiquette that I may have missed.
The lingerie blogging world is awash with articles about Diversity in Lingerie, and well, I felt I was missing out by not writing something myself. It is all surrounding the fact that the majority of lingerie models are tall, slender, twenty something, white models, and people are standing up and asking for more diversity in the way that underwear is shown. Before putting fingers to keyboard, I asked my lovely Facebook and Twitter followers what they thought, and if they would want to model lingerie themselves. I also spoke to my husband for a male’s point of view, and to friends. Consequently this blog takes into consideration everything that I have recently heard and read.
I’m probably going to start by upsetting a few people, but it isn’t intentional, and please continue to read, as I think (hope) I will redeem myself again afterwards. Personally, I am happy with the models that the lingerie companies use. I myself am a slender, white, although not overly tall lady, who is rapidly approaching 40. I am old enough to appreciate that I don’t look like the models in the pictures, and, young enough to hope that someday, with the power of wishful thinking behind me, that I might stretch 6inches in my sleep one night and wake up looking like Elle MacPherson. I understand that the lingerie companies use the models, that they feel, will sell the underwear the best, and that therefore, they are not really going to look like me. Owning an underwear shop, I love looking through the new catalogues that come in, and looking at the pretty underwear, however, I never really, look at the models. I look at the lingerie and think about how it would look on me. Is it the right colouring for me, the right shape, style, material? Do I think it would sell? To me the models are just that – models. They do not influence my decision process when deciding what to stock. Consequently, if the models were taller, shorter, a different colour, a different shape or had a disability, this wouldn’t bother me either. I am quite happy to see a range of models; it is after-all, the underwear that I love, not the person wearing it.
This then bought me onto asking others what they felt. My customers had an overwhelming sense that there should be more diversity in the models that they should look more like ‘real women’ and less like models. Even the men felt the same about menswear. A lot of women felt that they wanted models to represent themselves rather than the models currently used. Although, as one woman rightly pointed out, if you are slender and tall, then you are quite happy with those already used, and shouldn’t be under-represented either. Quite a few women would be prepared to model as well. Women who are happy with who they are, regardless of whether they are the stereotypical lingerie model or not. This got me thinking – if a lingerie company uses more than one model in their campaign, could they not use more than one shape/colour/age etc model? Give the public the diversity that they crave?
In saying that, there were other people who agreed with me on the point, that the lingerie companies are portraying their lingerie in the ‘best way’ that they see, and it is for you, as an individual to imagine yourself in the lingerie, or try it on.
My husband and I didn’t always agree. He feels that marketing campaigns are designed for Men. That they use the models that will draw the men in with the thoughts of ‘if I buy my wife that lingerie, she is going to look like that when she wears it’ Personally I didn’t think that all men were that shallow, and that campaigns were designed to pull women in, as they buy most of the lingerie. So, I’m going to leave his thoughts there.
Through all the discussions I’ve had, and the things I have read, I have come to the conclusion that there is space within the lingerie world to have a range of models. There’s nothing wrong with diversity. This doesn’t mean that we should dismiss the ladies that already do a great job. I don’t think that having a diverse range of models will hinder the industry, but will help ladies to feel more comfortable with not only their own bodies, but in their underwear. It is OK not to look like a model, the way they currently are, but with a bit of diversity, perhaps we could all be models in our own right.
Now, finally, and this is the bit that I have not been looking forward too, there has been a call, within this discussion, to include a picture of yourself, tagged with Diversity in Lingerie. I have various hang-ups about my body, but was lucky enough to have a boudoir shoot not so long ago, and therefore have had pictures taken in the right lighting and in the right way, so you guys are less likely to see my hang-ups. I am going to cheat and use one of these pictures. It is the only way I felt semi-comfortable with the idea of my lingerie clad body being on the world wide web for anyone to see. Feel free to look away now.
Thank you for reading.