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Diversity in the Fashion Industry

Why the Fashion Industry Needs to Become More Accepting in 2016

Diversity in the Fashion Industry
Image Source: ShopStyle Photography
Product Credit: Tibi Sweater, Rag & Bone jeans, Benah for Karen Walker Bag, Eddie Borgo Earrings, Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers

Looking back at 2015, it's easy to see the progress the fashion industry has made: transgender models have walked the runway, the term "plus size" is well on its way to extinction, and society as a whole has realized there's more than one way to define beauty. It's impressive, to say the least.

But no matter how you slice it, there's still a long way to go, especially in terms of having more body types and capabilities represented in media, ads, and fashion shows. You still need to be over a certain height to be a model. Women like Madeline Stuart are an exception, not the rule. And only one side of the curvy spectrum — the relatively small and toned side — can be spotted starring in major campaigns.

Shopping for clothing is another point of contention for many, especially if you aren't considered a traditional size. Why are there only a handful of stores that cater to extended and petite sizes? And even then, why must women — even women like Melissa McCarthy — be forced to shop in different sections of the store, rather than join their "regular" sized friends?

As a petite woman myself and someone who once had (albeit lofty) dreams of modeling, it's hard not to see this extremely large and excluding gap in the industry I love and work in. So what are some things that I hope change come 2016? Read on for my list. Fashion, I hope you're listening.

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