Rihanna is making waves in the fashion world, not just with her Savage X Fenty line of clothes, but also with the models she hired to wear them. Rihanna's inclusive approach — to use models of all sizes and colors — has hit a chord with people who rarely see themselves represented in this way.
Twitter exploded with praise when they realized that the models on the Savage X Fenty site come in all shapes and sizes and colors, including the male models, which is something you hardly ever see.
"This is the first body inclusivity for men I've ever seen," one person wrote. While the body positivity movement has gained traction in recent years and plus-size models have become more and more visible in the modeling world, so much of the focus on inclusivity has been in the world of women's modeling.
Men have largely been left out of the conversation. Until now. When you finally see a plus-size male model being celebrated like they are in these Savage X Fenty product shots, you realize just how much representation has been missing from the fashion world for so long.
Never in my adult life have I seen a male model that has a similar body to mine. I feel... almost emotional? Like I finally can buy something I saw and want and KNOW it was made for people like me in mind 😭— Cody Jacob (@codyjacobmusic) October 2, 2020
You can't overstate the importance of representation. Seeing people who look like you, whether it's on screen or in ads for clothes, is validating on a level that you might not even recognize until it finally happens.
Cody Jacob, who's a singer-songwriter who promotes body positivity and queer inclusivity, told Bored Panda, "After a quick google search, I saw the official website launch. Initially, I thought how incredibly t was to see not only a big dude but a big black dude being represented that way.
"I found myself honestly staring at his image, realizing, 'Oh my God, he literally looks just like me. That's what my body looks like."
He continued, "To foster a strong sense of community via inclusivity, compassion, empathy, and patience (just like Savage X Fenty did), it enables people to feel implored to go out and either buy products they otherwise wouldn't or go forward with the knowledge that their bodies are now, in some way, being represented." Not to mention, models of all sizes are way more representative of the real world!
I'm built like that— 👻Rebranding my Depression as SpoOOoOoky!🎃 (@NomeDaBarbarian) October 2, 2020
And I was not ready
To see a bunch of people finding someone built like me really attractive.
So I'm having some feelings about this at the moment.
Cody believes that Rihanna's fashion line is a "culture change and the beginning of something much larger than a singular movement, and, I think, everyone seeing a massive platform like Rihanna be the catalyst for it was just incredible."
Rihanna just proved that it's so easy to make clothes that fit all types of bodies, to advertise those clothes using models that look like real people, and to do it fiercely and unapologetically. Her models are gorgeous and aspirational in every single way, and so many more people will now feel like these clothes are actually for them.
There is no question that people want to see this kind of diversity and representation in fashion. Rihanna's just one of the only ones who has actually stood up and actually done it.