Why Beauty Inclusivity Matters to Me and Why it Should Matter to You Too

This is not a sponsored post though it was inspired by a recent hosted trip

This past week I had the privilege of being invited to a conference in Ohio for a brand called Cacique (pronounced Cah-seek). I wasn’t very familiar with the brand but I’d seen it in its sister store when I went into Lane Bryant (typically shopping with friends or buying a gift). Lane Bryant is a plus sized clothing store for those not familiar. I would see the pretty intimate wear but never spent much time thinking about it, as they didn’t carry my size.

B08590C4-DDE1-4F3C-84F0-924E4460463A

When they reached out and asked me to attend a brand event I took a second look. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they now carried sizes 0-28 and cup sizes A-K. I couldn’t wait to learn more.

B81C1A04-5198-474C-A672-E2FA47D2A834.jpeg

Walking into their headquarters I was so excited to see the beautiful women of all shapes, shades, and ages staring back at me. This is what body positivity looks like I thought to myself. We often see that hashtag attached to a particular body shape. An effort to say me too. I matter as well. But, the reality is everybody should be using that hashtag. No one group owns body positivity. If you have a body celebrate it positively!

Growing up there weren’t very many other girls who looked like me living on my Air Force base in Northern California. There were some, but we were definitely in the minority. I didn’t grow up in a community where I saw myself reflected everywhere I went. For me this was a double edged sword- on one hand my differences became normal so I don’t typically feel out of place no matter where I am. I learned to be comfortable in my skin. But I also know that part of what helped me feel that way was seeing myself represented in media and marketing.

I was fortunate to grow up in an era where Oprah Winfrey looked back at me from the television every day and Naomi Campbell glared at me from magazine covers. I saw Ola Ray play the love interest in what’s still arguably the greatest music video ever, and Diana Ross winked at me from a huge glass (yes, glass-it was the 80’s you guys) photo that hung in our den. I was able to see the beauty that looked like me pretty much every day.

I thank goodness for that beauty bubble I came of age in, but I don’t think as a society we’ve been consistent with our beauty messages. We’ve had periods of time where differences were celebrated or In Vogue but they were always short lived.

Many companies are starting to embrace and push back on the one size fits all body, color and age standard that we’ve allowed to permeate our culture in a way that I haven’t seen before.  I’d dare say, that it’s important to champion this whether you fit into the standard mold or not because more opportunities to create images that all little girls can see themselves in means we’ll have more confident women in our communities.

And if we’re being honest, this isn’t just about our girls. I believe the reason that influencers are taking over the marketing world is that people want to see themselves. We want to feel represented. Whether you’re 14 or 74 you want to see images that reflect the stage of life you’re in. I know I am always looking for inspiration and it feels so much better when I can relate- be it to a woman’s personality, shade, shape or age. We are all just looking to feel a part of something bigger, but similar to ourselves.

I’m excited about this shift and I am going to continue to champion it because…inclusivity matters! I want to see more tables where all people are welcomed and represented. Where “you CAN sit with us” is the norm.

And, If you’re looking for beauty inspiration on the gram or anywhere else make sure that some of the women you follow speak to you. Whether it’s their sunny disposition, their dry sense of humor, their body shape, shade or age make sure you see a little bit of you in them too!

I’d love to hear what you think about beauty inclusivity.

Until Next Post!

xo, Tonya Parker

Posted by

I'm a counselor and author who loves to help women look and feel their best! Brand ambassador for O, The Oprah Magazine and author of Single Mom Chic

17 thoughts on “Why Beauty Inclusivity Matters to Me and Why it Should Matter to You Too

  1. Inclusivity does matter. I agree with you. It’s nice when you can connect with a brand that expresses that it is for everyone. People are more likely to go to those that do. Thanks for this post and keep up the good work beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is an amazing post! I agree with you. I was talking to my best friend about this yesterday. Young girls are looking up to the Kardashians 😪😪 and its very sad. We need to embrace all body types more and stop giving young girls unrealistic measurements and stop promoting surgery and body enhancements to love ourselves. We are all different and that’s okay

      Like

  2. Inclusivity matters to me in every aspect of life. Social media as a whole is both good and bad when I think about self esteem, body image, etc. We have the opportunity to teach our future generations about inclusivity and I hope that young people open their eyes and appreciate everyone around them and know that they are all beautiful.

    Like

  3. This post is great Tonya! It resonates with me on a deep level, and I’m sure I’m one of many, who can totally relate.

    Thanks for sharing your experience at the Cacique event, and your experience with exclusivity. Please continue the good work of empowering women.

    Elaine

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this post … yessss to inclusivity! The reason I started blogging in the first place is because I couldn’t find a positive, supportive voice for women over 40. Now I realize that they were actually out there at the time, but maybe I couldn’t find them because I was meant to be one of them. 🙂 Every women deserves to feel fashionable and beautiful … every age, size, shape, ethnicity … and every budget too.

    Best,
    Dawn Lucy

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s