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The Importance of Body Positivity & Diversity: Lounge Underwear

CW: This article mentions the topic of mental health/illness which could be distressing to some readers.

In today’s society, body image and self-confidence has been massively twisted and turned to present younger individuals with strict ‘ideal’ body types and images, in turn imposing negative mindsets, creating false realities and leading to damaging health/mental conditions like body dysmorphia. A study found that nearly 50% of young girls aged 13-17 years old reported a desire to be skinny like models they see in fashion magazines.

It could be said that certain brands and ‘influencer culture’ could be blamed for portraying unrealistic, degrading beauty standards - this is because a lot of brands present models who are skinny, with little fat and apparently no imperfections. The overpowering presentation of this ‘idealistic’ body image is mentally damaging on younger individuals (particularly Gen Z) as it depicts an unhealthy society standard - leading teenagers to question ‘why don’t I look like that’ or ‘I need to look like that in order to be accepted’. This mentality needs to be diminished and ignored in order to help improve young people’s mental health and to also importantly add more diversity and positivity into society.

"Body positivity is a social, worldwide movement focusing on equality and acceptance for all body types and sizes”.

Be Body Positive!

This movement aims to promote courage and power through satisfaction within your inner self - there are no rights or wrongs when it comes to the physical body and brands in particular should be doing their best to encourage this, so society doesn’t feel degraded through self-loathing and criticism.

Body positivity celebrates individuality and epitomises acceptance of our physical bodies, no matter what shape, size or skin colour we are, no matter our skin texture or appearance.

Previous beauty standards have criticised cellulite for example (a natural skin element that 90% of women have and 10% of men have), resulting in the use of editing apps to smooth and blur such marks and appearances. Photo editing can be a coping mechanism and natural habit for some as they have a desire to match what they see online and ‘improve’ how they look. This can be a dangerous act as apps like Facetune allows smoothing, concealing, reshaping and resizing so if needed, someone could completely reshape their body. Body positivity disregards this notion and encourages appreciation for our individual, natural bodies. The effect of ‘skinny’ culture has damaged teenager’s self-esteem and created false representations of how our bodies should look 24/7, when in reality there is no perfect body type and we are built to change shape and size over time. The industry would be a much better place is body positivity was dominant within all brands.

Diversity Is Empowering!

Diversity within society and brand campaigns is widely encouraged and appreciated more and more as it demonstrates acceptance. Diversity refers to individuality and variety amongst us as human beings in terms of physical attributes like shape, size, gender, ethnicity and disabilities as well as personality traits - this undoubtedly should be celebrated and admired, not rejected and dismissed.

The concepts of diversity and positivity should always be prominent within the industry, to make brands inclusive and so consumers feel supported and respected. It reflects on empowerment.

Lounge Underwear: An Inclusive Brand

Lounge Underwear is a fully inclusive and diverse UK-based underwear brand that sells lingerie, apparel and swimwear. Their website and campaigns always present a variety of models to demonstrate to us as consumers and the industry that diversity is important within brands and that catering for all shapes and sizes highlights significant brand values.

Lounge can be commended for its large size range as they aim to cater for everyone with cup sizes A-G and bottoms in XS-XXL. It is clear to see that the models Lounge present and admire do not typically fall under the ‘skinny and white’ category - they include plus-size bodies of all ethnicities and proportions too. This presents the idea that there is no such thing as a ‘normal’ body type and showing a diverse range of models wearing their products is applaudable as it sends a powerful message to today’s society. Presenting consumers with the same product on various skin tones and body shapes adds a realistic, personal element to the consumers shopping experience - creating a trusting consumer-brand relationship.

Lounge’s Instagram feed features product releases and influencer images - this highlights the diversity amongst the brand, as well as body positivity amongst their consumers. As a brand they aim to inspire and radiate positive energy by being true and accepting. Their ‘Community 22’ highlight features empowering images as it interacts with the viewer through statements and response boxes. To communicate with their audience, the brand starts important conversations, reminds us of reality and relatable bodies, as well as reiterating empowering statements.

The brand reposts influencers pictures featuring pregnant bodies, cellulite, fat and disabilities (for example), all of which are normal to our bodies and we should not be hiding these away. Lounge is a brand that I personally support and admire for its predominant inclusivity and its honest, courageous nature.

The Future of Body Image

Overall, body positivity and diversity are significant elements in today’s society and industry that everyone should encourage and represent. Other brands could gain a lot of inspiration from Lounge Underwear’s campaigns, social channels and their website to see what a diverse, inclusive brand looks like and how it operates. The concept of being able to view the same product on different skin tones and figures allows for consumer acceptance and presents brands with high values. Body positivity has no limits and brands really should be straying away from skinny culture and only presenting one body type.


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