Fashion and beauty have become quite political this year, From Megan Markle’s influence as our favorite black princess, Melania’s deliberate “I Don’t Care Do U?” jacket and the various shirts created to draw up momentum for voting fashion is constantly intersecting with otherworldly topics.
Fashion isn’t just about what we’re wearing. Beauty isn’t just about the greatest hair trends. It’s about how these factors can not only influence us as individuals but how they intersect in other ways. Fashion is political and it’s always been political. There is no way around it. But while fashion became the axis of the political world, we also saw a push for more inclusion.
Consumers have spoken. With Victoria’s Secret CEO telling the world that trans and fat people are not part of his “fantasy”, it’s clear that we have more work to do when it comes to inclusion. It’s come down to either pushing these brands to include us or maybe spending our coins on brands that are true for us.
But here at The Tempest, we asked the tough questions and explored what intersectionality in the beauty industry means to us. I’m proud of everything we published. In 2018 we longer accepted the status quo of beauty, we took control of that image and made it our own. Hopefully, in 2019, we’ll get to the point where we won’t have to ask where we can find representation. Here are 9 of the best Lookbook stories from 2018:
Muslim people are not a monolith. In this piece, Zara Asad tackled Muslim stereotypes and how embracing who you are can be dangerous. Not all Muslims are terrorists and not all terrorists are Muslims, yet they’re constantly forced to demand that their humanity is seen. At the end of the day, those of us who aren’t Muslim don’t get a say in what their culture is. Western Ideology is toxic, and it’s best that they no longer speak on things they don’t understand.
Grace Wong wrote about the 2018 Met Gala’s “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic imagination” theme and whether this trend wasn’t insensitive. When it comes to high fashion there are no limits. Some designers like to be provocative just for the sake of being edgy. But when it comes to issues of people’s faith do they go too far?
In 2019 I’m hoping we won’t have to ask that question again.
When I was in high school, I remembered being upset because my mom told me I wasn’t allowed to wear ripped jeans to school. To her, ripped jeans symbolized a low economic status instead of just a fashion trend. This piece by Injie Anis hit a little too close to home. We’ve all had moments where our parents, or just society in general, try to make us ashamed of our bodies. Especially for those of us who identify as women.
However, being away from our families own internalized misogyny can be freeing. Which leads to our, and the writers, freedom to express themselves through fashion anyway they see fit.
Representation matters! This isn’t a new thing, but it’s been the biggest theme in 2018. Aliza Kkan interviewed photographer Rochelle Brock about how she promotes body-positivity in her photos and the importance of confidence in an industry like this.
When it comes to body hair on women, it’s always controversy. Body hair is natural. We all have it! But yet when it comes to women, we must be hairless or face humiliation. Our editorial fellow, Saira Mahmood, wrote about the history of women shaving and the negative attributes attached to women who don’t shave.
Fortunately, there are a lot of women who are trying to alter stereotypes about women and body hair, advocating for women to do whatever the hell is comfortable for them. Want to shave? Go ahead. Want to keep your body hair? Go ahead. Your body, your choice.
There have been a lot of studies on how fashion is terrible for the environment. Editorial fellow Meg Leach wrote about how we can not only be stylish but eco-positive consumers. At the Tempest, we saw a lot of articles dedicated to shopping more ethical brands, and hopefully, in 2019, we’ll be talking about how our efforts have worked.
There are a lot of ways we can protest. We saw it in the Women’s March pussy hats and in the “I am a voter” t-shirts celebrities wore this year. But when it came to the Kavanaugh case, editorial fellow India Kushner wrote about the cosmetic company Lipslut and their efforts to protest against the Supreme Court nominee.
Yes, men suck. But you can not only look great in this color, but all the proceeds go to anti-sexual assault organizations that are doing great work.
What did I say earlier about representation? THAT IT MATTERS. Editorial fellow Saira Mahmood wrote about her struggles to find modest plus-size fashion and how there aren’t really any influencers who represent her. Finding plus-size fashion is a nightmare. Finding modest fashion can be stressful. But trying to find a combination of the two can be downright discouraging.
While there are some efforts, the fashion industry still needs to do better.
We are all aging, there is no way around it. But when it comes to aging, women always get the short end of the stick. Women aren’t supposed to age. At least that’s what society tells us. Shehzeen Rehman wrote about the how we have grown accustomed to shaming aging women. We don’t just do it through words, but anti-aging products and our focus on “young” skin.
Aging isn’t a curse! It’s a beautiful thing and we need to see it as such in 2019.