Kelsey is a 24 year-old advertising graduate from Essex, who has struggled to understand the lack of body acceptance since she was young. She’s struggled with her own body issues, in addition to helping other people with theirs. Kelsey loves to volunteer to help overcome stigmas and negativity in society, and Be Real is a massive part of that for her.
Exploring Instagram is much more of a pleasure these days. Long gone are the days where a certain ‘look’ solely dominates the definition of beauty. This generation of women and men are widening our tunnel vision through social media by not asking questions; but by telling us that they’re confident, stylish and feeling good – a combination which was once to be perceived as only available to those with the right ‘look.’
Consumers are not the only ones who have taken notice, brands too have jumped on the hype. They’ve always known that selling to, for example, plus-size people will generate more plus-size sales, but it was always a scary and somewhat risky territory for agencies, and the brands they represent.
Nowadays, from print adverts to television commercials, media is flooded with beautiful body diversity. In addition, it’s not just size-wise, different styles, skin tones, heights and complexions are achieving representation, and it’s all because of us. Our likes and retweets may be worth more than we think, and it’s this data that has lead agencies to dip their toes into the portrayal of self-confidence.
Social media has provided an equal platform to all, and with people admiring confidence and self-love more so than the clothes on their backs or the shape of their stomachs, a new wave of diversity has taken their rightful place in the hearts of millions globally. This has subsequently normalised such diversity, whilst also placing it upon a pedestal, making these role models a perfect recipe for brands to utilise.
It may sound all quite clinical, but it’s such a good thing. If anything, it shows us that consumers have more power than we think. Advertising has had a tarnished name for decades, from sexism in the 60’s to reinforcing traditional gender roles in the 2010’s, a lot of us believe not much has changed. But it has; because we have. As David Ogilvy (of Ogilvy & Mather, a global advertising agency) once said, ‘Advertising reflects the mores of society, but it does not influence them.’
If certain topics, sub cultures or people become popular within society, or more specifically a certain target demographic, advertisers will hop aboard the bandwagon in order to appear relatable and trustworthy.
It’s for this reason that advertising has changed. It’s because of us!
And I’m sure more is yet to come. The more we champion each other and show support for diversity and self-love, the more of it we’ll see.