Fashion Week looks at traditional, changing standards of beauty

When you think of models on the runway, you probably think of lines of tall, slender women.


Many of them are blonde and white. The stereotypical body type associated with fashion from years of images on television, magazines, and other media is not an image representative of the whole community.

Northwest Arkansas' Fall Fashion Week challenged that very image with its choice of topics and with the representation of all body types, skin colors, and genders. There were runway shows and panel discussions at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

The changing landscape of clothing choice for genders, diverse cultures' influence on American fashion, body positivity and neutrality, and standards of conventional beauty, and how to change them, are just some of the topics addressed by speakers that day.

You're not alone if you've ever wondered why little boys are dressed in blue and little girls are wearing pink. NWA Fall Fashion Week kicked off with this topic by acknowledging the existence of gender regimes.

There are many ways in which gender affects us. There are cultural expectations around gender regimes, as well as institutional levels, which cause people to behave in certain gender-normative ways in families, church settings, or workplaces. The way the two levels intersect is very personal.

Different historical moments have different expectations about how bodies should be dressed.

After World War II, gender became a topic of discussion. That's not a coincidence. Agency panic was the result of the war. She said there was a push to define what was normal. "All the psychological literature, business literature, political literature of the post-war period is about what it is to become normal -- what are normal behaviors, what are normal bodies, how do we dress to purport ourselves."

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Children's clothing can be used to map the anxiety of a particular fashion culture. 

Agency panic was a way of dealing with the trauma of the war and produced conformity.

Children were wearing the same thing as infants. White dresses were worn by both boys and girls.

It was cheaper and easier to dress children in white dresses at a certain age because of the uniformity of the dress code.

Boys were assigned red as a symbol of fighting and girls were assigned light blue or pastels as a way of showing their femininity.

Corrigan said that it flipped mid-century. The fact that it wasn't always that way tells us that things have changed over time.

The emergence of other clothing for young children was seen as a status symbol to dress them differently. When a boy got his first pair of pants, it was a big deal.

A few models arrived on the stage to show off Costello's Spring 2023 collection, which they described as Art Nouveau with designs that weren't restricted to a particular body type. The late 1960s medievalism is an inspiration to them.

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The feminist movement gave way to more androgynous looks for women, more pants, suits, and more peacocking for men, in which clothing suddenly was available in many more colors and patterns.

The current fashion is moving away from androgynous clothing as a symbol of femininity. Black drag queens of the 21st century paved the way for the creation of trans clothing.

The current climate is dangerous due to the existence of anti-trans panic in the U.S.

She said that it's terrifying because it's about punishing bodies for the way they're moving through the world.

The same type of thinking could lead to further isolation of people who are disabled, aging or anyone outside of the narrow definition of normal. There are beauty standards.

What is the origin of western beauty. That's the question that kicked off a conversation between Walmart Beauty and Jess Whalen about the markers of beauty hidden in the world of fashion, cosmetics and on-screen.

Spinx thinks it has to do with your upbringing.

Spinx said it's important to challenge things people tell you. It's a way to make a lot of money and it's a personal connection with people in the world.

Spinx said it starts with what you hear as a child. What your mothers, teachers and other influential people say about your appearance sticks with you and sets the stage for your understanding of what beauty is in your life

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She said she gets a lot of messages about beauty standards from people who watch beauty shows. The underlying message in media of what people want to see, even if you have strong internal voices, may not be enough to drown it out.

There is a thin, cisgender blonde person who is appropriate for the role of the main character in a film who only wears a dress.

Whalen fashion aid that when larger sizes are not available in stores or come at a higher price, the buyer may not be as deserving of wearing a certain item.

She urged the audience to think about how fashion decisions are made in the larger system and how they are ultimately made by people in power. People who have the money to commission pieces or make choices in marketing for a company have biases that eventually become known as a standard ideal form or look.

Spinx believes that representation of all kinds is necessary for individuals to feel comfortable, beautiful and worthy no matter what they are buying or using to influence their fashion appearance.

In a recent decision to fashion market boxes of hair dye for Walmart customers, she noticed that the images of the hair had different textures for white and black people. It is possible to make more customers feel like they are buying a product for them by including images of all hair types and fashion textures.

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Spinx said that it was the ability to transform what you look like that made people connect with you. "We have a voice to expect the big companies and brands to reflect the things that make us feel better and worthy and not just the Kate Mosses of the world."

The model citizen campaign led up to the fashion week. Ahead of the panel discussions and runway shows, the campaign used its platform to highlight information about voter registration and education. The photo is a courtesy.

Changing landscape of clothing choices for genders, diverse cultures' influence on American fashion, body positivity and neutrality, standards of conventional beauty, and how to change them are just some of the topics addressed by speakers at NWAFW. The photo is a courtesy.

Keywords: Fall Fashion Week, slender women strutting,Gender, fashion