The future of fashion: models of all shapes, sizes, heights, races, and abilities.

We often have discussions about how we need to see more "real women" in fashion, media, and advertising.

But what exactly is a "real woman?"

A real woman is any living, breathing human who identifies as a woman.


Real women are tall, short — and everything in between. Real women are slender, curvy, and plus-size — and everything in between. Real women are all different races and ethnicities. Real women are assigned female at birth and transgender. Real women have different abilities and disabilities.

When we talk about wanting to see "real women" reflected back to us and when we say we want clothing available for real women of all sizes, we're simply asking for more variety.

Because the 5'10", 120-pound, size 0 model? She's most certainly real too. She's just not the only kind of real.

Fashion designer and business owner Mallorie Dunn is here for real women — all of them.

Mallorie Dunn. All photos provided by Mallorie Dunn, used with permission.

She created the fashion line SmartGlamour, which she describes as a "body positive clothing line of customizable, ethically-made pieces from XXS to 6X and beyond."

And on Feb. 19, she hosted a runway show during New York Fashion Week unlike anything the fashion world is used to seeing.

The SmartGlamour fashion show was an amazing display of real women rocking Dunn's designs.

It featured 24 models, from sizes XS to 5X, who walked the runway in front of a completely packed room.

Dunn's models, she told Upworthy, come in all sizes, shapes, heights, weights, ages, abilities, and identities. It seems that she definitely has real women covered.

The brand is about creating clothing for all women.

While Dunn has always loved designing and making clothes, she told me the most important reason she created SmartGlamour "was to help fix how badly people, and women specifically, feel about themselves and their bodies."

Dunn explained that when we feel bad about ourselves because of the fashion industry, it's often a two-part problem.

First, it's hard to find clothes that fit well and when we don't have luck, it can wear on our self-esteem. Second, she said, "Models depict 5% of people. That leaves 95% of people feeing like they have no representation, looking around thinking, 'If don’t look like these people, clearly there’s something wrong with me.'"

While it might feel that way, it's just not true. And Dunn is doing her part to change that.

She offers customizable clothing and selects models for her website and shows that are diverse in every way. By giving women options and showing them women they can relate to, "you can really change the way people feel about themselves," Dunn added.

Take a look at more of the women who walked the runway in SmartGlamour's spring show:

The show was a hit, but are times really changing?

I asked Dunn whether she thinks we'll see big changes in the fashion and advertising industries given that there have been steps in the right direction (like the first plus-size model appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated).

"We've seen small baby steps so far. It can only continue to get better," Dunn said. When it comes to large companies, "There's no reason for them not to do it. I’m one person and I fund my own company. I seem to be able to do it. If one person can do it, I don’t see why giant companies can’t!"

Excellent point. Your move, fashion industry!

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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Culture