With Straight/Curve, Fashion Confronts Its Body-Image Problem

  |   Fashion

Jenny McQuaile wants fashion to be more accountable. “It is all too simple to point fingers, and that is something that happens in the industry and media all the time,” she said via email after the screening of her new film, Straight/Curve. “Everyone passes the blame.” Focusing on the impact of fashion imagery, the documentary explores two of modeling’s size-based categories: straight, the waifish stars typically seen on the runway, and plus, the curvaceous women often designated to work solely with larger sizes. The rigidity of those divisions and the scarcity of varied body types in advertisements and editorials serve to introduce a larger story about the outside influences that can affect body image.

Fashion’s relationship with body diversity has always been fraught, but recent years have seen a push back against the industry’s standards, a movement that has entered the mainstream. With consumers calling for a wider size range on the runway and more inclusive images, many have questioned the actions of brands and publications that seem reluctant to evolve. Through interviews with insiders like Tim Gunn, Candice Huffine, and Chromat’s Becca McCharen, McQuaile attempts to find answers and illustrate the problem at hand, while documenting her team’s efforts to create a photo shoot featuring all sizes, ages, and ethnicities.

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