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WELCOME danielle muntyan

ISSUE 01: This issue looks at Western and Eastern cultures, in
The cross-cultural, self-perception issue focusing an aim to understand how trends, brands, blogger
on social media, magazines and bloggers within the empires and social media compare and contrast, and
world of the fashion and beauty industries, and it’s how this affects perceptions and self-perceptions. In
affect on body image, self-esteem and narcissim addition, it puts a spot light on cross-cultural ‘ideals’
and critical perspectives relating to self-esteem and
Welcome to the first issue of The Industry magazine. narcissim in context.
The Industry aims to highlight cultural truths about
the beauty and fashion industries. Derived from Nine months of research, candid interviews,
an interest in how these industries and the rise of collaboration and writing have gone into this first
social media can affect ones self-perception and edition of The Industry magazine, gaining exclusive
self-esteem, The Industry magazine was born. It’s access to the likes of Vogue Japan HQ and ASOS, to
aim is to showcase, and educate those interested in give readers an honest and insightful, yet critical and
the beauty and fashion around the world, whilst also cynical view on the industries which are currently
raising awareness of the positve outlets and marketing dominating the 21st century.
strategies which are outlined to combat this, and
fight for one to be accepting of themselves in a world I hope you enjoy reading this first edition, and that it
where we often strive to be like, act like, or look like sparks and inspires conversation and debate alike.
someone else.
Anon Survey
Selfie Warning
Selfies, Narcissim and Self-Esteem
Mulvey’s Changing Gaze
Sex Sells
Backlash of Social Media
Porn Chic
Porn Chic and Self-Objectification

82 Insta Glam with Charlotte Stacey | Photography & Art Direction: Danielle Muntyan
How to be Social Media Famous


Economy of Beauty
Japanese Beauty
Nicole Takamoto
Charlotte Stacey
Kyoko Muramatsu


Insta Glam with Charlotte Stacey
Manny and Jeffree
Modern Muse
Milk and Honey
Fashion Bloggers and Influencers


Tam Dexter
Good American
Nadine LeBlond
Bobbi Rae
Samantha Ravndahl
“The internet allows people to present
an inflated and self-focused view of
themselves to the world”
Twenge & Campbell (2005)
The average
18-24 year old
spends 2 hours a day
alone on Instagram,
spanning across
16 visits to the
application. But, how
does this affect ones

“It seems like there is a higher
percentage of people that have a
slimmer, fitter, smoother, tanner body
Participants of a 2017 study stated that..
than mine”

“I feel like I have to buy more beauty
products and try them out. Things
I would never have thought about.
Products such as pore minimiser,
eyebrow pencils and face creams.
Because of these products I am more
aware of parts of my body that I
wouldn’t have noticed before”

“All models and fitness bloggers use
social media as a platform to sell
themselves, and I look at these amazing
looking people with amazing bodies and
feel so self conscious that I don’t look
like them”

“There’s so many examples of extreme
beauty to compare yourself to”

“For a long time I let Instagram get me
down, how good people look on the
internet compared to how I look in real
life. It wasn’t long before I figured it
was an unfair comparison. You only put
your best bits online and with all the
apps and make up available now, we can
all play along with the best of them”



The rise of narcissism and self-esteem
issues through the rise of the ‘seflie’,
self-photography and social media

Social media has impacted the world like no world. The world has become ‘image-led’ and
other online outlet. It is hard to list all of the one is lead to believe that whoever receives
effects that social media can have on one; either most ‘likes’ or ‘positive comments’ are the
positive or negative. At a glance, it is obvious epitome of beauty or fashion; and now even the
that self-expression has become a paramount fitness industry.
benefit, and one can connect with friends and
loved ones all over the world within seconds, In regard to Instagram; the app some may say
sharing stories, photos, videos and conversation. was designed to show, take and edit selfies, is
On the flip side, there are ‘trolls’ and judgement comprised of a mass of individuals competing
taking place by International critics whom one against each other for followers, likes, reposts,
may not even know; simply as a result of a ‘selfie’ favourites, and whichever other show of
going live on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat. approval exists out there rather than any sort
of collective goal of mass beauty and global
These photo-based platforms allow for one acceptance of diversity and culture.
to create an ‘ideal lifestyle’ or ‘image’, only
projecting what one wants others to see; a self- It is this self-obsession and competitive culture
focused and inflated view of oneself. Deceptive which pushes one to make aesthetic changes to
angles and filters have taken self-photography reach a level of ‘acceptance’, whilst also pushing
to another extreme, allowing for narcissists to one into a whirlwind of self-esteem and body
prevail on an International platform without image issues.
necessarily knowing themselves.
A research study consisting of anonymous
Lowen, a researcher and theorist, describes male and female participants carried out in
narcissism as “an investment in one’s image 2017 showed that 80% of participants within
as opposed to ones self; their activities are the age bracket of 18-24 felt that social media
directed toward the enhancement of their had impacted negatively on their self-esteem
image”. This quote embodies modern day and confidence. Theorist Hesse-Biber claims
society, be it through social media, plastic that those already vulnerable to self-esteem or
surgery, cosmetics or clothing. All one needs to body image issues are most impacted by social
do is look at celebrities and bloggers to see the media platforms and the subsequent intergroup
embodiment of ‘narcissism’ in a digitally social comparison which follows. This intertwines with

other image-led perspectives and ideologies
such Mulvey’s ‘gaze’, which has changed and
moulded itself overtime to echo the modern
‘digital age’ with lenses and camera phones
acting as a barrage of self-doubt and self-
objectification for the pleasing of the follower.
This being said though, a viscious cycle follows,
with said ‘pleasing’ resulting in praise for the
body or face behind the lens. This then allows
and encourages a repetitive notion of self- “‘LIKES’ GIVE THE
photography to occur, solely in the pursuit SAME HIGH AS A SMALL
of reassurance.
It is unlikely that one would admit that self-
photography is curated for self-adornment but are looking at is real or constructed in a post-
with narcissists it has been stated that every production of lighting, retouching and ‘face-
‘like’ can give the same impact on one mentally tune’ apps, the danger of this having a negative
and physically as a hit of cocaine. Such yearning impact on one is real. One participant claimed
for validation has now reached such levels where that “Instagram doesn’t do real life filters;
one can buy ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ to give people you can’t edit real life”, echoing the notion of
that ‘hit’ for aesthetic highs. falseness impacting on peoples insecurities for
the selfish benefit of others.
But, for others, image-led applications can cause
a negative stir, as previously mentioned. The But with narcissism on the rise, more filters,
anonymous study allowed for participants to air more lenses and more editing apps becoming
their views on such platforms with one claiming readily available each week, will there ever be
that; “there are so many examples of beauty to a sincere level of engagement on social media
compare yourself to”. How do you know what you anymore? Or is the desire to be lavished with
should look like? Is there a ‘normal’ anymore? Or praise and likes the new conversation, even if
is this based on who receives the most ‘likes’? it is damaging below the transparent surface of
In a world where you don’t know if what you hashtags and the wannabe-famous?

The Male Gaze in a ‘digital age’ and its
effects on the self-hood, identity and
self-esteem of social media users

Photography: Playboy

1975 saw Mulvey coin “The Male Gaze”, a in the UK with 1,500 14-24 year olds, found
theoretical perspective which has domincated that Instagram has been rated the ‘worst app
the media over the past 30 years in many ways. for mental health issues’, affecting users self-
esteem and body image, due to a constant
As much as it has dominated, it has also feed and infux of imagery showcasing ideals,
changed perspectives and perceptions when filtered selfies and body shots. This has led to
it comes to the fashion and beauty industries, social media being recognized as having the
and in recent times with the rise of social same effects on ones self-perception as the
media, has become a notion as to also how ‘male gaze’, due to an internalisation of an
to create tailored content to appeal to a ‘ideal image’ which one comes to recognise
certain audience; but perhaps with the wrong as ‘normal’. The ‘male gaze’ is a term coined
intentions, and with undesired side effects by feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey in her
stimulating a cycle of self-esteem, confidence groundbreaking and renowned 1975 essay “Visual
and identity issues. Pleasures and Narrative Cinema” which explores
a world of sexual imbalance, where a pleasure
Wishpond claim that there are 7.3m daily active of looking has primarily been of the active male,
users on Instagram alone, generating on average and the passive female, who becomes ‘the
575 photo ‘likes’ and 81 comments per second display’ with the pre-determined intention of
per day. And with this, a 2017 study carried out “look at me”.


a world of sexual imbalance, where a pleasure Instagram, even now under the beauty-sphere,
of looking has primarily been of the active male, with bloggers adopting these approaches to self-
and the passive female, who becomes ‘the promote; the tides have turned from primary
display’ with the pre-determined intention of uses within fashion and editorial advertising.
“look at me”. Writer, Liu, summarises this notion perfectly;
“social media makes this a time when the visual
The gaze has been seen in the media for begins to take prominence over the real. Instead
decades, in the editorials of Vogue, in porn, and of experiencing our lives from our own vantage
through key establishments such as Playboy, points, we now see the world from how others
shaping how women are perceived by men, and will view and respond to our vantage points.
in turn how they perceive themselves. In the When we are all responsible for creating our
1950’s Playboy Bunnies in Chicago, whereby own media, we are always visible and therefore,
they were objects of both male attention and always ‘seen’”.
the male gaze due to their ‘uniforms’, in turn
becoming the ‘ideal’ and ‘sex symbols’ of the era. Johnson (2008, P.207), pins this thought of
Shields and Heinecken stated that this can be vantage points on the ideology of a brand, or
“overwhelming, and in turn, distorted”, whereby, self-branding marketing strategies as often seen
one becomes unable to recognise the ‘ideal’, with influencers adopting ‘porn chic’ style
nor reality, adding additional pressure to look promotions and campaigns, noting that;
a certain way and conform to a socio-culturally “’product [or brand] ambassadors’ ... [are not]
pre-set ‘norm’ derived from such gazes. aimed at selling anything specific, but instead
work to give a brand a certain set of values or a
Theorist Shields expands on this, explaining certain emotional association”. This however in
the ‘male gaze theory’ in everyday terms; turn aims to change one’s sense of self through
allowing for women to be seen as objects of reflected and standardised/advertised ideals,
“the heterosexual man’s eye”, and claims that and gazes, which can ultimately be dangerous for
it is this awareness which allows for women to the one creating the content, and those viewing
adopt different perspectives to see themselves it. However as social media has led to males also
through the eye of the third person. This allows becoming more prominent in the fashion and
one to view themselves in this way opposed beauty industries, and gender is considered
to how they actually see themselves, judging more ‘equal’ this has blurred boundaries and
others in the same vein also - through a male has also taken away the stereotyping that the
eye. In addition, by adopting this view point, one male gaze once was. Now, this has become
becomes aware of what ‘the male’ wants to see, generalised as ‘the gaze’ and has become more
pre-empting this notion through dress, body and subjective than ever.
beauty. Mulvey calls this ‘the female gaze’ stating
that women see themselves through the eyes The various representations of both male and
of men, therefore influencing our choices on female ‘ideals’ which social media in particular
what is perceived and deemed attractive by the promote, can be said to confuse one’s self-
opposite sex, or the ‘male gaze’. perception and the understanding of what the
‘ideal’ is, and therefore what beauty, or body
By adhering, one is put under constant pressure image is. This confusion and internalisation
feeling the ‘gaze’ consciously, even if self-led. In can lead to the ‘self-surveying gaze’ which can
a digital age though, this gaze is also felt under overwhelm one and in turn will be no longer able
lenses and screens, with one being in complete to recognise ones true perception opposed to a
control as to how they project their own image, perceived perception.
often being aware that one is being gazed at,
for either positive or negative critique and Rumsey, another theorist and writer, claims that,
judgement. This is often seen in the feeds of beauty ideals by showing certain body sizes

[as...] beautiful and desirable” insinuating that
the media is responsible for choosing who and
what is seen as the ‘ideal’, shaping and creating
unattainable and unmaintainable aspirations for
both men and women. This can lead to eating
disorders, body image issues, mental health
problems and further issues with confidence
and self-esteem, for example. This has since
been confirmed through studies and user-led
surveys. Photo sharing platforms and photo-
led applications allow for users to critique
themselves, and the more these platforms/apps
are used the more critiquing and self-evaluating
may take place, altering ones self-perception
due to internalising of a pre-determined ideal,
or ‘image’.

Fellow writer Klein, also notes that “social
media makes social comparisons even more
competitive” due to having likes, comments and
followers to gage their self-worth and beauty
from, in some cases establishing their level of ARE NOT SHAPED
confidence and self-esteem. The higher the
number, the better ones self-perception is. The EXCLUSIVELY BY
lower the number, the lower the self-esteem.
A vicious cycle, which is no good for any social
media user, and shows how damaging these PROFILE USERS
image-led platforms can be.
Even though images are constructed, curated, THEMSELVES BUT
edited and filtered to project an ideal and
positive image, or more accurately, how ALSO BASED ON
someone wants to be perceived, Hong notes that
“perceptions are not shaped exclusively by what
profile users disclose about themselves but also THIS IS NOW CALLED
based on others’ comments”, being titled the
“warranting principle; judgments from other-
generated information is more influential than PRINCIPLE’ IN THE
judgments from self-generated material”. This
allows for a whirlwind of self-perception issues DIGITAL AGE”
to be sparked and further stimulated, allowing
for one to value and judge self-worth and be a tipping point for these platforms when
perceptions based on others’ opinions opposed sensors are placed and rules are put in place to
to ones own thoughts. Third person perspectives protect users, or is there going to be educational
instilled through socio-cultural influences materials showing how such platforms can be
and expectations build an ‘ideal’ image which damaging? Or we will, as a society, continue to
for some is unrealistic and unmaintainable or self-derail and damage each others wellbeing,
attainable leading to a barrage of problems. self-hood and self-identity for our own security
This leads to the question; is there going to and positive approval?


How mental health and eating disorders are
affected and impacted by the rise in social
media and image-led applications

In the UK alone there are currently 1.6m people Now with the rise of social media, this has again
whom are suffering with an eating disorder, risen, however this time there are no rules,
whilst 1 in 4 people are known to suffer from no guidelines or restrictions and no B-EAT so
a mental health issue such as depression, or advise on what images may be damaging to the
anxiety. vulnerable. There is no control. And even though
magazines have never promoted a normal,
The fashion industry has always relished at the attainable nor maintainable figure, they still had
ideology of a super-skinny model walking down guideance should they desire, or seek to follow
the catwalk of NYFW, or featuring amist the it. Now with everyone being a curator of their
glossy pages of Vogue magazine. The magazine own feed, we now have ‘thinspiration’ Instagram
industry itself has never shyed away from accounts going viral, with anyone, anywhere
publishing images of the slim ‘ideal’ figures and of any age being able to access images and
the general public are made to feel like they accounts.
need to compare themselves to; from Victoria
Beckham and the ‘Size 0 Revolution’ to the On average, a female aged between 18-24 spends
everyday supermodel legs of Lily Cole which 2 hours a day on social media platforms. This
every Westerner adorned to. It is not often you may not sound like a great amount of time, but
see a plus-size model, or even an average size added up over a week, a month and a year, the
model in te pages of magazines. Crystal Renn images one views can grow to be percieved as
was lucky to appear in ad campaigns showcasing ‘normal’. Research suggests that the amount of
her womanly curves a handful of times, with the time spent on social networks was associated
media trying to prove a point, however the ultra- with greater self-objectification. Women, in
slim always prevailed. particular

have been known to compare themselves to “bloating”, Hoyer stated on Instagram, “I’m 20
other women; and women compare everything years old; not a 15 year old girl, who is new to
- height. size, hair length, makeup. It’s just this industry and unsure about herself, because
something women do — that is — to label I have no doubt that I would then have ended
themselves in comparison to others. When up very sick and scarred”. Hoyer claims that
a person compares their own inner or self casting agents would attend breakfast to see if
image to an image that has been filtered, or she had being defying orders of eating; “I know
edited, or even shot and curated to be shown that demands and expectations given to the high
on social media, it can pose the threat to self- end fashion models in the industry are often
objectification and self-absorption. When self completely unattainable and directly damaging
comparisons take place that person looks at to the human body, but I cannot accept the
themselves as the spectator or observer. ‘normality’ in the behaviour of people like this.
They find pleasure in power over young girls and
And it is this third party viewpoint which will go to the extreme to force an eating disorder
echos that of an eating disorder and of body on you”.
dysmorphia issues. B-EAT claim that the
media is not soley responsible for the fruition It appears that whether you are a viewer, or a
of eating disorders, but can contribute to model, in the digital age and the modern world
the development of one through exposure of fashion you are always put in the firing line
to unhealthy and unrealistic body image and in the view of criticism and judgement which
expectations. can damage one mentally and physically.

Even though there is pressure put on the public With Instagram being rated the worst app for
to reach an ‘ideal’ figure, weight or look to ‘fit in’ mental health issues by 1500 14-24 year olds in
with socio-cultural expectations, the pressure is the UK, this poses the question of whether there
also on for those who project this image to the ever be a balance of healthy is beautiful? This
consumers of society; the models. rating not only covered eating disorders, but
also covered other mental health issues such
Ulrikke Hoyer, a Danish model, was told running as depression, anxiety and loneliness triggered
up to a Japanese Louis Vuitton show in May 2017, by living in a digital age. Is enough being done
that was she was “too big” to walk the runway to protect the mindsets of younger generations
despite being a UK size 4. In response to being who are susceptible to images and thoughts of
told to “only drink water for 24 hours” to reduce what is ‘in’ and ‘liked’ being ‘right’?

She learns that ‘to be desired’,
is much more important than
‘to feel desire’.
How the ideologies of ‘porn chic’ and
self-objectification have transitioned
and developed due to social media

Porn chic has become a sensation amongst ‘porn chic’ bracket, leadingto self-
social media, being a daily occurance on our objectification, whilst seeking desire to create a
social media feeds. We scroll through daily and following and sell their brand, product and lives.
see an array of pouted lips, enhanced breasts Does this mean that women feel empowered
and curvaceous derrières, with bloggers, with the guise of female sexuality? Or do these
celebrities and ‘normal’ girls, often posing in changes now constitute what is seen as a step
over sexualised, and objectifying positions; forward for women, with one now being able
craving attention and reassurance. And with this, to express their sexuality, needs and desires,
this behaviour has become the norm, and what opposed to being directed by others to create a
some expect to see. Furthermore, porn chic visage of visuals, often stimulated by misogyny;
sells in a multitude of ways, just as sex always has male photographers and art directors, working
done. Writer Annette Lynch describes the term, to stimulate a predominantly male audience?
‘porn chic’ in relation to females as, “actively Times appear to of changed this percepion and
desiring sexual objects of the new millenium” ideology drastically.
who are aware and concious of the male gaze,
opposed to being “passive, mute objects of the Fashion has always gone hand-in-hand with
male gaze”, therefore lending itself to marketing trend-led and marketed constructions of
strategies and the social media stratosphere gender, identity, and now, self-objectification,
of being accepted, approved, seen and most seeing brands such as American Apparel, Tom
importantly, ‘liked’, desired and adored. One Ford and Wrangler, buildind brands and empires
now intentionally puts themselves in this through ‘sex’ and porn chic-led imagery.

However, now this strategy has overtaken fashion ATTRACTING THE
and now sells ‘beauty’ and the influencers and/
or ‘internet celebrities’ which coincide and MALE GAZE
face brands and promotional campaigns. Some
beauty bloggers have even built their following self-objectification and self-absorption. When
and career based on their physique, opposed to self-comparisons take place that person looks
their makeup artistry skill set; an ironic twist, to at themselves as the spectator or observer”,
modern day contradictions and conventions of therefore realising how they want to position
the industry. and promote themselves, and therefore how
they want to be percieved.
Influencers all around the world are now
showcasing their finest ‘assets’ in return for But does ‘porn chic’ and self-objectification
brand sponsorships and endorsements. This affect self-perceptions and the perceptions of
self-objectification alienates women, allowing others? It has been found that the amount of
one to view their body as a separate object time spent on social networks was associated
of the male gaze and desire. The decision to with greater self-objectification. Women
‘reveal’ leads women to feel empowered due to have a long history of being objectified in the
their ability to attract the male gaze, rather than media from television, music videos, and print
be subjected to it unknowingly. One is fully in magazines, why would the objectification just
control over their body and behaviour, and to stop at these mediums, especially in a society
some reinforces different types of feminisim where we live day-to-day in the digital age? It
and strengths. appears that as time moves on, so does the
mentality of such ideologies and how these are
Fredrickon and Roberts have researched played out over time, also.
into how social media may lead women to
self-objectify themselves, however, through Some can argue that women push the ideology of
comparisons with others in their positions; ‘porn chic’ and self-objectification due to issues
“when a person compares their own inner or with low self-esteem, vanity, or insecurities,
self-image to an image that has been filtered as well as comparative traits, which may be
on social media it can pose the threat to self amplified through social media, therefore
objectification and self absorption. When self posting and using such provocative images on
comparisons take place that person looks at the same mediums, reinforces their acceptance
themselves as the spectator or observer.” through the approval of others.

the 101

the key to successful
fashion marketing;

tits, arse, skin,
provocative poses
and celebrities.
climbing the beauty
blogger ladder;

take selfies, try to be
original and wait for
likes and reassurance.
so many
what to pack
for your holiday;

camera, vlog camera,
iphone, mini ring light,
highligter and sass.
what to do;

hire a photographer,
find a good location,
take 5 outfits worth
of photos in a day and
remember, act like no
one is watching.
a pose
some style
what to wear;

buy loads of designer
shit you can’t afford,
and send it back until
you get sent the real
deal from their PR.
China’s booming live-streaming video
industry fuelled by beauty, fashion and the

Models: Various
Photography: VICE ft. Motherboard

Blogger and vlogger culture in the UK and US The recent broadband-quick rise in popularity
has reached an all time high. Everywhere you in China of apps such as Lai Feng, and the
go influencers are there; on POS (point of sale) people who broadcast on them, has caused a
for cosmetic products, promoting clothes new branch of the internet technology industry
in Topshop or on your Instagram or YouTube to spring up around it. This industry being the
feed. China has jumped on board with this live-streaming culture which both males and
phenomenon, with a blogger empire of their females in China are desperate to be apart of
own, but has also launched interactive live- with potential to earn the equivalent of $100,000
streaming video services. a month, simply by broadcasting their ‘talents’
and lives to their viewers, followers or ‘fans’.
These services take form of online apps and
websites, ran by large media agencies across Agencies have been set up around the country,
Beijing, that are already becoming multi- mainly in Beijing which house the live-streamers
million dollar empires. Males and females alike and act as a backdrop for their videos doting to
are broadcasting their lives, ‘talents’, sense their every need. The REDO Media agency for
of style and beauty in return for cash, gifts example, has around 3,000 internet stars on its
and confidence boosting praise in return for books from across China, many of whom self-
internet stardom and status. broadcast as their full-time jobs.


many of whom self-broadcast as their full-time
jobs. Some simply talk, some dance, some sing,
some dress up and perform what their viewers
ask, and some simply answer questions. What
they do is their choice, however they often have
to ‘audition’ to be apart of larger agencies such
as REDO.

Behind each door at REDO Media, is a small
dormitory-style room, with broadcasters
streaming from a tripod-mounted iphone
or webcam. The broadcasters ‘perform’ and
interact, live, for real money and digital gifts.
At times, they are even sent gifts by their
followers. Some will even dress to please their
audience; sometimes as mermaids and other
times as princesses.

Due to the spike in the amount of people
watching these streamers live over the past
year, doing this full time has become a lucrative
job for thousands of women. Women self-
broadcasters in China massively outnumber men
by around nine to one. This however in a beauty
and fashion fuelled world, hardly surpising.

Even though there is a ‘fetish’ element at times
involved, be it dress-up or simply watching
the broadcaster eat their evening meal, the
fascination is real and has expanded beyond
fantasy to brand marketing; similar to the
influencer and blogger empires built in the
West. Some are paid to wear particular clothing
brands, and even help design them. Tabao and
11/11, Chinese clothing brands, send out clothing
to be worn on live-streams and for fashion-
streamers to talk about the products in detail.
Sales for key on-trend garments at times, have
risen by 80%, simply due to this marketing
strategy. A main selling point and strategy of
the live-streaming apps and websites is to use
‘beautiful’ males and females. Some, as young as
20 years old, admit to having various aesthetic
surgeries carried out to fit in with the ‘ideal’ look
of China; lip implants, double eye-lid surgery
and facial alterations to give one a ‘slimmer’
face. This influence coming in from the Korean
market heavily dictates who is taken on board by
agencies, and some will go to the extremes of


having such work done simply to pursue live-
streaming as a career path; even if only for a few “EARNING $100,000 A
short-lived years. MONTH IS EASY IN THIS
Even though agencies such as REDO Media’s INDUSTRY. IF SOMEONE
female self-broadcasters are largely chosen
for their attractiveness, they rarely do anything
racier on camera than show a bit of cleavage. SAY, ‘OH, DID YOU GIVE
Authorities in China have clamped down hard
on the industry over the past year in an attempt ME A GIFT? I DIDN’T SEE
to eliminate “inappropriate content” from the IT. CAN YOU PLEASE
web, shutting down thousands of live-stream
accounts. Last November a 21 year-old woman SEND IT AGAIN?’”
from Chengdu was jailed for four years for live-
streaming herself enjoying a foursome. In May
that same year, “erotic” banana eating in live-
streams was banned.

Even though live-streaming video apps in the
West such as Periscope are popular, in the UK
and US, viewers cannot pay the broadcaster.
At most, this comes from a brand or sponsor;
echoing many YouTube tutorials and Instagram
posts. China seems to of found a way to please
the viewer, whilst also gaining something
in return for the broadcaster, other than
‘popularity’ and internet stardom and internet
celebrity status.

In regard to gifting, and personal gain,
some females such as Zi Jing, a 23 year-old
broadcaster, uses coyness and naivety. Zi claims
to use sneaky tactics, as well as this “real”-ness,
contributing to her success; “if someone sends
me a gift I’ll say, ‘Oh, did you give me a gift? I
didn’t see it. Can you please send it again?’”

But how satisfying is making a living letting
people watch you all day through your iPhone?
Does it make the broadcasters and their parents
proud? Zi insists it does. “My mum thinks being
a broadcaster is not easy. She supports me”. But
in the long-run how could this affect a sense of
normality, self-confidence and self-worth? Do
we value ourselves based on the gifts we recieve
and and the number of viewers? What happens
when another broadcaster takes the top spot
in the ratings? Food for thought perhaps as one
contemplates ths new digital realm.

“Attractiveness of Japanese women
was rated the highest for ‘light’ skin”
Tagal et al for Shiseido, (2016)
Revealing how the East differs to the West
in the beauty world; from ideals to trends
and product innovation

Models: Lauren de Graaf, Zhenya Migovych, Katherine
Moore, Ally Ertel, Luping Wang and Angelica Erthal.
Makeup: Emi Kaneko
Photography: Nicholas Kantor

Warchocki states that in regard to body image
and beauty trends, “fashion magazines are
considered a main source of information
regarding the attractive ideal” posing as a
sourcebook of unattainable, nor maintainable
‘looks’. This is known to be due to an influx of Whilst proving to be a good sales technique
advertisements and product endorsements that of enticing a consumer into a dream world of
“present such looks and products in a way that aesthetics, this also enforces the ideology that
evokes consumers to buy them” (Gonzalez), in with such products, one may also look this way
an aim to achieve the proposed ‘ideal’. and achieve such image in return, therefore
affecting ones self-perception, self-hood and
This movement is however moving away from individuality.
traditional fashion advertisements as seen in
the past 2-3 years, influenced by the rise of But why in Japan is there an emphasis on
beauty trends and brands, therefore propelling facial looks opposed to physiques? Enticing a
advertising into a realm. This is evident consumer into a dream world of aesthetics, this
especially in Japan where not only fashion ideology of full-beauty magazines also enforces
magazines are on offer, full glossy beauty the ideology that with such products, one may
magazines can also be seen on the shelves, also look this way and achieve such image in
unlike in the West, launching a constant return, therefore affecting ones self-esteem and
emphasis on looking ‘young’ and ‘light’ skin. body image.


It is apparent that Western and Japanese socio- Wagatsuma argues that the notion of “white/
cultural ideals and aspirations are different. beautiful versus black/ugly” originates from
The West have an emphasis on a ‘pursuit to a “preference of whiteness being rooted in
perfection’, replicating celebrity, icons, or model Japanese people’s own history” combined with
looks, whilst Japan maintains a focus on Western a huge Westernised consumer culture. This
culture and socio-cultural, historical traditions. culture is often seen in department stores;
Unlike Western women whom often cherish their Western brands such as L’Oreal will still use
beauty of diversity and race, Ashikari claims Western models for the campaigns, whilst
that in contrast, Japanese women strive to be Japanese brands such as Shiseido will take the
‘white’ in order to negate from a “us and them” same approach, hammering home a constant
dichotomy, whilst also being influenced by the ideal of an ‘ideal’ light skinned woman being
media denoting ‘ideals’ through international the face of modern day beauty. In Japanese
advertising and marketing campaigns. culture, Western models will feature in highbrow
magazines such as Vogue Japan, mimicking
The dichotomy regards class and social status this socio-cultural ideal. Muramatsu, the
in Japan rooting back to the 1800s. Japanese Beauty Director at Vogue Japan states that if
beauty blogger Nicole Takahashi explains; “those an ideal Western model can’t be booked for a
whom worked manual labour jobs outside gained photoshoot, “Western-looking Japanese models
a tan, and were therefore deemed by society to will be used” giving the Japanese a ‘symbol’ of
be ‘poor’, whilst those who worked inside, were aspiration and affluence to strive towards and
‘lucky’ enough to keep their light skin, in turn buy into.
exuding a more affluent status”. For Western
women this dichotomy is often hard to relate Cash et al. conducted a study for Japanese
to, with the polar opposite being key to their beauty and skincare brand Shiseido in 2016,
lifestyles and ‘ideals’; being tanned means one claiming that “applying facial cosmetics affects
has been on holiday, and has enough money or women’s self-image positively” even if in Japan
the privilege to do so, whilst also stemming back this denotes youthful, natural skin. Takahashi
to fashion runway shows such as Victoria Secret, also claims that the typical Japanese woman
whereby all the models are bronzed, deeming a applies makeup often to look like there is not
‘sexy’ look. makeup on, rather using cosmetics to ‘polish’
perfect, light skin, opposed to focusing on heavy
In theoretical terms for context, this correlates and glamourous makeup trends which are often
with Tajfel and Turner’s (1986) social identity seen in the West, and this is reinforced through
model, whereby in-group and out-group beauty editorials as often seen in the Japanese
comparisons are prevalent in day-to-day lives, editions of Vogue and Harpers Bazaar. The
contrasting with how Western cultures implies Shiseido study also found that, “attractiveness of
this through a more digital, celebrity and icon Japanese women was rated the highest for light
led trend, rather than being influenced by makeup faces, opposed to heavy makeup faces”.
historical and socio-cultural roots.
This is reflected through the range of beauty
By intergroup comparison, whether in the products available in Japan, most of which
West, or in Japan one can tell compare their embody; skin-lightening, and anti-aging. Kikuchi
looks and strive to be apart of a group through et al. states that, “aging has a negative effect
aesthetic changes. In the West this is done on the skin that is important for aesthetic
through tanning and glamour, whilst in Japan, evaluation of the face ... revealing that aging
skin-lightening and youthful, beautiful skin increases colour heterogenity”, meaning a
takes precedent, mimicking what they expect wide range of beauty products are available
the ‘ideal Western’ to also be like, whilst also to counteract this natural change, whilst also
echoing back to the tradition of the Geisha. conforming with the ‘ideal’ look of white skin.


Western skin as popularised through advertising,
magazines and consumer culture. The range “THOSE WHOM
of beauty-led products in Japan reinforces WORKED OUTSIDE
this through the use of copywriting and model
selection. Anti-aging products in Japan often GAINED A TAN, AND
include collagen and placenta extracts, coming
in the form of creams, cosmetics, supplements,
face masks and drinks. DEEMED TO BE ‘POOR’;
Products of this bizarre nature to Western WHILST THOSE WHO
women, claim to give ‘babyish’ skin, hinting at WORKED INSIDE, KEPT
youthfulness. The advertisements and product
packaging however show this in a perverted THEIR LIGHT SKIN,
manner, opposed to using ‘youthful models’.
Images often used showcase Western babies
to endorse such product traits and contents. STATUS..”
This itself shows an extreme cultural obsession
with youthfulness. It is worth noting however in
context, that Japanese child pornography was
only made illegal in 2014, hammering home how
popular ‘youth’ and ‘baby culture’ is in Japan
across an array of markets.

In addition, many cosmetics brands such as
Maybelline in Japan, are promoted using fair
skinned Japanese models with blonde hair
and blue eyes, echoing and promoting the
stereotypical Western ideal woman, which
are often shown in editorials and advertising

It is evident that even though the Japanese
‘ideal’ stems back to a historical, socio-cultural
background, there is an influx of Westernised
consumer culture which influences the self-
perceptions of many, in order to achieve a
desired look which is not natural for ones race
nor ethnicity, even though deemed the ‘ideal’.
It can be thought however, that on the flip side
how in Western society would one feel and react
to being constantly bombared with images of
Japanese women? How would this affect the
perceptions of women? Maybe we will never

Japanese beauty blogger Nicole reveals
secrets and truths about the Eastern
beauty industry in this candid interview

Photography: Nicole Takamoto

Japanese beauty blogger Nicole Takamoto With the industry taking a different route in
writes two beauty blogs, ‘The Beauty Maniac in Japan to the West, blogging is a different ball
Tokyo’ and ‘Beau Tea Time’, runs the Instagram game, and content seen often reflects this
star (@nicintokyo) and writes for Japanese culture and audience.
blogs and magazines, including GLAM and Look
Fantastic Japan, however Nicole states that If you have ever read any Japanese beauty blogs
the differences between the beauty industries or glossy beauty-led magazines, it is evident
in the East and West are still considerably that trends and ideals are different, with older
different despite having International icons. women taking precedent. Japanese women
are big on skincare, youthfulness and skin-
Takamoto reveals secrets of Japanese beauty lightening, opposed to the glamourous celebrity
compared to what we know in Western culture, inspired looks of the West which teenagers and
exploring an unknown world to many, where adults don daily.
bloggers don’t recieve as much recognition as
magazine writers and editors, “unless you are In this candid interview Takamoto talks openly
‘kawaii’. It’s known that Japan doesn’t hold about the differences in the beauty industries,
‘blogger events’ and if you’re lucky enough and gives examples of the differences of beauty
to get invited to a press event you may only standards and secret routines which dominate
see women between the ages of 30 to 50 the Japanese beauty culture today, giving a taste
years old, instantly showing a vastly different of what she often blogs about and relays to her
demographic and target audience. International and Japanese readership alike.


What does a typical skincare routine in Japan What about the morning route? Is this different,
consist of? or the similar?

Here are the differences I see between Western The must-have items in a Japanese woman’s
and Japanese skincare: beauty cabinet are makeup remover, cleanser,
lotion, serum and emulsion or moisturiser. In
1. Cotton pads: Japanese people are said to addition to that, eye cream, oil and sheet masks
have thinner skin that is prone to discolouration are always commonly used.Unless we are talking
compared to Western people. Rubbing your specifically about a woman who is massively into
skin causes unwanted pigmentation, which is beauty, women usually don’t switch up their
why Japanese people are very careful not to rub skincare routines that much.
their skin too much. When it comes to cleansing,
they prefer to use a cleanser that washes away Makeup remover: Oil and milk cleansers are
waterproof eye makeup instantly rather than popular. Just like cotton pads, muslin cloths
using an eye makeup remover with a cotton pad. used to wipe the cleanser off aren’t common
Micellar water isn’t as popular in Japan as it is in in Japan. Most of the Japanese oils, milks,
the UK. Some people also pat-dry their skin with creams and balm cleansers can be washed off
a towel, rather than wiping their skin with it to completely with warm water.
avoid friction.

2. Lotion: One of my American friends once told “IN JAPAN YOU WEAR
me, “When you say lotion in the States, it means
a thick moisturiser, which is completely different SUNBLOCK EVERYDAY,
from what you call lotion in Japan.” WE DO NOT HAVE FAKE
In Japan, lotion is a water-like liquid that TAN. MAINTAINING
balances your pH after washing your face. When
you use a cleanser or soap, your skin becomes
alkaline. As your natural pH balance is mildly IMPORTANT FOR
acidic, you must use lotion to bring it back to
that healthy state. Also, Japanese lotion usually JAPANESE PEOPLE”
contains quite a few different ingredients
that are good for your skin such as hyaluronic Cleanser/face wash: Japanese women don’t care
acid, ceramides and collagen. Lotion is usually for cleansers much. Drugstore ones sell well.
applied with hands rather than a cotton pad, but
recently some brands started recommending Lotion and emulsion: As mentioned earlier,
using a cotton pad for an even application, so lotion and emulsion are must-haves when it
the usage of cotton pads is increasing. I must comes to Japanese skincare. Albion, SK-II and
also add that the quality of cotton pads is much Ipsa are all popular.
better in Japan—they are very soft, don’t fluff
easily and there are different types according to Serum: Women in Japan look to serums that
your liking. have anti-ageing, whitening and brightening
3. Emulsion: I personally am not familiar with
emulsion because I mainly use Western skincare Sun protection: In Japan, it’s common knowledge
products, but emulsion (乳液 Nyuueki) is very that you must wear a sunblock every single day
popular in Japan. Normally it’s looser and lighter all-year round. Tanning is not common at all (we
than moisturiser, and contains more moisture do not have fake tan in Japan). Maintaining pale
than creams. skin is very important for Japanese women.

How does it differ to say a Korean routine? Or Ceramides should be more popular in the UK [Ed
the British routine of cleanse and moisturise? note: Ceramides are lipid molecules naturally
occurring in the skin that help retain moisture
I’m not sure about Korean beauty regimens, and keep the skin plump]. It is an incredibly well-
because I personally am not a big fan (Korean known ingredient in Japan, and in some sense
pharmaceutical affairs law is not as strict as what it’s better than hyaluronic acid.
it is in Japan, which means their products are
more effective and can be very harsh. I always We Brits look to women like Kate Moss and
break out when I use a Korean products). Alexa Chung as modern beauty icons, and then
back to women like Brigitte Bardot and Twiggy.
Contouring is big on social media in the UK and Who are the Japanese womens’ beauty icons?
U.S. at the moment. What are the big makeup
trends in Japan right now? I much prefer Kate Moss to any Japanese beauty
icons, to be honest (because Japanese women
When it comes to skincare, I believe Japan is love a “cute” appearance rather than beautiful,
a step ahead compared to Western countries, or even sexy look).
but makeup wise, not so much. We value the
beautiful and healthy state of the skin, rather Are there any beauty lessons, tricks or rituals
than piling up a lot of makeup on. Sheer and British women could learn from Japanese
natural foundation is more common than heavy women?
coverage foundation. Recently, some magazines
started talking about contouring, and some 1. Do not rub your skin. It will cause pigmentation
brands like Cezanne brought out contouring especially around the eyes! My heart stops
products, but not many. when I watch a YouTube video and find a beauty
blogger rubbing their eyes with a cotton pad or
The trends I have seen recently are coloured muslin cloth SO HARD!
eyebrows and coloured eyeliners. Though
Japanese people are usually very conservative, 2. Wash your hair every day. It might not apply
recent trends suggest more playful looks. to the girls in the U.K. because of the water (we
have soft water, which doesn’t dry out the skin
What Japanese beauty products and ingredients and hair), but for Japanese people, the idea of
do you think would do well in the UK? not washing the hair every day is just disgusting!
Forget about your hair for a minute, we think of
Japanese consumers are very curious about the scalp as being the same skin as the face, so
beauty products. They want to know what they we cannot go to work or meet friends without
are paying for, why the product is effective, and washing our hair. Regularly washed hair doesn’t
how it works. This means the brands usually list equate to damaged hair in Japan. Also, we use
the active ingredients, so Japanese women tend hairdryers all the time. I can’t leave my scalp
to have a good knowledge of ingredients. They damp. It causes odour and irritation.
value how it feels and how the skin reacts, rather
than thinking in a very analytical way as Japanese 3. Wear SPF all-year round, even when it’s
women do. Hyaluronic acid has been well-known cloudy. UVA passes through clouds and windows;
in Japan for more than 15 years (possibly 20 you need SPF all the time if you want to maintain
years), but it’s just became popular in the UK the beautiful and healthy state of your skin!
in the past couple of years–I am not sure if it
was because there were not so many products For more Japanese beauty insights head to
containing the ingredient or none of the brands Nicole in Tokyo’s blogs: The Beauty Maniac in
marketed it. Tokyo (English) and Beau Tea Time (Japanese).

For younger, more beautiful skin.
The new collagen infused drink from
the Shiseido Ginza lab.
A Western perspective of beauty trends
and beauty culture in Japan

Article by/Model: Charlotte Stacey
MUA/Hair: Charlotte Stacey
Photography: Norijuki Edamatsu

Charlotte Stacey is a British beauty, trend and
makeup obsessed dancer and performer living
and working in Tokyo, Japan. For her day job
for the past 2 years, Charlotte has dressed up,
and ‘performed’ as Disney Princesses at Disney
Tokyo, and has experienced an alternate,
magical and contrasting culture.

Living in Japan, a culture so far removed from
the West, that, perspective is everything when it
comes to diversity, beauty and the ‘ideal’.

This candid article reveals how a Westerner has
grown to percieve Eastern beauty trends and
culture first-hand in comparison to her own.


So this week whilst scrolling through my emails Here are some things I’ve found whilst living here
I found out that I am officially a friend with in Tokyo that you definitely wouldn’t find on the
benefit. Wait, wait… It’s not how it sounds. I’m shelves in Debenhams;
in the ‘Friends with Benefit’ programme with
Benefit Cosmetics UK! 1. Skin whitener: Whilst Brits are known to
catch the rays at ANY given chance (remember
I have always LOVED make up and beauty that ‘Boots’ Summer Ad?! I’ll link it below), the
products from such a young age, mainly due Japanese hide every inch of skin in the hot and
to my dance background. I would have dance humid Summers to protect the skin from the
competitions and shows where I’d wear thick, sun. Tanning? Yokunai desu!
dark foundation, blue eyeshadow and a red lip so
that people in the auditorium could see my facial 2. Eyelid tape and/or glue: pretty self
features in the bright stage lights. Weeks before explanatory! A thin bit of tape or a smidge of
competitions were about to start, I’d be caught glue to stick to the eyelids to give the illusion
by my parents in my bedroom “practicing” my of a Western style crease in the upper eyelid,
make up. (In other words, playing with make up without the surgery; an operation known as
too young but could use that as an excuse!). blepharoplasty. There are also a type of glasses
Even way before that though, of course I have (if I can call them that?!) which act as a type of
the obligatory ‘playing in mum’s make up’ eyelid trainer! Wear it every night before bed
photograph, at maybe 1 or 2 years old, where it’s and you’re supposed to eventually have the ever
smeared all over my face. so desirable big eyes!

Fast forward and I am still wearing “stage make 3. Eye bag make up: whilst Westerners try and
up” everyday for my job! Now my performances cover dark circles with a variety of creams, gels
are up close and personal as well as far away and concealers, the Japanese are contouring
so every day has to be a good make up day. The under their eyes to make them darker and more
past few years I have also modelled for a range creased.
of different things so I’ve learnt a few tricks from
my MUA’s I’ve worked with too. So the Easterners are trying to look more
Western and the Westerners are trying to look
Don’t get me wrong. If I can have a day without more Eastern. Look at the Japanese advert for
make up, I’ll take it, and it always feels great to ‘It’s Potent!’ Benefit’s ‘dark circle’ eye cream,
wash it all off after a long day. I don’t rely on for example, there is a beautiful asian woman
make up to feel great. I don’t put my confidence holding the product! And yet the Japanese
down to the amount of make up I wear. I, consider the gaijin face to have desirable
honestly, just love having it on!! features; the big eyes and the high bridged nose.
You can go and do sticky pics, a very popular
The ‘ideal’ of beauty in England is very much photo booth experience here, which thins your
different to the ‘ideal’ of beauty in Japan. Not nose and face and you can choose how enlarged
that I, personally, believe in an ‘ideal’ beauty, I your eyes want to be!
hasten to add! What I mean to say is: I have left
a country selling fake tan and come to a place Due to their love of big, beautifully shaped eyes,
selling skin whitener. you can find the best false eyelashes and liquid

eyeliner and for the best price here too; 100 Yen There are baths inside as well outside and we
store = KILLER falsies and the best liquid eyeliner were lucky because it was cold and rainy last
I’ve ever tried! (¥100 is around 60p – you find me night. Laying in a steaming hot bath with the
a shop in England that sells an amazing range of cold rain falling on you is the most wonderful
decent eyelashes or easy to use liquid eyeliner and relaxing experience ever. Then I showered
for 60p!!). Another easy thing to buy here are with the amazing products they have there. My
coloured contact lenses… Put it this way, you skin and hair feel fabulous. Silky, smooth. So
start to realise very early on that the Japanese not forgetting, of course, the great lotions and
love big, cartoon-like eyes! Easterners tend to treatments they have here in Japan!
love the shape of a Western face, a “small face”. I’m not a fan of all treatments though..
I walk past Japanese girls who openly express
their fascination over my “kao chichai”. 5) Placenta face masks; I’m alright.. I have
generalised a lot here, and I know not everyone
4) Slim face products: masks, straps, creams will have these aesthetic desires and therefore
anything that attempts to basically shrink the use all of these weird and wonderful beauty
face. Again, this is instead of girls having to opt products just because they are from a certain
for jaw reduction surgery! country. I’ve just been in Japan for a long
enough time to notice certain patterns. It’s all
I think Japanese features are beautiful and their perspective NOT racial stereotypes! Regardless
hair and skin are something else. It’s probably of these so called ‘ideals’, I’m a big believer of
down to the beautiful hot springs (or onsen) loving yourself and being happy. If you want to
everywhere that are so widely the change something about your body, then do it.
Japanese. Which is where I spend some of my If you don’t, then don’t. We get so wrapped up
afternoons and evenings! There is a beautiful in opinions about the way we look – ‘you wear
onsen, called Urayasu Hot Spring Town I believe, too much make up,’ ‘you need to wear more,’ –
where I soaked my body in many hot springs when, really, you should just do you!
of various temperatures, a strawberry bath, a
collagen bath, a milk bath, cold baths, steam Whatever you do, don’t you ever undervalue
rooms, saunas, you name it! what you are – you’re amazing.

Tan Deeper, Darker - Faster!
Reveal your true radiance
“Fashion magazines are considered a
main source of information regarding
the attractive ideal presenting looks
and products in a way that evokes
consumers to buy into them”
Warchocki (2007) & Gonzalez, (2012)
Beauty Director Kyoko Muramatsu
reveals how Vogue Japan differs
cross-culturally to Western Editions

Model: Vittoria Ceretti
Photography: Luigi and Lango
Styling: Anna Della Russo
Hair: Luigi Murenu How is Japanese culture reflected through
Makeup: Georgi Sandev Vogue Nippon in comparison to Western
editions of Vogue?
Fashion magazines have a powerful hold and
influence over the reader; and in recent times Japanese Vogue is very different to the British or
has expanded into the Beauty realm with Vogue American versions, for example, but we have our
Japan leading the way with its mix of content. reasonings. Our target audience is generally a lot
younger - Western editions are aimed at women
The Industry magazine met with Kyoko around 30 years old, but here, we find out
Muramatsu, the Beauty Director of Vogue readership to be late-teens and early 20s. This is
Japan (Nippon) to understand how Vogue seen to be honest through the aesthetic which
operates on an International scale and to we use; it’s fun, playful and lighthearted in tone
understand how Vogue differs cross-culturally of voice, which reflects ‘youthfuless’, something
in regard to audience, trends, content and Japanese women aspire to. We use a lot collage,
aesthetic, as well as understanding how they illustration and smaller design elements opposed
maintain their ‘identity’ in a saturated market to heavy grid-led blocks of design and text. This
of magazines. is just what we have found to work,


but if you look at other Japanese magazines such as ViVi, Ginza
and Nylon, we still look ‘older’ fitting in with the demographic that
Vogue sets out for us. I think in general as a nation we have a more
playful approach to editorial design, where as other editions are
a lot cleaner; they’re more affluent and stripped back, but I think
that we inject a lot of energy into our layouts and features.

We also have a lot of ‘step by step’ guides. The Japanese audience
need to know how to use beauty products, which they’re investing
in so they want to know exactly how this works and will look when
use. I think this stems from a lack of imagination so to speak.
Western women are better in just ‘putting themselves together’,
where as even with fashion, women here need a bit more
guidance and direction.

I think another main difference and point of cultural difference
is the trends and products which are relayed in Vogue Japan; a
lot of them come from Korea and the catwalks, and tend to be
different to Western ones. We don’t really have contouring or
heavy makeup, the women here want to look young, so you’ll often
see more natural looks and different takes on this being featured.
And of course, models. Now when we can we will use Japanese
models, but this is only where it is appropriate. Vogue has to
maintain an International identity, so you will see a lot of Western
models, and as many women here aspire to this look it is only
right to do so. When we do use Japanese models though, some
of them are half-Japanese, and half-American for example. This
gives an sense of identity still for the reader which one can relate
to, but it is also good to have more ‘Western’ features shown in
the magazine. I suppose that’s how our culture differs, people
here, mainly women, aspire to have light-skin and long legs, so in
a way we give them what they want whilst also fitting in with the
corporate image of Vogue, and keeping in line with the models
which you’d see being use in International campaigns too.

So is this why Western models are used in fashion and beauty
advertisements in Japan, rather than recreating them with
Japanese models?

Yes. Campaigns, advertisements and editorials for example, are
normally art directed and shot in line with the brand image and
identity, therefore using the same model - it helps brands such
as Chanel, for example, to create an International brand identity.
But saying that, some brands may shoot the models differently if
the campaign will be seen nd used in more conservative countries,
but more often than not, you will see the same image being used,
but cropped in a different way. It’s very clever, and it does keep
the costs of casting and re-shooting down. When it comes to
adverts through, you may of noticed that unlike British Vogue for


example, we don’t print as many in our
magazines. You will normally see them on “VOGUE HAS TO
billboards or outside the shops themselves. MAINTAIN A BROAD
Instead to create a connection with the
Japanese reader, which can sometimes be lost, INTERNATIONAL
we use a lot of advertorials which allows us to
choose location and message, for example. So
we may choose our own model, but use the same WILL SEE WESTERN
products and clothing for example, which are
shown in the advert but we can tailor it more MODELS.”
to appeal to our audience more, whilst keeping
in line with our editorial aesthetic and take on as a big risk to use them. Social media is very
Vogue. It’s more personal and we have creative popular, but not in the same way as in the UK
control. These are then approved by the brand when it comes to marketing strategies. There is
to ensure we are keeping to their identity. a big fascination here with Western women and
their culture; their image, their style, their skin,
Over the years there have only been 3 Japanese so we give the readers what they want and it
women to feature? isn’t often that bloggers fall into this category or
demand at the moment.
Our choice of cover model is really important;
it defines the International identity of Vogue. It Do you feel as Director, that there is a pressure
also opens up the magazine to an International to relay a positive body image to the reader?
audience, which is why the headlines are in
English with Japanese sub-text. The idea being Yes, of course. I think because Japanese women
that anyone can understand the content, even want to be like, and aspire to ‘gajins’ (foreigners)
if they can’t read the full article. But in terms of we have to be careful but give them what they
cover model, yes, the Japanese relate to Western want to read, but to not completely blur the
icons. This is through commercialisation of lines of achieveable and not attainable. We as
brands and consumerism, so we often have ‘Japanese Vogue’ decided to not use the word
a Western icon even if they are wearing ‘diet’; we use the word ‘healthy’ instead. We
Japanese brands; it helps with sales and keeping don’t want to give women the impression that if
advertising campaigns consistent, but also keeps one goes on a diet they will look like a Westener,
the identity of the magazine true to Vogue. we want people to feel healthy in themselves,
and if anything enhance and maintain what they
What is Vogue Japans reaction to the rise in have. And we also have the ‘Health Initiative’ too.
blogger culture?
What is The Health Initiative?
Well to be honest, Japanese fashion and beauty
bloggers are not as well known or recognised, It’s a pact between all 19 editions of Vogue, that
so when we feature an article relating to encourages a positive, healthy body image. We
bloggers we mainly do use Western bloggers or have the power to influence people, and we want
Instagrammers. As a magazine, we don’t feel that to influence people in positive ways so we now
we have found the right Japanese bloggers yet; try to use models who are healthy and promote
it’s still growing and isn’t quite there yet as it is a body image which is attainable and ‘normal’. I
in the West. Brands don’t tend to use bloggers know this sounds a little contradictory however
to promote their products and campaigns here, as we are a Japanese edition whom still use
it is still very celebrity focused. Even in some Western models, but we are advised on which
areas of Japan, bloggers are not recognised as a models we cast, and that’s why when we can we
legitimate source of information, and it is seen do use Japanese or half-Japanese models.

vlogger, blogger;

-GLAM ge t t h e l o o k
tte Stacey
with Charlo

Model: Charlotte Stacey
Photography & Art Direction: Danielle Muntyan
01 02

03 04

05 06

07 08
09 10

11 12


Get the
Insta-Glam look!
Products are listed in stage order of application to help recreate
this Instagram ready look.

01 - 02 Revlon Photoready Airbrush Effect Foundation
01 - 02 Ben Nye Foundation
01 - 02 Kroyolan TV Paint Stick
01 - 02 Kroyolan Concealer Stick
03 - 04 Anastasia Beverley Hills Powder Contour Palette
05 - 06 Urban Decay Blush in ‘Rapture’
07 - 08 Benefit Brow Zings in ‘Shade 2’
07 - 08 Unbranded Japanese Brow Gel
09 - 10 Kylie Cosmetics ‘The Burgundy’ Eyeshadow Palette
09 - 10 Tayila Eyelashes in ‘T3000’
09 - 10 Maybelline False Lash Mascara in ‘Black’ Anastasia
011 Beverley Hills Moonchild Glow Kit
012 Ben Nye Lip Liner in ‘Wine Berry’
012 Sephora Matte Liquid Lipstick in ‘Mauve’
“The increase in blogger culture,
particularly in relation to Instagram
and YouTube, has allowed for many
to reach ‘celebrity’ status themselves;
and in return the media has adapted
to [this] reflecting the world of
celebrity dominance”
Gibson, (2012)
The worlds leading male makeup artists
and influencers talk reaching the top in
a female dominated industry

Models: Manny Gutierrez and Jefree Star
Makeup: Manny Gutierrez and Jefree Star
Photography: Jefree Star Cosmetics

Influencers and bloggers are becoming
extremely successful in the West, and thanks
to social media platforms this has expanded
beyond the stereotypical target market of
females.With only 23% (Vuelio, 2016) of beauty
bloggers being male, the gender divide is slowly
changing, whilst impacting the distortion of the
male gaze and perceptions at the same time.

Manny Gutierrez and Jeffree Star, are the most
influential male influencers of the 21st century.
With a ‘celebrity’ status, 7m YouTube followers,
and 8m Instagram followers between them,
the male stars have recently teamed up with
a cosmetic collaboration of liquid lipsticks
and highlighters, taking over the beauty world
unlike seen before.


The beauty world can be tough to crack, but Manny was the first ever male ambassador for
Manny and Jeffree are no strangers to the Maybelline Cosmetics, appearing in a range
industry, and along their way to cosmetic of campaign materials and videos. Now, he is
stardom have also changed the face of it; for sponsored by the likes of, Urban Decay and Kylie
the good. Cosmetics to promote and use products.

Each has their own story, but together Even though the route to success sounds easy
the powerhouse dominate social media, for both male stars, Manny claims being a ‘guy’
sponsorships and product sales, leading to the made it hard; “in the beginning, it was really
2017 collaboration of a limited edition set of on- confusing; my parents and friends didn’t know
trend products compiling of two liquid lipsticks what was going on, they thought I was trying
and a highlighter; which sold out internationally to become a woman; they didn’t understand.”
in less than a day. The notion of two males However, several years later the tides have
releasing a makeup range has been recieved turned as he explains a recent encounter at a
warmly, with open arms, despite the industry still meet and greet event in the US; “a guy walked in,
being predominatley led by females. he was 12 or 14 with a full face of makeup and his
dad was there, this macho man with blue jeans
Starting off as a MySpace star in the early and a cowboy hat. He was so proud of his son. It
2000s, Jeffree was noticed for his pink hair and felt like the world was changing in that moment.”
outlandish makeup looks. Increasing followers,
and a change in the direction of social media Moments like these are some of the reasons
saw him push his way into the beauty scene as these particular influencers create content every
a career path, working as a freelance make up day. Inspiring men as well as women to embrace
artist with celebrity clients, fashion editorials, what they love and who they are has become
music videos and weddings.His success grew, their mantra, hence joining forces. Manny states
leading on to YouTube tutorials which became an that, “men want to feel the same way that women
international sensation. Now, Jeffree is known feel [and be] empowered in that way”. Clearly
for his makeup master classes taught around their passion, drive, personality and candid
the world, and his own cosmetic line, branded, honesty has resulted in the world watching
‘Jeffree Star Cosmetics’, claiming that the range and catching on - when both influencers were
is for “anyone who is fearless enough to be their starting out, male makeup artists were few and
own person”. Being a fan of makeup since he far between on YouTube and Instagram.
was 13, Jeffree hopes to “inspire each other to
stay true to who we are” despite critism and But despite the positive demeanours, when your
stereotyping, encouraging diversity and positive career involves millions of people, trolls do come
self-hood. out of the woodwork. “I get hate every single
day, saying I’m gay [and] going to hell, Now that
Manny took a similar route to encouraging I have this platform, it makes me want to fight
differentiation in the beauty industry, using even harder” claims Manny. Jeffree falls under a
Instagram as a platform to promote his artistry similar umbrella, being known for being different
skills and YouTube to showcase tutorials and and proud of it; “no hate to anyone else, but all
collaborative videos with Jeffree and influencer these big YouTubers do the same shit: glowy,
Patrick Starrr alike. In 2015 it was announced bronzy, boring makeup, and I’m like, “Can we
that an eyeshadow palette created with Makeup have something else, please?” I’m stepping in.”
Geek Cosmetics would be launched and sold
internationally. This single product caused such It appears that despite facing negative
an online sensation and hype, that it crashed the experiences, the positive impact of helping
site’s servers within 1 hour of being released and others with their self-perception encourages an
propelled his success to the next level. In 2016, ever-diversifying, positive beauty industry.

“With enough work people can
construct the appearance that they
want. Such understanding emphasises
the visual, pointing towards a world of
gazes, mirrors and spectacles”
Stratton (1996)
Is social media taking over fashion
magazines thanks to digital muses;
elite bloggers and influencers?

Model: Aimee Song
Photography: Song of Style

At a time when less than 50% of
18-24 year old females read Fashion and
Beauty magazines, the world is turning into a
digital entity, allowing for not only magazines Aimee Song falls into this group. But not only
to question their standing, but allowing for does she fall in to the group, she helped create
everyday people to become part of the ‘in- it. The first fashion blog appeared online in
group’, and present themselves how they 2003, and ‘Song of Style’ (Aimee’s blog) launched
want to be seen, in return for reassaurance in 2005, and quite literally took over. She began
and ‘likes’, boosting ones self-esteem, blogging while studying interior architecture in
confidence and potential career goals in the San Francisco, originally as an outlet for interior
blogging realm. This instant accessibilty to, design shots. On a whim, Song uploaded a
and obsession with social media, allows for photograph of one of her outfits and it quickly
one to create a style for themselves, and in sparked positive feedback from strangers
turn creating and curating their own digital around the world online. Then the luxury brands
magazines, opposed to being dictated to by followed in tow. Now, Aimee has an Influencer
monthly editors within publishing to dictate Agency whom are also in control of Instagram,
what is ‘in’, or ‘not’. These ‘magazines’ are YouTube, Twitter and Pintrest, which reaches
not page turners however, they are Instagram more than 8m followers collectively. She also
feeds, online blogs and Pintrest accounts, has a team of photographers whom follow and
documenting their every move, every ‘look’ capture her every move, at home in LA or on her
and style. various travels abroad.


Due to her success, a booked titled ‘Capture edit your photos using the best apps and filters,
Your Style’ has been released; Song’s own guide how to prop and style food and fashion photos,
to branding yourself for social media, and was how to gain more followers, and secrets behind
instantly featured in both The New York Times building a top Instagram brand, transforming an
and Forbes Magazine. This is where the magazine Instagram hobby into a successful business”
VS blogger challenge lies though; are magazines
being outdone my marketing extraordinares and Sound appealing? Of course. But how does living
influencers, whom now have more influence over a life of curated, filtered and edited images make
consumer culture than Anna Wintour from Vogue the everyday person feel? Song would argue
US? It’s highly possible. that she, “represents the masses because I’m
a real person, not a supermodels or celebrity,
Stratton claims that, “[with enough work] people so consumers can relate more”, yet if you ask
can construct the appearance that they want. someone on the highstreet, someone from the
Such understanding emphasises the visual, ‘norm’, they would argue that such bloggers
pointing towards a world of gazes, mirrors and “present and represent an impossible ideal look
spectacles where they eye is the central sense which the average person cannot achieve. If only
and the body is its major focus”. This is resonant Instagram made real life filters.. you can’t edit
with social media and magazines, whereby the real life”.
camera, or public eye becomes a mirror, allowing
for distorted self-perceptions, with one being This statement can make one feel unsettled, but
unable to recognise what is real, or not, adding also can make one question this new question
aesthetic pressure, especially in a world of this new career choice of Influencer marketing
social media. and blogging in relation to self-perceptions,
aspirations and ideals. In regard to this, due
For Song these spectacles and constructive to the continuous ‘perfect’ posts and ‘ease’ of
work has worked incredibly well; Since reaching some bloggers reaching international influencer
influencer stardom, she has been made brand status, it can be taken that every photo is not,
ambassador for Laura Mercier, launched her planned and edited post-production, however
own fashion line, called Jame, guest-edited Song’s book, captures this process diminishing
Korean Vogue, walked the Dolce and Gabbana the secrets of bloggers everywhere. In some
SS17 catwalk show at NYFW, and has featured in ways, this is a positive that she has revealed how
Vogue US and Women’s Wear Daily. In addition, ‘bloggers’ and ‘influencers’ work; based on their
collaborations have been formed with brands contructed lives, whilst to those who do not
such as True Religion, Fossil, Levi’s and 7 for follow her or know of ‘Capture Your Style’, may
All Mankind, and has since been employed by be niave to this process and ‘take whay they see
Macy’s ‘flea-fashion’ ambassador. Song is clearly as real’.
being recognised by Wintour and major brand
leaders as a force not to be reckoned with, but Due to the rise in ‘blogger culture’ in the past
to be joined. decade, many theorists have began to adapt
their research and analogies to this phenomenon
But with this influencer game comes a dangerous and how this affects the viewer. Tagg took
side note of how Instagram and social media can the lead, stating, “status [within] technology
make, the ‘normal’ person feel, or the person varies with the power relations that invest [in]
who has tried their best at blogging but still it”, whilst Rose claims; “photography is often
cannot reach that status. thought of as picturing reality”, implying that
fabricated realities such as Song’s, may impact
‘Capture Your Style’ is sold and marketed as on the self-perception, confidence and self-
follows; “Inside, you’ll learn ways to craft your esteem of the viewer. In contrast, it can also be
voice and story on Instagram: all about how to said that there is a gratification that is


gained through ‘looking’ at what we cannot have
or achieve, allowing one to still feel in tune with “BLOGGERS PRESENT
such lifestyles, therefore using social media
platforms such as Instagram and YouTube.
Compared to magazines where one knows that
the photography or editorials which are being LOOK WHICH THE
viewed or directed, are curated and fuelled by AVERAGE PERSON
models, makeup artists, hairdressers and stylists,
social media paints a picture that what one posts CANNOT ACHIEVE.
from their personal account is ‘real’. IF ONLY INSTAGRAM
Magazines can be interpreted in different ways MADE REAL LIFE
due to being mass produced for a wide audience
within a ‘designed demographic’, dependant FILTERS.. YOU CAN’T
upon the viewer, how they percieve it, and EDIT REAL LIFE.”
ultimately if they choose to read that particular
publication. However, with social media, each
blog is tailored and is directed to a very specific
type of person, through the use of hashtags and
curated imagery.

Influencers are becoming the new models,
role models and leaders of the fashion world,
dominating the social media scene and the
publishing world. Social media users may see
this a positive, or a negative, depending on their
mind-set and viewers on the bloggersphere,
whilst brands are using influencers opposed to
models to endorse and promote their brands
and products; through both catwalk shows
and PR stunts via social media. But, ultimately,
magazine publishers are turning a negative of a
preference of social media into a positive, in an
aim to counteract their sales and open doors to
new readership.

This combined strategy of utilising different
media channels in an aim to re-vamp a fading
world of print-based editorials appears to be
working, but how long until these modern muses
completely take over?

luxury consumerism; now available
“Different people of different
cultural backgrounds, under different
circumstances and at different times
make different meanings, and so
create and experience different
social realities”
Saunders (2012)
An honest and inspiring, award-winning
blog aimed at inspiring and instilling
self-worth in women across the globe

Models: M&H Collective
Photography: Amy O’Brian What prompted the idea of the blog Milk and
At a time when the digital age can be a negative
environment with a backlash of critique and Milk and Honey was just my little blog to
judgement, Milk and Honey provide a safe and interview people as I came out of university.
inspiring outlet for women to escape to. It was somewhere to write about the things
I was passionate about. Now the angle has
In 2012, Stephané Alexandré launched the totally changed and is aimed at women aged
female ran online blog and hub, aiming to 16 to 24, and is all about being a positive
inspire, motivate and instill a truth and sense of inspirational stream in the media - passionate
belonging in the lives of her readers. Instantly about protecting moral values and bringing an
shortlisted by Cosmopolitan for the Blog awareness of self-value and worth to young
Awards the same year, Milk and Honey began women. The platform is now a collaborative
to grow from a one woman band in London, to non-profit group ran by likeminded women from
an International and collaborative platform across the globe. Our platform covers a range
reaching women all over the globe. With of area, from fashion, music, faith and lifestyle.
underlying Christianity and self-belief, this It endorses positivity, love and certainly has no
blog is like no other and is recognised as being place for gossip! We aim to bring inspirational
fresh, youthful and relevant but ‘real’, with no news and an awareness of self-value and worth.
‘artifical’ content. The growth and readership I like to think it is uplifting and will motivate
has been organic, underpinned by honesty women to be the best that they can be. There is
and culture. truth and heart in everything that is written.


Do you think that this platform can make a
difference in the current ‘digital age’ of social
media and judgement?

The platform was created as a safe haven for girls
to come and get powerful, meaningful and real
content, and it is what it is because of the girls
that contribute to it.
Can you tell me about the girls which you work IMPORTANT TO BRING
with and how you work?
Oh, gosh, we have girls from Canada, from
Germany, from London, from LA, who pull out
their testomonies very earnestly and talk about WOMEN, ESPECIALLY
their lives, their journeys and their Christianity,
and very honestly to. I remember back at the TODAY WHEN THIS
start we would talk about ‘real’ issues such as CAN BE DIMINISHED
the struggle with pornography and religion,
you know, and abandoned girls who never had SO EASILY IN MODERN
parents, and motherhood, and sisterhood.
We wanted to share stories through Christ, to
let others be free. You know and that’s really
been at the brunt of it all, and working together Do you think it’s hard for women to identify
to get these stories out there and build on with themselves within a world of social media?
this platform working together, sharing and
encouraging. Even if you have Instagram and you’re following
safe content, there is still an element of a
But, there is a lighter side too? ‘picture perfect life’. No one posts a picture
of themselves when they wake up, it’s all very
We talk about all sorts of this girls like, from tailored and we try to bring that back to reality.
makeup and beauty, to fashion, to hotels and You don’t see imperfections, an we wanted to
travel, the best places to eat; you know a lifestyle show that, and reinstate being true.
hub that’s Christ inspired but engaging and
relatable and safe. Sharing is so important to What is your film about, ‘The Dare’ that features
bring all sorts of self-worth and value to women, on the blog?
especially today when this can be diminished so
easily in modern day society. We wanted to present a reflective visual of the
journey that is being a women, growing and
You know, growing up in a sheltered environment learning over the years, in a raw way. ‘The Dare’
and having pre-determined aspirations set out is a spoken word piece performed and written
for you has led me to this point, where I now by Sarah Amankwah, which we believe to be
want to be ‘me’, and I want women to embrace powerful, helpful and beautiful too.
who they are too, and not to be dictated
through just an ideal either through the media
or Christianity. People don’t often realise how
beautiful they are, and don’t recognise their
worth and that’s what we want to showcase and
encourage as a team.


The Dare:

I remember the first time that I sat in isolation. Beg my pardons, please.

I kept face, but it caught my attention. From the minute my tears kissed his feet, I was set free
from eternal captivity.
At age 9, I was a compulsive lair.
In an instant, his grace was made sufficient.
I rejected things I didn’t understand, like immigrants.
Not by my needs to please, but he needed to aim high
Who knew those silk-haired, sun-kissed creatures for me so he stepped down and died for me.
were my neighbours.
Who sympathises with the weak.
This clenching stones not knowing that I to had become
a clone. Culture zone; teenager. Tempted yet with sin yet he was on fleek.

Not a ninja but my movements marked splinters. Perfect purchase the payment was permanent.

Most winters I would slumber in the daytime; always And I look at you, sleeping beauties and, the scars
afraid to walk the line. left behind.

I’m dreaming; but screaming, why does beauty starve The broken hearted Fionas and Auroras.
the living.. wait, wait, who am I kidding?
Those filthy ogres wearing togas, and those charming
I traded my heart to these trolls that scrolled through lovers.
every crushed artery.
For heavens sake.
Handed me some sticks and spit and make me your
weeping mistress. His glorious kingdom awaits; you are known royalty.

Ruled by the fear of never having a happy ever after. He prays that when you sit there and look at me you
see a bi-product of a true love story.
But behold for he is coming; and every eye will see him.
I dare you to listen to reason, to commit this act of
My knight in shining armour.A lover, but not a fighter. treason against the world.

Not afraid to flex to the rebellious yes. Tell every boy and every girl to wake up.

Advised and rejected by men, we did not esteem him. I dare you to shake up the nations, the blacks, white,
olives and caucasians.
But he needed to be stricken.
I dare you to love your frenemies, that’s your friends
Smitten, it was written, he was wounded for our and your enemies.
transgressions. Bruised for our inequities.
I dare you to not follow me, but follow he; come and
Chastised for our peace. see, I dare you.

“The ‘Universal Elite’ in present day
society holds up to its members
the role of the consumer, and the
members of our society are likewise
judged by their ability and willingness
to play that role”
Bauman, (2004)

The 1st Fashion and
Beauty blog was
launched in the US
in 2010. Since then
‘The Industry’ has
boomed. Bloggers
are now known
as ‘Influencers’
and are being
used as marketing
commodities by
International brands.

77% of all bloggers
are female, and
within this 27% of
those are bloggers
within the beauty and
fashion industries.


the ones to watch on Instagram
With the world going beauty mad, The Industry
magazine has selected the most influential
beauty bloggers to follow in 2017!.. you know
you want to!
















Chiara Ferrig


Kristina Bazan

Aimee S


Julia Engel



the ones to watch
Fashion bloggers have become the modern muses of
21st Century fashion, showcasing the newest trends
and brands. These are the stand-out influencers to be
aware of and follow!


Welcome to
Harajuku, Tokyo,
where the saying
goes: “the nail that
sticks out, must be
hammered back
in” pressurising
conformity, in return
causing a backlash
of self-expression,
unique identities and
‘kawaii’ to be derived
and interspersed
with Western
influences and style.





East Asian

the ones to watch on Instagram
Beauty influencers in Eastern Asia are still low-key, not
being recognised or trusted as much as ‘celebrities’
to endorse major brands and products, however; The
Industry magazine has selected a few we predict will be
big when the tide turns! Recognised influencers tend to
have a combination of Western and Kawaii traits!


East Asian

the ones to watch

Fashion bloggers are still not as popular or in demand in
Eastern Asia as Celebrities, however due to Western culture
influences and a Japanese desire to conform, this has allowed
for a wave of ‘Western-style influencers’ to appear. These are
the ones to be aware of!

A models perspective on social media, body
image and the distortions created through
the Fashion industry

Model: Tam Dexter
Photography: Talia White
Makeup Artist: Jade Victoria
Do you feel that working as a model in the
Tam Dexter, one of the North’s most desired Fashion Industry has affected your self-
and booked models, kick started her modelling perception and body image at all?
career 2 years ago through Nemesis Models,
Manchester and posting her test shots on the Not as much as some people may think.
social media platform Instagram. With already Obviously I look at other girls that go to the gym
38k Instagram followers at the age of 23, you’ll a lot, and I’m like “wow I need to go gym more”
see Tam modelling for the likes of Hotmess, [laughs], but I’m happy with my body and I get
Luxe to Kill, Runway96, Baby Milk Clothing, booked for work, so clients must like me.
Dorothy Perkins, ASOS and Jade Clark.
Do you think that seeing successful models on
But, how does building a modelling business social media, could issues in young females?
through social media affect your self- Especially those who are wanting to follow your
perception as your popularity grows and you footsteps?
become more, and more ‘in-demand’? Tam
candidly tells all on how it feels to be on the 100% of images on Instagram can be so false;
industry side of the lens in modern day society, lighting and photoshop have more than likely
as well as how the modelling industry can affect been used. If I wasn’t in the fashion industry I
perceptions and identities of the viewing and wouldn’t know about the amount of editing that
consumer-led public. goes into post-production images.


When I was 16 I didn’t care about what I looked MYSELF AND I DON’T
like compared to girls in the lower generation,
but it seems 16-24 year olds mainly have their EVEN LOOK LIKE ME IN
head in their phone on social media platforms at THE MIRROR BECAUSE
the moment, and that can’t be good
for them. I’M CONTOURED TO
Do you think social media has had any negative
impact in your modelling career to date,
especially being 22 and working within the What aspects of the Fashion and Beauty
realms of fashion? Industries in particular do you feel most affect
self-perception and body image issues of
No not really, I don’t think I have enough viewers and customers?
followers for it to have a negative impact on me.
I see girls with 50k plus followers and they get Photoshop is a big one, how you can change
abused in the comments on their own images, someones whole image and then use the image
it’s disgusting. I think if it got to that I would everywhere is false to me. Within the beauty
come off social media as there’s more to life industry, obviously makeup is a huge part.
than people saying nasty things when they don’t Sometimes I look at myself and I don’t even look
even know the person that they’re being negative like me in the mirror because I’m contoured to
towards. high heavens! So young girls wanting to look like
a model or a blogger that they have seen because
Have you had any negative experiences with they contour or use MAC makeup would be a
brands or modelling agencies where perhaps massive self perception issue!
their expectations of you were different?
Perhaps post-production images can give Has imagery of you been published whereby
clients an idea of something that isn’t ‘real’? your body or ‘real’ body shape, has been
digitally manipulated without your say?
No not yet, and I hope I don’t in the future. All
my agencies have been really happy with me No never, most photographers say I’m really easy
and my shape, and we also do test shoots for to work with as I don’t need photoshop as my
my portfolio showing a range or pre and post- skin in great.
production images.
How do you feel in general about using
Do you feel that working as a model, there is a digitally manipulated photography?
certain expectation of you to ‘look’ a certain
way all of the time? I think it’s ridiculous. If they found a model with
what they was looking for instead of creating
I don’t think there is a certain way they want you a fake image of somebody to fit ‘the brand’, or
to look, but I know companies want variety in ‘look’ I think the world would be a better place in
models, i.e. hair colour, cut and maybe physique terms of self-perception and self-confidence. At
too. As a model you need to be looking your best least young girls would know the image is a real
at all times, I make sure my hair, nails and skin person, and could aspire to that and not a false
are in perfect condition all the time. entity created for sales and the media.



Do you think clients and brands can get away
with such manipulation without their being any
impact on the model?

It’s really sad, it’s like the client doesn’t know
that the model will know that they have changed
it completely. Can you imagine looking at a image
of yourself which looks nothing like you? I can
only imagine the sadness that I would feel if I
witnessed it, and it happened to me! I think it
would be really damaging and could lower your
confidence massively.

Working around this major issue in the
Fashion Industry, ASOS for example, have a
Model Welfare Policy in place to ensure that all
of the models used in their promotional
materials are deemed ‘healthy’ in regards to
physique and weight. Have you had any similar
positive experiences with brands or modelling
agencies where policies are enforced or
positive body image is promoted?

This is the best thing that’s came to the fashion
indsutry and the wider society. I don’t work with
a company that has any policy in place, but I
think it should be implimented worldwide.

Do you feel that the use of a National or
International Policy on ‘healthy’ model use and
positive body image would help the industry
in regards to promoting body confidence and
positive self-esteem within young females?

100% there is a lot of models that are so
underweight, even some that I have worked with.
To young girls they look amazing, but if a doctor
was to analyse them, I am sure they would be
really worried.

“The media influences slim ideals,
and potentially can trigger eating
disorders. As a result 1.6m in the UK
alone suffer”
B-EAT (2011)
The worlds largest ecommerce outlet,
ASOS, talks Social Responsibility, including,
Model Welfare and Positive Body Image

Photography: ASOS SS17

ASOS is known to be the number 1, global
fashion destination for 20-somethings. Selling
more than 85,000 products through localised
mobile and web experiences, ASOS deliver daily
to 240 countries and destinations around the
world. With this being said, ASOS have a huge
responsibility to ensure that both products and
advertising are targetted responsibly to their
12.4m diverse customers, and with their stance
as a market leader within the Fashion Industry,
ASOS take the welfare of both their customers
and models very seriously. At a time where
social media is on the rise, and perceptions
are being distorted through an array of digital
lenses, Jessica Andrews from the Social
Responsibilty team and Robert Crest, a Senior
Specialist Womenswear designer for ASOS,
talk candidly on the companies policies and
procedures, ensuring good practice globally.
ASOS are the only global company to enforce
such welfare policies, and hope to make a
positive difference in a challenging time for
Fashion; by keeping what they put out in the
media as close to ‘real’ as possible.


With ASOS being accessible to over 240 within our Buying and Garment Technology
countries worldwide, how does the Model teams to ensure policies are followed
Welfare policy work on an International throughout the process. Our supplier bases are
scale? Are different ethnicties and body types also an extension of this and regular contact and
accounted for in order to not only show visits build this trust and continue updating the
Western faces and physiques? information and expectations we hold at ASOS.

JA: The main focus of the policy is the welfare JA: When forming a policy it is important to
and wellbeing of the models working with ASOS, ensure all of the relevant stakeholders within
so it doesn’t specify the need to represent the business are involved. For example, for a
differences in body shapes or averages. However retouching policy this would include a group
as part of our wider Fashion with Integrity of people, so, the Production team, the model
programme we focus on diversity and inclusion booking team and the creative directors.
so the model booking team is aware of the
importance of ensuring that our models reflect We would also potentially involve a ‘critical
our diverse customer base. I think that ASOS friend’ i.e. a charity or initiative, that it well
does a pretty good job of this already but we known for working in the field so that they can
are always striving to ensure that all body types, provide external advice as the policy is formed.
races, etc. are represented across all of This really helps [ASOS] to ensure that we are on
our channels. top of our game, and that nothing ‘out of line’ is
carried out which could be perceived negatively
How are ASOS perceived in the Fashion Industry by the viewer and consumer. We take this quite
and ecommerce world in regards to following seriously.
guidelines and policies? It is noticed that other
brands and organisations in the Industry which Do you believe that all brands and organisations
do not have such pre-set policies. in the Fashion Industry should follow policies
and guidelines, ensuring that Positive Body
RC: I hope ASOS is perceived to be quite Image and Model Welfare are accounted for?
aspirational in terms of body image and dressing Or, do you think the Industry would benefit
any body shape. We have 4 womenswear from National or International policies?
specialist ‘Own Brand’ departments – Curve, Tall,
Petite/Petite Tall, and Maternity/Maternity Tall, RC: In general, I think that there should be a
and we also sell ‘Branded Specialist’ brands too. level of general awareness and boundaries which
industries should adhere to, but appreciate to
We [ASOS] strive to be the top of our game, make it national or international would require
and hope that all of the work done within head a big body of work. I think boundaries are
office is evident on site through both the end now slowly blurring and with recent catwalk
product and social media outlets. We don’t shows using plus size, older generations and
use advertising, aside from our own magazine androgynous models – the tide is turning and
which is available to customers, we live off word Positive body image awareness is now out there
of mouth and the reputation this spreads, the not to be ignored but celebrated. There is still a
feedback we have had from questionnaires and lot to still be done however.
focus groups have been very positive.
JA: I feel that all brands within the Fashion
Who do you work with to form such policies, Industry should draw up their own policies and
and are these supported going forward? guidelines. I think this would promote organic
change from within the industry that still allows
RC: The design team obviously doesn’t work in for the creativity and vision to continue but also
isolation. We have very strong relationships ensure the wellbeing of models and the public.


“BOUNDARIES ARE When National or International policies are put
in place they can help and promote change more
NOW BLURRING AND quickly as long as they are not too prescriptive.
However, these types of policies are quite often
THE TIDE IS TURNING. not very easy for brands to navigate and can
POSITIVE BODY IMAGE become a burden with admin and quashing
creativity, so do not allow the industry to find
AWARENESS IS NOW a positive solution from within, which I think is
OUT THERE NOT TO what ultimately drives long term change.

BE IGNORED BUT Have any problems arisen in regards to
modelling agencies not complying with these
CELEBRATED. THERE policy guidelines?
IS STILL A LOT TO BE RC: Not that I’m aware of, but I would like to
DONE HOWEVER” think that ASOS would only work with agencies
which have guidelines and rules which embrace
and support all body types, and as a result any
issues are dealt with prior to production teams
meeting or hiring our models.

JA: Yeah, I agree. Ultimately it’s up to the ASOS
Model booking team to decide which models
we want to use on our website, or for any other
media channel, so they should be following the
guidelines outlined in our policies, such as only
using models with measurements above a UK 8.

However, we do sometimes face issues due to
modelling agencies presenting models that have
measurements that are smaller than we would
want to use. For example, in the past we have
had challenges in finding agencies who supply
‘plus size’ models above a size 16 and as a result
have resorted to finding our own models, often
through Instagram, festivals, competitions or
even from the ASOS office! But you know, the
modelling industry is changing so we have seen
improvements in this area recently.

So, how does the ASOS social media platforms
comply with these policies?

RC: Naturally we have a responsibility to ensure
any imagery posted on social media is positive
and this is monitored and addressed constantly.
We use Social media as a resource to gain an
understanding of what our customer needs. This
is free of any boundaries (to an extent) – and


sometimes the more honest the better as all we
want is to make sure our customer is happy. We
have strict rules about what we can post and are
always addressing how things may be perceived
before being posted. “WE HAVE RESORTED
Do ASOS work with issues surrounding social TO FINDING OUR
media and possible Mental Health and Body Im-
age issues that could be derived from this?
JA: We recognise that mental health issues
are one of the biggest challenges facing young
people today, especially with the rise in social EVEN AT TIMES THE
media use. We work really hard to ensure that
our social media presence is positive and not ASOS OFFICE!”
negatively impacting on the mental health and
body image of our customers. size ‘Own Brand’, we have done lookbook shoots
with Gabi Fresh and Felicity Howard, who are
We have wider programmes in place to highlight great aspirational women. We also meet with
the impact social media can have on body im- Plus size bloggers, both UK and international for
age/mental health. For example, we work with advice and opinions on product/trends, but also
the Diana Award (a charity that is working to pre- just to touch base and see what’s going on in
vent bullying) and we have been partnered with “their family and community” of followers.
them for the launch of their #MySenseOfSelf!
project which teaches young people about body So, what do you think are the benefits of having
confidence and self-esteem. such ASOS policies and ideologies in place?

The focus of the project is on an activity in which RC: The benefit to me is simply having less
they draw an outline of their neck and shoulders boundaries, but naturally having to think outside
on a large piece of paper and then write words the box more because as a designer you aren’t
around the outline that shows what makes them always designing for yourself – it makes you
up (i.e. I love cooking, my favourite colour is red). appreciate what you are giving as a service.
When they have filled the paper around their
outline they take a selfie with the paper behind And, do you think that there are any negative
them. The activity highlights that when people aspects or restraints in regards to working with
take selfies and post them on social media, the such strict policies
selfie doesn’t show who they are as a person but and guidelines?
just what they look like (often after they have
used filters/apps to change their appearance). RC: Naturally we have to be sensitive to the
We are currently working with the Diana Award diversity of our customer base and the different
to expand on this idea to a more national level ethnic groups, and respect their opinions and
and it’s an area we would look to continue work- beliefs, whether this is silhouette or cut, body
ing in the future. shape, print or pattern, or even the colours
used. It adds another level to the design process
With social media taking off, do ASOS work with and can often influence how trends evolve. It’s
bloggers coinciding with this? a journey from concept to the end product,
and would hopefully not divide or deter our
RC: We do quite a lot of work with bloggers and customer from the ASOS experience, whilst
influencers. For example for CURVE, our plus being a learning curve for the design team.


Khloe Kardashian and Emma Greedy talk
Good American, the denim line promoting
positive body image for all

What inspired the two of you to start Good
American jeans?
Models: Various; The Good American Squad
Photography: Good American AW16 KK: Emma and I created Good American because
we wanted jeans that can fit real women, and
2016 saw the launch of a ‘Denim Revolution’, we really feel like this has been lacking in the
founded by KUWTK star Khloe Kardashian and market. Our denim line will go from size 0 to size
Marketing Expert Emma Greedy, making denim 24, but we don’t consider this a plus-sized line.
history. With sizes 00-24, Good American aims We consider this a line for the everyday woman.
to be a positive influence in a currently negative We believe in embracing a woman’s curves and
world of body shaming and judging within the I feel like now so many people are breaking
fashion industry, allowing anyone from ‘skinny’ down these barriers of not only going to a size
to ‘curvy’ to feel beautiful in their own skin. 6 or 8, which is considered “normal.” I’m very
proud of the message Emma and I are trying to
Starting from a simple conversation on what it get out into the world and we really hope that it
means to be a woman in today’s harsh society transcends into making women feel empowered
of critics, glares and lenses, Good American in their own skin and knowing that there’s a line
was born and is here to stay, make an impact that’s going to give you all these trends, you can
and prove a point; you can have clothing that is still be fashion-forward and have everything that
‘tailor’ made to fit you, and not the other the “normal” girls have, and I hate to say that,
way around. without having to sacrifice anything else.



How was it decided that you would cast real and a bigger backside. You sometimes need to
women and fans in your campaign instead of make alterations and you’ll never need to do
booked models? that in these jeans. The fabric is super stretchy,
has great recovery, the pattern is completely
EG: Khloé put out a message on social media different so that all the curve is in the hip. We’ve
to say that she was launching the brand. We got some very special stitching on our jeans so
really just wanted women from all backgrounds even though they’re very plain, the stitching is
to come and be part of the campaign. We had curved and it actually follows and accentuates a
about 12,000 entries in 24 hours and we invited woman’s figure.
250 people to come down to audition for the
campaign; it was amazing. It was one of the most So, before all of this, did you have someone you
empowering, brilliant days because we had all looked to as a positive body image role model
of these girls that had no idea what they were when you were growing up?
doing; they saw a manifesto on our website
talking about our values and what we wanted KK: It’s so interesting because when I was
this company to be and they responded to that. growing up heroin chic was the really cool thing.
We’ve got this incredible campaign with all these And there was Kate Moss. And she was gorgeous,
different women from different backgrounds, but I was like, ‘I don’t identify with that body.’
shapes, sizes, colors; it was really empowering to I always, weirdly enough, was attracted to the
do that right at the start of this brand. Victoria’s Secret models of the world because
they were more voluptuous.
KK: What I took away from that the most is that
normally when you’re on auditions people are It wasn’t even because they were in bras and
like, “I’m not talking to you, I want this role,” but panties. It was like, ‘Okay, I finally see bodies that
everyone who came into the room was like, “I are a little more like mine.’ And they’re not even
just made some new friends out there!” They bigger girls. They just have bigger breasts and
didn’t even know why they were there, they a little curve. When Jennifer Lopez did Selena I
just knew there was a positive message and was like, ‘Oh my God.’ It was so relatable for me
they wanted to be part of it. To see people that and my sisters. But at the time it was really
excited about doing something that’s uplifting, only her.
that’s something that really opened our eyes and
made us think, ‘wow there really is a huge lack of I don’t remember a lot of other really strong
this positivity in life and building other women women at the head of pop culture at that time.
up in this field and it’s horrible”. And now looking back at J. Lo there were so
many girls with way bigger butts, but that was
For a lot of women, it’s so hard to find what we had. It’s important to me, no matter
a pair of jeans that fits the right way. How did what size I am or weight I am, to feel beautiful.
you take that problem into account when it Even at my biggest I was rocking body con
came to designing Good American? dresses and you couldn’t tell me twice.

EG: Well, that’s the whole thing, that’s what That’s what I think Good American is. It’s about
everybody talks about and it’s not easy, that’s women of individuality and diversity, but also
why not a lot of brands are able to do it. We’ve about being comfortable in yourself. That’s what
spent a really, really long time developing a we’re trying to promote. It’s not about fitting into
product that we can be proud of. There are a lot a size two and that’s what makes you beautiful.
of technical elements. What we’ve worked really
hard on is this contour waistband which acts like I just want people to be healthy and love who
a ‘self-belt’ and it means that you never have they are and be in control of your life. But that
that gap at the back if you have a smaller waist doesn’t mean you have to be a size six.

So, overall, what does the name Good American decision myself when I shop online.
represent for you?
EG: And the nice thing about our website is
EG: First of all, we thought the name Good we’ve shot everything on three different sized
American was a great name. But it was more women. So you can see who you’re closest in size
about a play on the words and the connotations to and see how she looks. Which I think is a nice
of what being “good” means. Can you not be a touch on the website.
really sexy girl who shows off your body and be
good and do good in the world? We wanted our It’s unusual to have a online website that
company to also behave like a good American. showcases the clothes in various sizes isn’t it?
It’s about paying a fair living wage to people,
about operating in a way people would find EG: Why isn’t everybody doing that? We’re like,
acceptable and manufacturing in America. So all ‘This is such a good feeling! Why is everyone not
those values of what it conjures up to be a good doing it!’ But the reality of the fashion industry
American is what our company should be and is that it’s really stuck. It’s stuck in this idea of
how it should behave. only providing sample sizes. It’s stuck in this
idea of when you’re in a department store you
KK: And with that we created our Good can’t actually go onto the designer denim floor
Squad, which is the wonderful girls we have and find anything above a 10. And 10 is relatively
representing our line. They’re bad ass ‘real’ girls small. It’s ridiculous. So this feels revolutionary
who all have a lot going on in their lives. Women because it kind of is. We actually hope other
who are strong and so versatile. We have girls brands follow suit and it becomes the norm.
of all different colors, ethnicities, heights and That’s why we keep talking about a “denim
sizes. They have tattoos, shaved heads, literally revolution.” Having sizes 0 to 24 is not a weird
everything. Because that’s really now what our thing. The average size woman in America is a
world is. It’s not about the cookie cutter ‘I’m a size 16. She should be able to go in her local
blonde with long flowing hair’ look anymore, all store and find a beautiful pair of jeans!
people are different and thats ok.

Do you have any good tips for Women regarding “IT’S NOT ABOUT
how to try on denim? FITTING INTO A SIZE
EG: It’s ‘buy them online and try them at home.’ TWO AND THAT’S
We don’t want that dressing room mirror
situation. We stock them at Nordstrom and we’re WHAT MAKES YOU
very, very happy to be in stores, but the online BEAUTIFUL. HAVING
experience has brought a whole new dimension
to what is a really tricky purchase. If you can, buy SIZES 0 TO 24 IS NOT
a few pairs and try them on in the comfort of
your own home with your own clothes. That’s a
major plus. THE AVERAGE SIZE
KK: I used to be a sales employee. And sales WOMAN IN AMERICA
employees, that’s their job. I have been IS A SIZE 16. SHE
convinced that I look so good in something and
I’ve gotten home and been like, ‘What the fuck SHOULD BE ABLE
did I just buy?’ I’m a big online shopper. I think
nowadays it’s so accessible and easy. You can
do it on your phone. I just feel I’m making the GOOD JEANS!”

A candid interview with Fashion expert
Nadine LeBlond, a Creative Director and
Art Director based in London

Models: TK Maxx Customers
Photography: Eudes de Santana

At a time when some brands are pushing Can you tell me a bit about your job role
diversity out, leading the way with the working within the fashion industry?
stereotypical ‘white female’ stick-thin
model, Nadine LeBlond encourages different I worked for TK Maxx as a Creative Director and
ethnicities and age groups within her practice then worked for Hearst magazines, and ‘George’
as a freelance Art Director and Creative clothing; both on a freelance basis. Most of the
Director working in the Fashion industry. This work was art direction, focusing on seasonal
interview reveals why brands only utilise ‘one campaigns and events. These were a mixture of
type’ of model, and praises brands that realise photographic and motion pieces. My background
the commerical benefits of diversity. The is in advertising and design, working for top
industry is slowly changing, and Nadine aims to agencies, so I came into the industry with a
put her mark on it allowing for consumers to be different and fresh mindset/perspective from
who they really are. those who have always worked in it.



Do you feel pressure working in this industry a more positive outcome that’s great; and even
to relay a positive body image and ideal to better, at least I’ve tried and feel happy I’ve had
consumers? an influence however momentary.

Yes, definitely. I think it’s incredibly important As someone in your position, how do you deal
to convey a positive body image to people, not with this, or challenge this?
just on an ethical basis. But it also makes sense
commercially. If people relate to the brand they I usually put it forward within the concept and
feel an affinity to it. From a moral perspective give as strong as argument that I can from a
I’ve been on the other side of the camera and commercial perspective. Businesses don’t care
been told to lose weight by my modelling agency about most things… but they do care about
despite being incredibly thin. It gave me an money.
incredibly unhealthy attitude towards my own
body image and led to me taking prescription What do you think can be done in the industry
diet medication to meet the ideals requested by to promote positive body image and self-
my agency... which is incredibly damaging. perception?

Have you had any really positive experiences Using models with a healthier body weight.
in regard to this? If so, can you give some Presenting people in a happier manner than
examples of your work and brands which you are not overly self aware and are happy
feel have had a positive impact in the industry? in themselves is important. Also, not over
retouching images can really help.
Yes. I loved the TK Maxx ethos of using ‘real
customers’ who were cast in store. They are not Do you think magazines need to do more to
professional models, are a diverse age range showcase a variety of models and body types?
and give a much more natural and ‘attainable’
impression of the people that actually wear the Definitely, yes! But in general they are starting
clothes. They were incredibly positive campaigns to embrace the concept of doing just that.
to work on. Other brands are doing a great Especially when they realise the commercial
job of pushing the boundaries. Dove, M&S, benefits. I understand that they want things to
Debenhams… a lot of brands are really pushing sell. It’s a tricky mix between creating a beautiful
things now. Even H&M are now embracing photograph and realism. But definitely more can
‘women being women’ in all their shapes and be done. It’s not an easy job though. most are
sizes. High fashion doesn’t embrace it… but the responding to financial/commercial needs. It
high street does. takes some bravery and it’s seen as a ‘risk’.

And likewise, have you had any experiences With the rise of social media, do you think this
working with a brand who has wanted to has allowed brands to use photos of models and
project a ‘negative’ body image or ideal, in your promote campaigns which may not of been used
opinion? previously in print? Does this have an impact on
body image and self-perception do you think?
Yes; but I won’t name names! Generally, as an art
director, my opinion is respected. I get involved Social media definitely has both positive and
in the casting and have a say in the situation. I negative effects. Istagram is very bad at creating
have had brands however not agree with using an environment where unnatural/non-realities
a plus sized model even when appropriate are created and make people feel bad about
because their clothes go up to a size 24! It is their own lives/self-image because it’s incredibly
ultimately their money and decision. If I manage unrealistic. Its doesn’t really show the not so
to push them at least some of the way towards beautiful moments! Social media can also be


incredibly powerful because it gives people a
voice. They can talk to brands directly and get
the brands to respond to their needs.

In your opinion what are the biggest downfalls
and positives of the industry?

I love fashion. I love creating beautiful images
and motion pieces. I get to work with some
incredibly talented people at my request. That
to me is amazing. As a negative... it can be an
incredibly bitchy, backstabbing and cut throat
environment to work in.

You really have to be passionate about what you
do and be prepared to develop a very thick skin
that may not come naturally to you. You have to
separate your emotional perspective and get the
job done.

How do you tackle diversity and gender equality
in the industry?

I always suggest as much age diversity as
possible. But it comes down to budget. If I can
only have one female model, she has to appeal to
a diverse audience. Then you have to be realistic
and pick an age that is relative to the majority of
the purchasing demographic.

If I am allowed one male, one female, I make sure
one of them is the opposite in terms of ethnicity
to the other; to promote as much diversity as
possible; which still could be done more.

A Feminst Illustrators perspective on social
media and it’s impact on her practice

Article By: Bobbi Rae
Illustrations: Bobbi Rae

Bobbi Rae is an Illustrator based in Leeds, West
Yorkshire whom provokes thought and a deeper
sense of personal connection and intellect
through her feminist artwork. Her outlook is
empowering, inspiring and for the greater good
of women and their rights to be whom they are,
or want to be.


‘Drawn Together’

Many girls that I know find discomfort in
themselves when they use social media - over-
comparisons, over-evaluation, over-judgement;
based on unrealistic expectations set by the
highlight reels of other beautiful women.

As if life isn’t already hard enough without these
unobtainable self-expectations that we permit. “I AIM TO UNRAVEL
Whilst I am not usually one for so many words, THE PERCEPTION OF
through my methods of illustration, design and
craft, I aim to unravel the perception of beauty, BEAUTY, TO PROMOTE
to promote liberation and celebrate women of
all shapes, sizes, colours and creeds.
As a feminist illustrator, it is important to me
to convey my beliefs, however, I am also able to OF ALL SHAPES, SIZES,
use these advantages to test, develop and create COLOURS & CREEDS.”
new audiences for my work. These serve the
financial imperatives of practice, demanded by
contemporary consumer culture, which instills a
feeling of servitude; I am in owance to my crowd
to provide a message that eeks joy, positivity
and empowerment. I feel empowered, I am
privileged, I am passionate for the fundamental
rights left to fight for. I want my audiences to feel

Social media has obscene power; that not only
exists to engage diverse audiences from across
the world, but is able to promote business, to
create vision and to sell ideas. To sell you whiter
teeth, shinier hair, a different body. It is by
these very means, however, that others are able
to provide a space for dialogue, feedback and
exchange. It is in my experiences and through
the stories of others, that my own platforms
become a space for confronting gender issues
and challenging the perceived roles of women.

For more artwork, visit or
search @bearcubs on Instagram

“Social media presents and represents
an impossible ideal look, the average
person cannot achieve this. If only
Instagram made real life filters... you
can’t edit real life”
Anon, (2017)
The leading beauty vlogger and
influencer talks candidly about industry
pressures and self-perception issues

Model and Makeup: Samantha Ravndahl
Photography: Ruby James

Samantha Ravndahl (@ssssamanthaa), boasts a Anyone would of thought that being a beauty
staggering 2.4m followers on Instagram alone. influencer would be the dream job; events,
She is a Canadian beauty blogger and vlogger, freebies, sponsorships and constant admiration.
who rose to fame with her candid YouTube But what happens when you reach a level of
channel (formerly known as Batalash Beauty) influence that starts to in turn influence your
back in 2014 before the ‘beauty boom’ exploded own behaviour and believes? With a large social
worldwide. Exploring the impacts that social media following, fans and high expectations, it
media platforms have had on her, Samantha can be hard to break away after growing to an
talks openly about the career path that many exponentially high status of admiration.
find oh, so glamorous; yet behind the visage is
danger of self-perception issues. “Everyone expects me to look like I do on
Instagram all the time. I don’t wear glam makeup
Known for being brutally honest, loud and all the time”, Samantha states. She continues,
brash with both personality and her style of “you know, everyone expects you to look
reviews and tutorials alike, Samantha gives ‘photo-ready’ all the fucking time”, hinting at
her account of her experience as a modern competitive and exceptive behaviours from
day ‘influencer’ and the subsequent pressures social media communities and social groups. It
which go hand-in-hand with such title. appears it is taken that what is seen on social


media is ‘real’, and not edited, airbrushed
and well photoshopped imagery forming part
of the ‘act’, therefore it is expected you look
the same in day to day life, all the time. “It’s
become a competition about who can look the
most fucking glamorous at 8am in the gym. And
then document it on social media”, Samantha “EVERYONE EXPECTS
claims hinting at the narcissist traits of those
involved in the industry. “All this has done to YOU TO LOOK
me is cheapen all the experiences I have. Like, ‘PHOTO-READY’ ALL
I get taken away to amazing places I could only
dream of, and I’m not even taking the scenery in THE FUCKING TIME”
or where I am. It’s become about where the best
lighting is, or what acts as the best backdrop for following has been offered many opportunities
a photo to post online”. and now makes it clear in all of her posts and
videos, which are and are not sponsored. “I’m
It’s painful to hear that social media and the not gonna lie, if someone offers you $5000 and
opinions of others can damage someones life you get taken to Bora Bora to promote a brand,
experiences, as well as their values and self or a brand offers you money to do a video, or
confidence. Samantha states that she was taken go to an event and talk about a specific product,
away by an undisclosed brand for a launch event, you aren’t gonna turn that down. Who would? We
and was bought clothes to wear, even though all have to live and have bills to pay”, Samantha
she took her own, and that she was the only states openly and honestly. March 2017 also saw
influencer in the group to have this experience; the launch of Samantha’s own MAC Lipstick in
“they must of thought I was too casual or collaboration with the brand. 10 of the worlds
something, it sucks, it’s like let me be me. The largest influencers
role of an influencer these days is that you are
paid to be beautiful and look a certain way, and influencers were offered the opportunity to
apparently I didn’t look that ‘certain’ way”. create their own lipstick shade to be sold in
their native countries; a very clever marketing
But, it seems that influencer and blogger culture and PR trick from the global brand, whilst also
hasn’t always been this way; “this culture, was promoting their social media accounts in a new,
initially a positive experience, where ‘blogging’ tactical methods.
originally had an emphasis on makeup artistry
skillset, and actually being fucking good at the It appears that the influencer industry is growing,
craft, opposed to this present day ideology of and Samantha knows she got lucky with her
being classed as an ‘influencer’ and how many success - “it was all about the timing, and I think
likes or views you get”. This change echos the I offered something different at the time, as
increase of beauty bloggers and YouTubers well as being honest about shit. I won’t say I like
around the world, apparently in the West. something if I don’t and I won’t work with brands
It seems that everyone wants a piece of the I don’t agree with” - and is now successful
influencer game, which in turn has become enough to pick and choose who she works with.
damaging to those working in it, as well as those But at the same time, self-perceptions and
who view it for fun or guidance. selfhood are being dented, manipulated and
criticised all the time, in person and on social
Samantha at one point in her career, was media. So, this begs the question, is there ever a
massively against sponsorships and undisclosed way back down to ‘normality’ when you reach the
advertisements, but now with her increased top of your game, or is this something that you
following has been offered many opportunities have to learn to live with?