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ISSUE 01

ISSUE 01

ABOUT | DANIELLE MUNTYAN

I am a Leeds based Freelance Graphic Designer working within the Fashion and Beauty Industries, and the Lead Graphic Designer for High Definition Beauty (HD Brows). I have an interest in how modern blogger empires, social media obsessions and traditional print based magazines affect ones self-perception and view on body image, which is derived from suffering with extreme Anorexia Nervosa in my younger years.

For my MA (Creative Practice) at LCA, specialising in International Fashion and Beauty Communications, I explored this interest on a cross-cultural scale, exploring the West and East as contrasting comparatives.

CONTACT

daniellemuntyandesign.dunked.com

danielle-muntyan@hotmail.co.uk

CREDITS | BIBLIOGRAPHY

danielle.muntyan.co.uk/index.php/2017/07/07/bibliography/

EDITORS

WELCOME

danielle muntyan

EDITORS WELCOME danielle muntyan ISSUE 01: Welcome to this debut issue of The Industry . Issue

ISSUE 01:

Welcome to this debut issue of The Industry. Issue 01 focuses on social media, magazines and influencers upon self-perception within the cross-cultural world of the fashion and beauty industries. The articles both depict and discuss the effect of media content on body image, self-esteem and narcissism. This first issue is unique in that it provides a variety of candid perspectives from a range of voices from within industry, including those of models, vloggers, international brands and magazine editors.

The Industry series aims to highlight cultural truths about the beauty and fashion industries and provoke debates concerning the ethics of some practices, in the light of recent research on issues such as mental health. Derived from an ‘inside’ interest in how these industries and the rise of social media can affect ones self-perception and self-esteem, The Industry magazine was born. Article content depicts provocations and insider ‘truths’, whilst educating and informing those who are interested in, or work in the beauty and fashion industries around the world.

In addition, it aims to raise awareness of the positive outlets and marketing strategies which are outlined to combat this, and fight for one to be accepting of themselves in a world where we often strive to be like, act like, or look like someone else.

This issue looks at Western and Eastern cultures, in an aim to understand how trends, brands, blogger empires and social media compare, and how this effects viewpoints and self-perceptions. This issue puts a spotlight on cross-cultural ‘ideals’ and critical perspectives relating to self-identity. Nine months of research, interviews, collaboration and writing have gone into this first edition of The Industry magazine, gaining access to the likes of Vogue Japan and ASOS, to give readers an honest and insightful, yet critical and cynical view of the voices within the industries which are dominating the 21st century. I hope you enjoy reading this first edition, and that it sparks and inspires conversation, and debate alike.

21st century. I hope you enjoy reading this first edition, and that it sparks and inspires
CONTENTS   SOCIAL MEDIA 04 Anon Survey 06 Selfie Warning 10 Selfies, Narcissim and Self-Esteem
CONTENTS
CONTENTS
 

SOCIAL MEDIA

04

Anon Survey

06

Selfie Warning

10

Selfies, Narcissim and Self-Esteem

12

Mulvey’s Changing Gaze

16

Sex Sells

18

Backlash of Social Media

20

Porn Chic

28

Porn Chic and Self-Objectification

30

How to be Social Media Famous

EASTERN CROSS-CULTURE

44

Economy of Beauty

50

Japanese Beauty

58

Nicole Takamoto

66

Charlotte Stacey

72

Kyoko Muramatsu

BLOGGERS & VLOGGERS

82

Insta Glam with Charlotte Stacey

88

Manny and Jeffree

94

Modern Muse

106

Milk and Honey

116

Fashion Bloggers and Influencers

A BIT OF PERSPECTIVE

134

Tam Dexter

142

ASOS

152

Good American

158

Nadine LeBlond

164

Bobbi Rae

168

Samantha Ravndahl

LeBlond 164 Bobbi Rae 168 Samantha Ravndahl ISSUE 01 82 Insta Glam with Charlotte Stacey |

ISSUE 01

82 Insta Glam with Charlotte Stacey | Photography & Art Direction: Danielle Muntyan
82 Insta Glam with Charlotte Stacey | Photography & Art Direction: Danielle Muntyan

01.

SOCIAL MEDIA

01. SOCIAL MEDIA

“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

self-perception?

04

Participants of a 2017 study stated that

“It seems like there is a higher percentage of people that have a slimmer, fitter, smoother, tanner body 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”

05

WARNING

WARNING

WARNING

PLEASE NOTE:

THESE SELFIES MAY TRIGGER SELF-ESTEEM & CONFIDENCE ISSUES

BODY IMAGE SELF-PERCEPTION
BODY IMAGE
SELF-PERCEPTION
NARCISSISM
NARCISSISM

SELFIES, NARCISSIM & SELF-ESTEEM

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 other online outlet. It is hard to list all of the effects that social media can have on one; either positive or negative. At a glance, it is obvious that self-expression has become a paramount benefit, and one can connect with friends and loved ones all over the world within seconds, sharing stories, photos, videos and conversation. On the flip side, there are ‘trolls’ and judgement taking place by International critics whom one may not even know; simply as a result of a ‘selfie’ going live on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat.

These photo-based platforms allow for one to create an ‘ideal lifestyle’ or ‘image’, only projecting what one wants others to see; a self- focused and inflated view of oneself. Deceptive angles and filters have taken self-photography to another extreme, allowing for narcissists to prevail on an International platform without necessarily knowing themselves.

Lowen, a researcher and theorist, describes narcissism as “an investment in one’s image as opposed to ones self; their activities are directed toward the enhancement of their image”. This quote embodies modern day society, be it through social media, plastic surgery, cosmetics or clothing. All one needs to do is look at celebrities and bloggers to see the embodiment of ‘narcissism’ in a digitally social

world. The world has become ‘image-led’ and one is lead to believe that whoever receives most ‘likes’ or ‘positive comments’ are the epitome of beauty or fashion; and now even the fitness industry.

In regard to Instagram; the app some may say was designed to show, take and edit selfies, is comprised of a mass of individuals competing against each other for followers, likes, reposts, favourites, and whichever other show of approval exists out there rather than any sort of collective goal of mass beauty and global acceptance of diversity and culture.

It is this self-obsession and competitive culture

which pushes one to make aesthetic changes to reach a level of ‘acceptance’, whilst also pushing one into a whirlwind of self-esteem and body

image issues.

A research study consisting of anonymous

male and female participants carried out in 2017 showed that 80% of participants within the age bracket of 18-24 felt that social media had impacted negatively on their self-esteem and confidence. Theorist Hesse-Biber claims that those already vulnerable to self-esteem or body image issues are most impacted by social media platforms and the subsequent intergroup 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- photography to occur, solely in the pursuit of reassurance.

It is unlikely that one would admit that self- photography is curated for self-adornment but with narcissists it has been stated that every ‘like’ can give the same impact on one mentally and physically as a hit of cocaine. Such yearning for validation has now reached such levels where one can buy ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ to give people that ‘hit’ for aesthetic highs.

But, for others, image-led applications can cause

a negative stir, as previously mentioned. The

anonymous study allowed for participants to air their views on such platforms with one claiming that; “there are so many examples of beauty to compare yourself to”. How do you know what you

should look like? Is there a ‘normal’ anymore? Or

is this based on who receives the most ‘likes’?

In a world where you don’t know if what you

‘likes’? In a world where you don’t know if what you “‘LIKES’ GIVE THE SAME HIGH

“‘LIKES’ GIVE THE SAME HIGH AS A SMALL HIT OF COCAINE”

are looking at is real or constructed in a post- production of lighting, retouching and ‘face- tune’ apps, the danger of this having a negative impact on one is real. One participant claimed that “Instagram doesn’t do real life filters; you can’t edit real life”, echoing the notion of falseness impacting on peoples insecurities for the selfish benefit of others.

But with narcissism on the rise, more filters, more lenses and more editing apps becoming readily available each week, will there ever be a sincere level of engagement on social media anymore? Or is the desire to be lavished with praise and likes the new conversation, even if it is damaging below the transparent surface of hashtags and the wannabe-famous?

MULVEY’S CHANGING GAZE

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 theoretical perspective which has domincated the media over the past 30 years in many ways.

As much as it has dominated, it has also changed perspectives and perceptions when it comes to the fashion and beauty industries, and in recent times with the rise of social media, has become a notion as to also how to create tailored content to appeal to a certain audience; but perhaps with the wrong intentions, and with undesired side effects stimulating a cycle of self-esteem, confidence and identity issues.

Wishpond claim that there are 7.3m daily active users on Instagram alone, generating on average 575 photo ‘likes’ and 81 comments per second per day. And with this, a 2017 study carried out

in the UK with 1,500 14-24 year olds, found that Instagram has been rated the ‘worst app for mental health issues’, affecting users self- esteem and body image, due to a constant feed and infux of imagery showcasing ideals, filtered selfies and body shots. This has led to social media being recognized as having the same effects on ones self-perception as the ‘male gaze’, due to an internalisation of an ‘ideal image’ which one comes to recognise as ‘normal’. The ‘male gaze’ is a term coined by feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey in her groundbreaking and renowned 1975 essay “Visual Pleasures and Narrative Cinema” which explores a world of sexual imbalance, where a pleasure of looking has primarily been of the active male, and the passive female, who becomes ‘the display’ with the pre-determined intention of “look at me”.

13

THEgaze

a world of sexual imbalance, where a pleasure of looking has primarily been of the active male, and the passive female, who becomes ‘the display’ with the pre-determined intention of “look at me”.

The gaze has been seen in the media for decades, in the editorials of Vogue, in porn, and through key establishments such as Playboy, shaping how women are perceived by men, and in turn how they perceive themselves. In the 1950’s Playboy Bunnies in Chicago, whereby they were objects of both male attention and the male gaze due to their ‘uniforms’, in turn

becoming the ‘ideal’ and ‘sex symbols’ of the era. Shields and Heinecken stated that this can be “overwhelming, and in turn, distorted”, whereby, one becomes unable to recognise the ‘ideal’, nor reality, adding additional pressure to look

a certain way and conform to a socio-culturally pre-set ‘norm’ derived from such gazes.

Theorist Shields expands on this, explaining the ‘male gaze theory’ in everyday terms; allowing for women to be seen as objects of

“the heterosexual man’s eye”, and claims that

it is this awareness which allows for women to

adopt different perspectives to see themselves through the eye of the third person. This allows one to view themselves in this way opposed to how they actually see themselves, judging others in the same vein also - through a male eye. In addition, by adopting this view point, one becomes aware of what ‘the male’ wants to see, pre-empting this notion through dress, body and beauty. Mulvey calls this ‘the female gaze’ stating that women see themselves through the eyes

of men, therefore influencing our choices on what is perceived and deemed attractive by the opposite sex, or the ‘male gaze’.

By adhering, one is put under constant pressure

feeling the ‘gaze’ consciously, even if self-led. In

a digital age though, this gaze is also felt under lenses and screens, with one being in complete control as to how they project their own image, often being aware that one is being gazed at, for either positive or negative critique and judgement. This is often seen in the feeds of

Instagram, even now under the beauty-sphere, with bloggers adopting these approaches to self- promote; the tides have turned from primary uses within fashion and editorial advertising. Writer, Liu, summarises this notion perfectly; “social media makes this a time when the visual begins to take prominence over the real. Instead of experiencing our lives from our own vantage points, we now see the world from how others will view and respond to our vantage points. When we are all responsible for creating our own media, we are always visible and therefore, always ‘seen’”.

Johnson (2008, P.207), pins this thought of vantage points on the ideology of a brand, or

self-branding marketing strategies as often seen with influencers adopting ‘porn chic’ style promotions and campaigns, noting that;

“’product [or brand] ambassadors’

aimed at selling anything specific, but instead work to give a brand a certain set of values or a certain emotional association”. This however in turn aims to change one’s sense of self through reflected and standardised/advertised ideals, and gazes, which can ultimately be dangerous for the one creating the content, and those viewing it. However as social media has led to males also becoming more prominent in the fashion and beauty industries, and gender is considered more ‘equal’ this has blurred boundaries and has also taken away the stereotyping that the male gaze once was. Now, this has become generalised as ‘the gaze’ and has become more subjective than ever.

[are not]

The various representations of both male and female ‘ideals’ which social media in particular promote, can be said to confuse one’s self- perception and the understanding of what the ‘ideal’ is, and therefore what beauty, or body image is. This confusion and internalisation can lead to the ‘self-surveying gaze’ which can overwhelm one and in turn will be no longer able to recognise ones true perception opposed to a perceived perception.

Rumsey, another theorist and writer, claims that, beauty ideals by showing certain body sizes

[as

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’.

]

beautiful and desirable” insinuating that

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 confidence and self-esteem. The higher the number, the better ones self-perception is. The 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 image-led platforms can be.

Even though images are constructed, curated, edited and filtered to project an ideal and positive image, or more accurately, how someone wants to be perceived, Hong notes that “perceptions are not shaped exclusively by what profile users disclose about themselves but also based on others’ comments”, being titled the “warranting principle; judgments from other- generated information is more influential than judgments from self-generated material”. This allows for a whirlwind of self-perception issues to be sparked and further stimulated, allowing for one to value and judge self-worth and perceptions based on others’ opinions opposed to ones own thoughts. Third person perspectives instilled through socio-cultural influences and expectations build an ‘ideal’ image which for some is unrealistic and unmaintainable or attainable leading to a barrage of problems. This leads to the question; is there going to

“PERCEPTIONS ARE NOT SHAPED EXCLUSIVELY BY WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILE USERS DISCLOSE ABOUT THEMSELVES BUT ALSO BASED ON OTHERS’ COMMENTS. THIS IS NOW CALLED ‘THE WARRANTING PRINCIPLE’ IN THE DIGITAL AGE”

be a tipping point for these platforms when sensors are placed and rules are put in place to protect users, or is there going to be educational materials showing how such platforms can be damaging? Or we will, as a society, continue to self-derail and damage each others wellbeing, self-hood and self-identity for our own security and positive approval?

SEX

SEX

SEX

SEX SEX SEX
SEX SEX SEX
XXX SELLS SELLS SELLS
XXX SELLS SELLS SELLS

XXX

XXX SELLS SELLS SELLS

SELLS

SELLS

SELLS

THE BACKLASH OF SOCIAL MEDIA

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

by the rise in social media and image-led applications In the UK alone there are currently

In the UK alone there are currently 1.6m people whom are suffering with an eating disorder, whilst 1 in 4 people are known to suffer from a mental health issue such as depression, or anxiety.

The fashion industry has always relished at the ideology of a super-skinny model walking down the catwalk of NYFW, or featuring amist the glossy pages of Vogue magazine. The magazine industry itself has never shyed away from publishing images of the slim ‘ideal’ figures the general public are made to feel like they need to compare themselves to; from Victoria Beckham and the ‘Size 0 Revolution’ to the everyday supermodel legs of Lily Cole which every Westerner adorned to. It is not often you see a plus-size model, or even an average size model in te pages of magazines. Crystal Renn was lucky to appear in ad campaigns showcasing her womanly curves a handful of times, with the media trying to prove a point, however the ultra- slim always prevailed.

Now with the rise of social media, this has again risen, however this time there are no rules, no guidelines or restrictions and no B-EAT so advise on what images may be damaging to the vulnerable. There is no control. And even though magazines have never promoted a normal, attainable nor maintainable figure, they still had guideance should they desire, or seek to follow it. Now with everyone being a curator of their own feed, we now have ‘thinspiration’ Instagram accounts going viral, with anyone, anywhere and of any age being able to access images and accounts.

On average, a female aged between 18-24 spends 2 hours a day on social media platforms. This may not sound like a great amount of time, but added up over a week, a month and a year, the images one views can grow to be percieved as ‘normal’. Research suggests that the amount of time spent on social networks was associated with greater self-objectification. Women, in particular have been known to compare

themselves to other women; and women compare everything - height. size, hair length, makeup. It’s just something women do — that is — to label themselves in comparison to others. When a person compares their own inner or self image to an image that has been filtered, or edited, or even shot and curated to be shown on social media, it can pose the threat to self- objectification and self-absorption. When self comparisons take place that person looks at themselves as the spectator or observer.

And it is this third party viewpoint which echos that of an eating disorder and of body dysmorphia issues. B-EAT claim that the media (social, digital and print) is not soley responsible for the fruition of eating disorders, but can contribute to the development of one through exposure to a range of unhealthy and unrealistic body image expectations.

Even though there is pressure put on the public to reach an ‘ideal’ figure, weight or look to ‘fit in’ with socio-cultural expectations, the pressure is also on for those who project this image to the consumers of society; the models.

Ulrikke Hoyer, a Danish high-fashion model, was told running up to a Japanese Louis Vuitton show in May 2017, that was she was “too big” to walk the runway despite being a UK size 4. In response to being told to “only drink water for 24 hours” to reduce “bloating”, Hoyer stated on

1.6M PEOPLE IN THE UK ALONE SUFFER FROM AN EATING DISORDER

Instagram, “I’m 20 years old; not a 15 year old girl, who is new to this industry and unsure about herself, because I have no doubt that I would then have ended up very sick and scarred”. Hoyer claims that casting agents would attend breakfast to see if she had being defying orders of eating; “I know that demands and expectations given to the high end fashion models in the industry are often completely unattainable and directly damaging to the human body, but I cannot accept the ‘normality’ in the behaviour of people like this. They find pleasure in power over young girls and will go to the extreme to force an eating disorder on you”.

It appears that whether you are a viewer, or a model, in the digital age and the modern world of fashion you are always put in the firing line, and in the view of criticism and judgement which can damage one mentally and physically.

With Instagram being rated the worst app for mental health issues by a total of 1500 14-24 year olds in the UK, this poses the question of whether there ever be a balance of healthy is beautiful? This rating not only covered eating disorders, but also covered other mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and loneliness which are triggered by living in a digital age. Is enough being done to protect the mindsets of younger generations who are susceptible to images and thoughts of what is ‘in’ and ‘liked’ being ‘right’?

@ssssamanthaa
@ssssamanthaa

She learns that ‘to be desired’, is much more important than ‘to feel desire’.

@jamiegenevieve
@jamiegenevieve
@desiperkins
@desiperkins

PORN CHIC & OBJECTIFICATION

PORN CHIC & OBJECTIFICATION How the ideologies of ‘porn chic’ and self-objectification have transitioned and

How the ideologies of ‘porn chic’ and self-objectification have transitioned and developed due to social media

Porn chic has become a sensation amongst social media, being a daily occurance on our social media feeds. We scroll through daily and see an array of pouted lips, enhanced breasts and curvaceous derrières, with bloggers, celebrities and ‘normal’ girls, often posing in over sexualised, and objectifying positions; craving attention and reassurance. And with this, this behaviour has become the norm, and what some expect to see. Furthermore, porn chic sells in a multitude of ways, just as sex always has done. Writer Annette Lynch describes the term, ‘porn chic’ in relation to females as, “actively desiring sexual objects of the new millenium” who are aware and concious of the male gaze, opposed to being “passive, mute objects of the male gaze”, therefore lending itself to marketing strategies and the social media stratosphere of being accepted, approved, seen and most importantly, ‘liked’, desired and adored. One now intentionally puts themselves in this

‘porn chic’ bracket, leadingto self- objectification, whilst seeking desire to create a following and sell their brand, product and lives. Does this mean that women feel empowered with the guise of female sexuality? Or do these changes now constitute what is seen as a step forward for women, with one now being able to express their sexuality, needs and desires, opposed to being directed by others to create a visage of visuals, often stimulated by misogyny; male photographers and art directors, working to stimulate a predominantly male audience? Times appear to of changed this percepion and ideology drastically.

Fashion has always gone hand-in-hand with trend-led and marketed constructions of gender, identity, and now, self-objectification, seeing brands such as American Apparel, Tom Ford and Wrangler, buildind brands and empires through ‘sex’ and porn chic-led imagery.

However, now this strategy has overtaken fashion and now sells ‘beauty’ and the influencers and/ or ‘internet celebrities’ which coincide and face brands and promotional campaigns. Some beauty bloggers have even built their following and career based on their physique, opposed to their makeup artistry skill set; an ironic twist, to modern day contradictions and conventions of the industry.

Influencers all around the world are now showcasing their finest ‘assets’ in return for brand sponsorships and endorsements. This self-objectification alienates women, allowing one to view their body as a separate object of the male gaze and desire. The decision to ‘reveal’ leads women to feel empowered due to their ability to attract the male gaze, rather than be subjected to it unknowingly. One is fully in control over their body and behaviour, and to some reinforces different types of feminisim and strengths.

Fredrickon and Roberts have researched into how social media may lead women to self-objectify themselves, however, through comparisons with others in their positions; “when a person compares their own inner or self-image to an image that has been filtered on social media it can pose the threat to self objectification and self absorption. When self comparisons take place that person looks at themselves as the spectator or observer.”

‘REVEALING’ LEADS WOMEN TO FEEL EMPOWERED DUE TO ATTRACTING THE MALE GAZE

self-objectification and self-absorption. When self-comparisons take place that person looks at themselves as the spectator or observer”, therefore realising how they want to position and promote themselves, and therefore how they want to be percieved.

But does ‘porn chic’ and self-objectification affect self-perceptions and the perceptions of others? It has been found that the amount of time spent on social networks was associated with greater self-objectification. Women have a long history of being objectified in the media from television, music videos, and print magazines, why would the objectification just stop at these mediums, especially in a society where we live day-to-day in the digital age? It appears that as time moves on, so does the mentality of such ideologies and how these are played out over time, also.

Some can argue that women push the ideology of ‘porn chic’ and self-objectification due to issues with low self-esteem, vanity, or insecurities, as well as comparative traits, which may be amplified through social media, therefore posting and using such provocative images on the same mediums, reinforces their acceptance through the approval of others.

the 101

HOW

TO BE

SOCIAL

MEDIA

FAMOUS

lights

camera

action

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.

selfie

selfie

selfie

like, so many likes

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.

strike

a pose

get 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.

02.

EASTERN

CROSS-CULTURE

02. EASTERN CROSS-CULTURE

ECONOMY OF BEAUTY

China’s booming live-streaming video industry fuelled by beauty, fashion and the wannabe-famous

Models: Various Photography: VICE ft. Motherboard

Blogger and vlogger culture in the UK and US has reached an all time high. Everywhere you go influencers are there; on POS (point of sale) for cosmetic products, promoting clothes in Topshop or on your Instagram or YouTube feed. China has jumped on board with this phenomenon, with a blogger empire of their own, but has also launched interactive live- streaming video services.

These services take form of online apps and websites, ran by large media agencies across Beijing, that are already becoming multi- million dollar empires. Males and females alike are broadcasting their lives, ‘talents’, sense of style and beauty in return for cash, gifts and confidence boosting praise in return for internet stardom and status.

The recent broadband-quick rise in popularity in China of apps such as Lai Feng, and the people who broadcast on them, has caused a new branch of the internet technology industry to spring up around it. This industry being the live-streaming culture which both males and females in China are desperate to be apart of with potential to earn the equivalent of $100,000 a month, simply by broadcasting their ‘talents’ and lives to their viewers, followers or ‘fans’.

Agencies have been set up around the country, mainly in Beijing which house the live-streamers and act as a backdrop for their videos doting to their every need. The REDO Media agency for example, has around 3,000 internet stars on its books from across China, many of whom self- broadcast as their full-time jobs.

45

ECONOMYofbeauty many of whom self-broadcast as their full-time jobs. Some simply talk, some dance, some

ECONOMYofbeauty

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

47

ECONOMYofbeauty

having such work done simply to pursue live- streaming as a career path; even if only for a few short-lived years.

Even though agencies such as REDO Media’s female self-broadcasters are largely chosen for their attractiveness, they rarely do anything racier on camera than show a bit of cleavage. Authorities in China have clamped down hard on the industry over the past year in an attempt to eliminate “inappropriate content” from the web, shutting down thousands of live-stream accounts. Last November a 21 year-old woman 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.

“EARNING $100,000 A MONTH IS EASY IN THIS INDUSTRY. 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?’”

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“Attractiveness of Japanese women was rated the highest for ‘light’ skin”

Tagal et al for Shiseido, (2016)

JAPANESE

BEAUTY

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 advertisements and product endorsements that “present such looks and products in a way that evokes consumers to buy them” (Gonzalez), in an aim to achieve the proposed ‘ideal’.

This movement is however moving away from traditional fashion advertisements as seen in the past 2-3 years, influenced by the rise of beauty trends and brands, therefore propelling advertising into a realm. This is evident especially in Japan where not only fashion magazines are on offer, full glossy beauty magazines can also be seen on the shelves, unlike in the West, launching a constant emphasis on looking ‘young’ and ‘light’ skin.

emphasis on looking ‘young’ and ‘light’ skin. Whilst proving to be a good sales technique of

Whilst proving to be a good sales technique of enticing a consumer into a dream world of aesthetics, this also enforces the ideology that with such products, one may also look this way and achieve such image in return, therefore affecting ones self-perception, self-hood and individuality.

But why in Japan is there an emphasis on facial looks opposed to physiques? Enticing a consumer into a dream world of aesthetics, this ideology of full-beauty magazines also enforces the ideology that with such products, one may also look this way and achieve such image in return, therefore affecting ones self-esteem and body image.

JAPANESEbeauty

It is apparent that Western and Japanese socio- cultural ideals and aspirations are different. The West have an emphasis on a ‘pursuit to perfection’, replicating celebrity, icons, or model looks, whilst Japan maintains a focus on Western culture and socio-cultural, historical traditions. Unlike Western women whom often cherish their beauty of diversity and race, Ashikari claims that in contrast, Japanese women strive to be ‘white’ in order to negate from a “us and them” dichotomy, whilst also being influenced by the media denoting ‘ideals’ through international advertising and marketing campaigns.

The dichotomy regards class and social status in Japan rooting back to the 1800s. Japanese beauty blogger Nicole Takahashi explains; “those whom worked manual labour jobs outside gained a tan, and were therefore deemed by society to be ‘poor’, whilst those who worked inside, were ‘lucky’ enough to keep their light skin, in turn exuding a more affluent status”. For Western women this dichotomy is often hard to relate to, with the polar opposite being key to their lifestyles and ‘ideals’; being tanned means one has been on holiday, and has enough money or the privilege to do so, whilst also stemming back to fashion runway shows such as Victoria Secret, whereby all the models are bronzed, deeming a ‘sexy’ look.

In theoretical terms for context, this correlates with Tajfel and Turner’s (1986) social identity model, whereby in-group and out-group comparisons are prevalent in day-to-day lives, contrasting with how Western cultures implies this through a more digital, celebrity and icon led trend, rather than being influenced by historical and socio-cultural roots.

By intergroup comparison, whether in the West, or in Japan one can tell compare their looks and strive to be apart of a group through aesthetic changes. In the West this is done through tanning and glamour, whilst in Japan, skin-lightening and youthful, beautiful skin takes precedent, mimicking what they expect the ‘ideal Western’ to also be like, whilst also echoing back to the tradition of the Geisha.

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Wagatsuma argues that the notion of “white/ beautiful versus black/ugly” originates from a “preference of whiteness being rooted in Japanese people’s own history” combined with a huge Westernised consumer culture. This culture is often seen in department stores; Western brands such as L’Oreal will still use Western models for the campaigns, whilst Japanese brands such as Shiseido will take the same approach, hammering home a constant ideal of an ‘ideal’ light skinned woman being the face of modern day beauty. In Japanese culture, Western models will feature in highbrow magazines such as Vogue Japan, mimicking this socio-cultural ideal. Muramatsu, the Beauty Director at Vogue Japan states that if an ideal Western model can’t be booked for a photoshoot, “Western-looking Japanese models will be used” giving the Japanese a ‘symbol’ of aspiration and affluence to strive towards and buy into.

Cash et al. conducted a study for Japanese beauty and skincare brand Shiseido in 2016, claiming that “applying facial cosmetics affects women’s self-image positively” even if in Japan this denotes youthful, natural skin. Takahashi also claims that the typical Japanese woman applies makeup often to look like there is not makeup on, rather using cosmetics to ‘polish’ perfect, light skin, opposed to focusing on heavy and glamourous makeup trends which are often seen in the West, and this is reinforced through beauty editorials as often seen in the Japanese editions of Vogue and Harpers Bazaar. The Shiseido study also found that, “attractiveness of Japanese women was rated the highest for light makeup faces, opposed to heavy makeup faces”.

This is reflected through the range of beauty products available in Japan, most of which embody; skin-lightening, and anti-aging. Kikuchi

et al. states that, “aging has a negative effect on the skin that is important for aesthetic

evaluation of the face

increases colour heterogenity”, meaning a wide range of beauty products are available to counteract this natural change, whilst also conforming with the ‘ideal’ look of white skin.

revealing that aging

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Western skin as popularised through advertising, magazines and consumer culture. The range of beauty-led products

Western skin as popularised through advertising, magazines and consumer culture. The range of beauty-led products in Japan reinforces this through the use of copywriting and model selection. Anti-aging products in Japan often include collagen and placenta extracts, coming in the form of creams, cosmetics, supplements, face masks and drinks.

Products of this bizarre nature to Western women, claim to give ‘babyish’ skin, hinting at youthfulness. The advertisements and product packaging however show this in a perverted manner, opposed to using ‘youthful models’. Images often used showcase Western babies to endorse such product traits and contents. 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 various magazine editorials and advertising campaigns.

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? Will we ever know

JAPANESEbeauty

“THOSE WHOM WORKED OUTSIDE GAINED A TAN, AND WERE THEREFORE DEEMED TO BE ‘POOR’; WHILST THOSE WHO WORKED INSIDE, KEPT THEIR LIGHT SKIN, EXUDING AN AFFLUENT STATUS ”

DEEMED TO BE ‘POOR’; WHILST THOSE WHO WORKED INSIDE, KEPT THEIR LIGHT SKIN, EXUDING AN AFFLUENT

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NICOLE

TAKAMOTO

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 writes two beauty blogs, ‘The Beauty Maniac in Tokyo’ and ‘Beau Tea Time’, runs the Instagram star (@nicintokyo) and writes for Japanese blogs and magazines, including GLAM and Look Fantastic Japan, however Nicole states that the differences between the beauty industries in the East and West are still considerably different despite having International icons.

Takamoto reveals secrets of Japanese beauty compared to what we know in Western culture, exploring an unknown world to many, where bloggers don’t recieve as much recognition as magazine writers and editors, “unless you are ‘kawaii’. It’s known that Japan doesn’t hold ‘blogger events’ and if you’re lucky enough to get invited to a press event you may only see women between the ages of 30 to 50 years old, instantly showing a vastly different demographic and target audience.

With the industry taking a different route in Japan to the West, blogging is a different ball game, and content seen often reflects this culture and audience.

If you have ever read any Japanese beauty blogs or glossy beauty-led magazines, it is evident that trends and ideals are different, with older women taking precedent. Japanese women are big on skincare, youthfulness and skin- lightening, opposed to the glamourous celebrity inspired looks of the West which teenagers and adults don daily.

In this candid interview Takamoto talks openly about the differences in the beauty industries, and gives examples of the differences of beauty standards and secret routines which dominate the Japanese beauty culture today, giving a taste of what she often blogs about and relays to her International and Japanese readership alike.

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NICOLEtakahashi

What does a typical skincare routine in Japan consist of?

Here are the differences I see between Western and Japanese skincare:

1. Cotton pads: Japanese people are said to have thinner skin that is prone to discolouration compared to Western people. Rubbing your skin causes unwanted pigmentation, which is why Japanese people are very careful not to rub their skin too much. When it comes to cleansing, they prefer to use a cleanser that washes away waterproof eye makeup instantly rather than using an eye makeup remover with a cotton pad.

Micellar water isn’t as popular in Japan as it is in the UK. Some people also pat-dry their skin with

a towel, rather than wiping their skin with it to avoid friction.

2. Lotion: One of my American friends once told

me, “When you say lotion in the States, it means

a thick moisturiser, which is completely different from what you call lotion in Japan.”

In Japan, lotion is a water-like liquid that 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 acidic, you must use lotion to bring it back to that healthy state. Also, Japanese lotion usually contains quite a few different ingredients that are good for your skin such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides and collagen. Lotion is usually applied with hands rather than a cotton pad, but recently some brands started recommending using a cotton pad for an even application, so the usage of cotton pads is increasing. I must also add that the quality of cotton pads is much better in Japan—they are very soft, don’t fluff easily and there are different types according to your liking.

3. Emulsion: I personally am not familiar with

emulsion because I mainly use Western skincare products, but emulsion (乳液 Nyuueki) is very popular in Japan. Normally it’s looser and lighter than moisturiser, and contains more moisture than creams.

What about the morning route? Is this different, or the similar?

The must-have items in a Japanese woman’s beauty cabinet are makeup remover, cleanser, lotion, serum and emulsion or moisturiser. In addition to that, eye cream, oil and sheet masks are always commonly used.Unless we are talking specifically about a woman who is massively into beauty, women usually don’t switch up their skincare routines that much.

Makeup remover: Oil and milk cleansers are popular. Just like cotton pads, muslin cloths used to wipe the cleanser off aren’t common in Japan. Most of the Japanese oils, milks, creams and balm cleansers can be washed off completely with warm water.

“IN JAPAN YOU WEAR SUNBLOCK EVERYDAY, WE DO NOT HAVE FAKE TAN. MAINTAINING PALE SKIN IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR JAPANESE PEOPLE”

Cleanser/face wash: Japanese women don’t care for cleansers much. Drugstore ones sell well.

Lotion and emulsion: As mentioned earlier, lotion and emulsion are must-haves when it comes to Japanese skincare. Albion, SK-II and Ipsa are all popular.

Serum: Women in Japan look to serums that have anti-ageing, whitening and brightening benefits.

Sun protection: In Japan, it’s common knowledge that you must wear a sunblock every single day all-year round. Tanning is not common at all (we do not have fake tan in Japan). Maintaining pale skin is very important for Japanese women.

How does it differ to say a Korean routine? Or the British routine of cleanse and moisturise?

I’m not sure about Korean beauty regimens, because I personally am not a big fan (Korean pharmaceutical affairs law is not as strict as what it is in Japan, which means their products are more effective and can be very harsh. I always break out when I use a Korean products).

Contouring is big on social media in the UK and U.S. at the moment. What are the big makeup trends in Japan right now?

When it comes to skincare, I believe Japan is a step ahead compared to Western countries, but makeup wise, not so much. We value the beautiful and healthy state of the skin, rather than piling up a lot of makeup on. Sheer and natural foundation is more common than heavy coverage foundation. Recently, some magazines started talking about contouring, and some brands like Cezanne brought out contouring products, but not many.

The trends I have seen recently are coloured eyebrows and coloured eyeliners. Though Japanese people are usually very conservative, recent trends suggest more playful looks.

What Japanese beauty products and ingredients do you think would do well in the UK?

Japanese consumers are very curious about beauty products. They want to know what they are paying for, why the product is effective, and how it works. This means the brands usually list the active ingredients, so Japanese women tend to have a good knowledge of ingredients. They value how it feels and how the skin reacts, rather than thinking in a very analytical way as Japanese women do. Hyaluronic acid has been well-known in Japan for more than 15 years (possibly 20 years), but it’s just became popular in the UK in the past couple of years–I am not sure if it was because there were not so many products containing the ingredient or none of the brands marketed it.

Ceramides should be more popular in the UK [Ed note: Ceramides are lipid molecules naturally occurring in the skin that help retain moisture and keep the skin plump]. It is an incredibly well- known ingredient in Japan, and in some sense it’s better than hyaluronic acid.

We Brits look to women like Kate Moss and Alexa Chung as modern beauty icons, and then back to women like Brigitte Bardot and Twiggy. Who are the Japanese womens’ beauty icons?

I much prefer Kate Moss to any Japanese beauty icons, to be honest (because Japanese women love a “cute” appearance rather than beautiful, or even sexy look).

Are there any beauty lessons, tricks or rituals British women could learn from Japanese women?

1. Do not rub your skin. It will cause pigmentation

especially around the eyes! My heart stops when I watch a YouTube video and find a beauty blogger rubbing their eyes with a cotton pad or muslin cloth SO HARD!

2. Wash your hair every day. It might not apply

to the girls in the U.K. because of the water (we have soft water, which doesn’t dry out the skin and hair), but for Japanese people, the idea of not washing the hair every day is just disgusting! Forget about your hair for a minute, we think of the scalp as being the same skin as the face, so we cannot go to work or meet friends without washing our hair. Regularly washed hair doesn’t equate to damaged hair in Japan. Also, we use hairdryers all the time. I can’t leave my scalp damp. It causes odour and irritation.

3. Wear SPF all-year round, even when it’s

cloudy. UVA passes through clouds and windows; you need SPF all the time if you want to maintain the beautiful and healthy state of your skin!

For more Japanese beauty insights head to Nicole in Tokyo’s blogs: The Beauty Maniac in Tokyo (English) and Beau Tea Time (Japanese).

For younger, more beautiful skin. The new collagen infused drink from the Shiseido Ginza lab.

For younger, more beautiful skin. The new collagen infused drink from the Shiseido Ginza lab.

CHARLOTTE

STACEY

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.

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CHARLOTTEstacey

So this week whilst scrolling through my emails

I found out that I am officially a friend with

benefit. Wait, wait… It’s not how it sounds. I’m in the ‘Friends with Benefit’ programme with Benefit Cosmetics UK!

I have always LOVED make up and beauty

products from such a young age, mainly due to my dance background. I would have dance competitions and shows where I’d wear thick, dark foundation, blue eyeshadow and a red lip so that people in the auditorium could see my facial features in the bright stage lights. Weeks before competitions were about to start, I’d be caught by my parents in my bedroom “practicing” my make up. (In other words, playing with make up too young but could use that as an excuse!). Even way before that though, of course I have the obligatory ‘playing in mum’s make up’ photograph, at maybe 1 or 2 years old, where it’s smeared all over my face.

Fast forward and I am still wearing “stage make up” everyday for my job! Now my performances are up close and personal as well as far away so every day has to be a good make up day. The past few years I have also modelled for a range of different things so I’ve learnt a few tricks from my MUA’s I’ve worked with too.

Don’t get me wrong. If I can have a day without make up, I’ll take it, and it always feels great to wash it all off after a long day. I don’t rely on make up to feel great. I don’t put my confidence down to the amount of make up I wear. I, honestly, just love having it on!!

The ‘ideal’ of beauty in England is very much different to the ‘ideal’ of beauty in Japan. Not that I, personally, believe in an ‘ideal’ beauty, I hasten to add! What I mean to say is: I have left a country selling fake tan and come to a place selling skin whitener.

Here are some things I’ve found whilst living here in Tokyo that you definitely wouldn’t find on the shelves in Debenhams;

1. Skin whitener: Whilst Brits are known to catch the rays at ANY given chance (remember that ‘Boots’ Summer Ad?! I’ll link it below), the Japanese hide every inch of skin in the hot and humid Summers to protect the skin from the sun. Tanning? Yokunai desu!

2. Eyelid tape and/or glue: pretty self

explanatory! A thin bit of tape or a smidge of glue to stick to the eyelids to give the illusion of a Western style crease in the upper eyelid, without the surgery; an operation known as blepharoplasty. There are also a type of glasses (if I can call them that?!) which act as a type of eyelid trainer! Wear it every night before bed and you’re supposed to eventually have the ever so desirable big eyes!

3. Eye bag make up: whilst Westerners try and

cover dark circles with a variety of creams, gels and concealers, the Japanese are contouring under their eyes to make them darker and more creased.

So the Easterners are trying to look more Western and the Westerners are trying to look more Eastern. Look at the Japanese advert for ‘It’s Potent!’ Benefit’s ‘dark circle’ eye cream, for example, there is a beautiful asian woman holding the product! And yet the Japanese consider the gaijin face to have desirable features; the big eyes and the high bridged nose. You can go and do sticky pics, a very popular photo booth experience here, which thins your nose and face and you can choose how enlarged your eyes want to be!

Due to their love of big, beautifully shaped eyes, you can find the best false eyelashes and liquid

“EASTERNERS TEND TO LOVE THE SHAPE OF A WESTERN FACE, A “SMALL FACE”. SOME JAPANESE GIRLS WILL OPENLY EXPRESS THEIR LIKINESS OF MY ‘KAO CHICHAI’”

eyeliner and for the best price here too; 100 Yen store = KILLER falsies and the best liquid eyeliner I’ve ever tried! (¥100 is around 60p – you find me a shop in England that sells an amazing range of decent eyelashes or easy to use liquid eyeliner for 60p!!). Another easy thing to buy here are coloured contact lenses… Put it this way, you start to realise very early on that the Japanese love big, cartoon-like eyes! Easterners tend to love the shape of a Western face, a “small face”. I walk past Japanese girls who openly express their fascination over my “kao chichai”.

4) Slim face products: masks, straps, creams anything that attempts to basically shrink the face. Again, this is instead of girls having to opt for jaw reduction surgery!

I think Japanese features are beautiful and their hair and skin are something else. It’s probably down to the beautiful hot springs (or onsen) everywhere that are so widely used.by the Japanese. Which is where I spend some of my afternoons and evenings! There is a beautiful onsen, called Urayasu Hot Spring Town I believe, where I soaked my body in many hot springs of various temperatures, a strawberry bath, a collagen bath, a milk bath, cold baths, steam rooms, saunas, you name it!

There are baths inside as well outside and we were lucky because it was cold and rainy last night. Laying in a steaming hot bath with the cold rain falling on you is the most wonderful and relaxing experience ever. Then I showered with the amazing products they have there. My skin and hair feel fabulous. Silky, smooth. So not forgetting, of course, the great lotions and treatments they have here in Japan! I’m not a fan of all treatments though

5) Placenta face masks; I’m alright

generalised a lot here, and I know not everyone will have these aesthetic desires and therefore use all of these weird and wonderful beauty products just because they are from a certain country. I’ve just been in Japan for a long enough time to notice certain patterns. It’s all perspective NOT racial stereotypes! Regardless of these so called ‘ideals’, I’m a big believer of loving yourself and being happy. If you want to change something about your body, then do it. If you don’t, then don’t. We get so wrapped up in opinions about the way we look – ‘you wear too much make up,’ ‘you need to wear more,’ – when, really, you should just do you!

I have

Whatever you do, don’t you ever undervalue what you are – you’re amazing.

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“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)

KYOKO

MURAMATSU

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 Makeup: Georgi Sandev

Fashion magazines have a powerful hold and influence over the reader; and in recent times has expanded into the Beauty realm with Vogue Japan leading the way with its mix of content.

The Industry magazine met with Kyoko Muramatsu, the Beauty Director of Vogue Japan (Nippon) to understand how Vogue operates on an International scale and to understand how Vogue differs cross-culturally in regard to audience, trends, content and aesthetic, as well as understanding how they maintain their ‘identity’ in a saturated market of magazines.

How is Japanese culture reflected through Vogue Nippon in comparison to Western editions of Vogue?

Japanese Vogue is very different to the British or American versions, for example, but we have our reasonings. Our target audience is generally a lot younger - Western editions are aimed at women around 30 years old, but here, we find out readership to be late-teens and early 20s. This is seen to be honest through the aesthetic which we use; it’s fun, playful and lighthearted in tone of voice, which reflects ‘youthfuless’, something Japanese women aspire to. We use a lot collage, illustration and smaller design elements opposed to heavy grid-led blocks of design and text. This is just what we have found to work,

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VOGUEjapan

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

of casting and re-shooting down. When it comes to adverts through, you may of noticed that
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VOGUEjapan

example, we don’t print as many in our magazines. You will normally see them on billboards or outside the shops themselves. Instead to create a connection with the Japanese reader, which can sometimes be lost, 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 products and clothing for example, which are shown in the advert but we can tailor it more to appeal to our audience more, whilst keeping in line with our editorial aesthetic and take on Vogue. It’s more personal and we have creative control. These are then approved by the brand to ensure we are keeping to their identity.

Over the years there have only been 3 Japanese women to feature?

Our choice of cover model is really important;

it defines the International identity of Vogue. It

also opens up the magazine to an International audience, which is why the headlines are in English with Japanese sub-text. The idea being that anyone can understand the content, even

if they can’t read the full article. But in terms of

cover model, yes, the Japanese relate to Western icons. This is through commercialisation of brands and consumerism, so we often have

a Western icon even if they are wearing

Japanese brands; it helps with sales and keeping advertising campaigns consistent, but also keeps the identity of the magazine true to Vogue.

What is Vogue Japans reaction to the rise in blogger culture?

Well to be honest, Japanese fashion and beauty bloggers are not as well known or recognised, so when we feature an article relating to bloggers we mainly do use Western bloggers or Instagrammers. As a magazine, we don’t feel that we have found the right Japanese bloggers yet; it’s still growing and isn’t quite there yet as it is in the West. Brands don’t tend to use bloggers to promote their products and campaigns here, it is still very celebrity focused. Even in some areas of Japan, bloggers are not recognised as a legitimate source of information, and it is seen

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“VOGUE HAS TO MAINTAIN A BROAD INTERNATIONAL IDENTITY, SO YOU WILL SEE WESTERN MODELS.”

as a big risk to use them. Social media is very popular, but not in the same way as in the UK when it comes to marketing strategies. There is

a big fascination here with Western women and

their culture; their image, their style, their skin, so we give the readers what they want and it isn’t often that bloggers fall into this category or demand at the moment.

Do you feel as Director, that there is a pressure to relay a positive body image to the reader?

Yes, of course. I think because Japanese women want to be like, and aspire to ‘gajins’ (foreigners) we have to be careful but give them what they want to read, but to not completely blur the lines of achieveable and not attainable. We as ‘Japanese Vogue’ decided to not use the word ‘diet’; we use the word ‘healthy’ instead. We don’t want to give women the impression that if one goes on a diet they will look like a Westener, we want people to feel healthy in themselves, and if anything enhance and maintain what they have. And we also have the ‘Health Initiative’ too.

What is The Health Initiative?

It’s a pact between all 19 editions of Vogue, that encourages a positive, healthy body image. We have the power to influence people, and we want to influence people in positive ways so we now try to use models who are healthy and promote

a body image which is attainable and ‘normal’. I

know this sounds a little contradictory however as we are a Japanese edition whom still use Western models, but we are advised on which models we cast, and that’s why when we can we do use Japanese or half-Japanese models.

03. BLOGGERS & VLOGGERS
03.
BLOGGERS
& VLOGGERS
vlogger, blogger; INSTA -GLAM look get with the Charlotte Stacey Model: Charlotte Stacey Photography &
vlogger, blogger;
INSTA
-GLAM
look
get with the
Charlotte
Stacey
Model: Charlotte Stacey
Photography & Art Direction: Danielle Muntyan
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@cuppa_char Get the
@cuppa_char
Get the

Insta-Glam look!

Products are listed in stage order of application to help recreate this Instagram ready look.

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- 02

Revlon Photoready Airbrush Effect Foundation

01

- 02

Ben Nye Foundation

01

- 02

Kroyolan TV Paint Stick

01

- 02

Kroyolan Concealer Stick

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- 04

Anastasia Beverley Hills Powder Contour Palette

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- 06

Urban Decay Blush in ‘Rapture’

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- 08

Benefit Brow Zings in ‘Shade 2’

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- 08

Unbranded Japanese Brow Gel

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Kylie Cosmetics ‘The Burgundy’ Eyeshadow Palette

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- 10

Tayila Eyelashes in ‘T3000’

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- 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)

MANNY X JEFFREE The worlds leading male makeup artists and influencers talk reaching the top
MANNY X JEFFREE The worlds leading male makeup artists and influencers talk reaching the top

MANNY

MANNY X JEFFREE The worlds leading male makeup artists and influencers talk reaching the top in

X

MANNY X JEFFREE The worlds leading male makeup artists and influencers talk reaching the top in
MANNY X JEFFREE The worlds leading male makeup artists and influencers talk reaching the top in

JEFFREE

MANNY X JEFFREE The worlds leading male makeup artists and influencers talk reaching the top in

The worlds leading male makeup artists and influencers talk reaching the top in a female dominated industry

talk reaching the top in a female dominated industry Models: Manny Gutierrez and Jefree Star Makeup:
talk reaching the top in a female dominated industry Models: Manny Gutierrez and Jefree Star Makeup:
talk reaching the top in a female dominated industry Models: Manny Gutierrez and Jefree Star Makeup:

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.

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MANNYxjeffree

MANNYxjeffree 92

The beauty world can be tough to crack, but Manny and Jeffree are no strangers to the industry, and along their way to cosmetic stardom have also changed the face of it; for the good.

Each has their own story, but together the powerhouse dominate social media, sponsorships and product sales, leading to the 2017 collaboration of a limited edition set of on- trend products compiling of two liquid lipsticks and a highlighter; which sold out internationally in less than a day. The notion of two males releasing a makeup range has been recieved warmly, with open arms, despite the industry still being predominatley led by females.

Starting off as a MySpace star in the early 2000s, Jeffree was noticed for his pink hair and outlandish makeup looks. Increasing followers, and a change in the direction of social media saw him push his way into the beauty scene as a career path, working as a freelance make up artist with celebrity clients, fashion editorials, music videos and weddings.His success grew, leading on to YouTube tutorials which became an international sensation. Now, Jeffree is known for his makeup master classes taught around the world, and his own cosmetic line, branded, ‘Jeffree Star Cosmetics’, claiming that the range is for “anyone who is fearless enough to be their own person”. Being a fan of makeup since he was 13, Jeffree hopes to “inspire each other to stay true to who we are” despite critism and stereotyping, encouraging diversity and positive self-hood.

each other to stay true to who we are” despite critism and stereotyping, encouraging diversity and
each other to stay true to who we are” despite critism and stereotyping, encouraging diversity and
each other to stay true to who we are” despite critism and stereotyping, encouraging diversity and
each other to stay true to who we are” despite critism and stereotyping, encouraging diversity and
each other to stay true to who we are” despite critism and stereotyping, encouraging diversity and
each other to stay true to who we are” despite critism and stereotyping, encouraging diversity and
each other to stay true to who we are” despite critism and stereotyping, encouraging diversity and
each other to stay true to who we are” despite critism and stereotyping, encouraging diversity and
each other to stay true to who we are” despite critism and stereotyping, encouraging diversity and

Manny took a similar route to encouraging differentiation in the beauty industry, using Instagram as a platform to promote his artistry skills and YouTube to showcase tutorials and collaborative videos with Jeffree and influencer Patrick Starrr alike. In 2015 it was announced that an eyeshadow palette created with Makeup Geek Cosmetics would be launched and sold internationally. This single product caused such an online sensation and hype, that it crashed the site’s servers within 1 hour of being released and propelled his success to the next level. In 2016,

and propelled his success to the next level. In 2016, Manny was the first ever male
and propelled his success to the next level. In 2016, Manny was the first ever male
and propelled his success to the next level. In 2016, Manny was the first ever male
and propelled his success to the next level. In 2016, Manny was the first ever male

Manny was the first ever male ambassador for Maybelline Cosmetics, appearing in a range of campaign materials and videos. Now, he is sponsored by the likes of, Urban Decay and Kylie Cosmetics to promote and use products.

Urban Decay and Kylie Cosmetics to promote and use products. Even though the route to success
Urban Decay and Kylie Cosmetics to promote and use products. Even though the route to success
Urban Decay and Kylie Cosmetics to promote and use products. Even though the route to success
Urban Decay and Kylie Cosmetics to promote and use products. Even though the route to success
Urban Decay and Kylie Cosmetics to promote and use products. Even though the route to success

Even though the route to success sounds easy for both male stars, Manny claims being a ‘guy’ made it hard; “in the beginning, it was really confusing; my parents and friends didn’t know what was going on, they thought I was trying to become a woman; they didn’t understand.” However, several years later the tides have turned as he explains a recent encounter at a meet and greet event in the US; “a guy walked in, he was 12 or 14 with a full face of makeup and his dad was there, this macho man with blue jeans and a cowboy hat. He was so proud of his son. It felt like the world was changing in that moment.”

son. It felt like the world was changing in that moment.” Moments like these are some
son. It felt like the world was changing in that moment.” Moments like these are some
son. It felt like the world was changing in that moment.” Moments like these are some
son. It felt like the world was changing in that moment.” Moments like these are some
son. It felt like the world was changing in that moment.” Moments like these are some
son. It felt like the world was changing in that moment.” Moments like these are some

Moments like these are some of the reasons these particular influencers create content every day. Inspiring men as well as women to embrace what they love and who they are has become their mantra, hence joining forces. Manny states that, “men want to feel the same way that women feel [and be] empowered in that way”. Clearly their passion, drive, personality and candid honesty has resulted in the world watching and catching on - when both influencers were starting out, male makeup artists were few and far between on YouTube and Instagram.

artists were few and far between on YouTube and Instagram. But despite the positive demeanours, when

But despite the positive demeanours, when your career involves millions of people, trolls do come out of the woodwork. “I get hate every single day, saying I’m gay [and] going to hell, Now that I have this platform, it makes me want to fight even harder” claims Manny. Jeffree falls under a similar umbrella, being known for being different and proud of it; “no hate to anyone else, but all these big YouTubers do the same shit: glowy, bronzy, boring makeup, and I’m like, “Can we have something else, please?” I’m stepping in.”

we have something else, please?” I’m stepping in.” It appears that despite facing negative experiences, the

It appears that despite facing negative experiences, the positive impact of helping others with their self-perception encourages an 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)

MODERN MUSE
MODERN
MUSE

Is social media taking over fashion magazines thanks to digital muses; elite bloggers and influencers?

Model: Aimee Song Photography: Song of Style
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 to question their standing, but allowing for everyday people to become part of the ‘in- group’, and present themselves how they want to be seen, in return for reassaurance and ‘likes’, boosting ones self-esteem, confidence and potential career goals in the blogging realm. This instant accessibilty to, and obsession with social media, allows for one to create a style for themselves, and in turn creating and curating their own digital magazines, opposed to being dictated to by monthly editors within publishing to dictate what is ‘in’, or ‘not’. These ‘magazines’ are not page turners however, they are Instagram feeds, online blogs and Pintrest accounts, documenting their every move, every ‘look’ and style.

Aimee Song falls into this group. But not only does she fall in to the group, she helped create it. The first fashion blog appeared online in 2003, and ‘Song of Style’ (Aimee’s blog) launched in 2005, and quite literally took over. She began blogging while studying interior architecture in San Francisco, originally as an outlet for interior design shots. On a whim, Song uploaded a photograph of one of her outfits and it quickly sparked positive feedback from strangers around the world online. Then the luxury brands followed in tow. Now, Aimee has an Influencer Agency whom are also in control of Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Pintrest, which reaches more than 8m followers collectively. She also has a team of photographers whom follow and capture her every move, at home in LA or on her various travels abroad.

Due to her success, a booked titled ‘Capture Your Style’ has been released; Song’s own guide to branding yourself for social media, and was instantly featured in both The New York Times and Forbes Magazine. This is where the magazine VS blogger challenge lies though; are magazines being outdone my marketing extraordinares and influencers, whom now have more influence over consumer culture than Anna Wintour from Vogue US? It’s highly possible.

Stratton claims that, “[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 where they eye is the central sense and the body is its major focus”. This is resonant with social media and magazines, whereby the camera, or public eye becomes a mirror, allowing for distorted self-perceptions, with one being unable to recognise what is real, or not, adding aesthetic pressure, especially in a world of social media.

For Song these spectacles and constructive work has worked incredibly well; Since reaching influencer stardom, she has been made brand ambassador for Laura Mercier, launched her own fashion line, called Jame, guest-edited Korean Vogue, walked the Dolce and Gabbana SS17 catwalk show at NYFW, and has featured in Vogue US and Women’s Wear Daily. In addition, collaborations have been formed with brands such as True Religion, Fossil, Levi’s and 7 for All Mankind, and has since been employed by Macy’s ‘flea-fashion’ ambassador. Song is clearly being recognised by Wintour and major brand leaders as a force not to be reckoned with, but to be joined.

But with this influencer game comes a dangerous side note of how Instagram and social media can make, the ‘normal’ person feel, or the person who has tried their best at blogging but still cannot reach that status.

‘Capture Your Style’ is sold and marketed as follows; “Inside, you’ll learn ways to craft your voice and story on Instagram: all about how to

MODERNmuse

edit your photos using the best apps and filters, how to prop and style food and fashion photos, how to gain more followers, and secrets behind building a top Instagram brand, transforming an Instagram hobby into a successful business”

Sound appealing? Of course. But how does living

a life of curated, filtered and edited images make the everyday person feel? Song would argue that she, “represents the masses because I’m a real person, not a supermodels or celebrity, so consumers can relate more”, yet if you ask someone on the highstreet, someone from the ‘norm’, they would argue that such bloggers “present and represent an impossible ideal look which the average person cannot achieve. If only

Instagram made real life filters real life”.

you can’t edit

This statement can make one feel unsettled, but also can make one question this new question this new career choice of Influencer marketing and blogging in relation to self-perceptions, aspirations and ideals. In regard to this, due to the continuous ‘perfect’ posts and ‘ease’ of some bloggers reaching international influencer status, it can be taken that every photo is not, planned and edited post-production, however Song’s book, captures this process diminishing the secrets of bloggers everywhere. In some ways, this is a positive that she has revealed how ‘bloggers’ and ‘influencers’ work; based on their contructed lives, whilst to those who do not follow her or know of ‘Capture Your Style’, may be niave to this process and ‘take whay they see as real’.

Due to the rise in ‘blogger culture’ in the past decade, many theorists have began to adapt their research and analogies to this phenomenon and how this affects the viewer. Tagg took the lead, stating, “status [within] technology varies with the power relations that invest [in] it”, whilst Rose claims; “photography is often thought of as picturing reality”, implying that fabricated realities such as Song’s, may impact on the self-perception, confidence and self- esteem of the viewer. In contrast, it can also be said that there is a gratification that is

MODERNmuse

gained through ‘looking’ at what we cannot have or achieve, allowing one to still feel in tune with 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 viewed or directed, are curated and fuelled by models, makeup artists, hairdressers and stylists, social media paints a picture that what one posts from their personal account is ‘real’.

Magazines can be interpreted in different ways due to being mass produced for a wide audience within a ‘designed demographic’, dependant upon the viewer, how they percieve it, and 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?

“BLOGGERS PRESENT AND REPRESENT AN IMPOSSIBLE IDEAL LOOK WHICH THE AVERAGE PERSON CANNOT ACHIEVE. IF ONLY INSTAGRAM MADE REAL LIFE

FILTERS

EDIT REAL LIFE.”

YOU CAN’T

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T

T
luxury consumerism; now available

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)

MILK & HONEY

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

itsmilkandhoney.com

At a time when the digital age can be a negative environment with a backlash of critique and judgement, Milk and Honey provide a safe and inspiring outlet for women to escape to.

In 2012, Stephané Alexandré launched the female ran online blog and hub, aiming to inspire, motivate and instill a truth and sense of belonging in the lives of her readers. Instantly shortlisted by Cosmopolitan for the Blog Awards the same year, Milk and Honey began to grow from a one woman band in London, to an International and collaborative platform reaching women all over the globe. With underlying Christianity and self-belief, this blog is like no other and is recognised as being fresh, youthful and relevant but ‘real’, with no ‘artifical’ content. The growth and readership has been organic, underpinned by honesty and culture.

What prompted the idea of the blog Milk and Honey?

Milk and Honey was just my little blog to

interview people as I came out of university. It was somewhere to write about the things

I was passionate about. Now the angle has

totally changed and is aimed at women aged 16 to 24, and is all about being a positive inspirational stream in the media - passionate

about protecting moral values and bringing an awareness of self-value and worth to young women. The platform is now a collaborative non-profit group ran by likeminded women from across the globe. Our platform covers a range

of area, from fashion, music, faith and lifestyle. It endorses positivity, love and certainly has no place for gossip! We aim to bring inspirational news and an awareness of self-value and worth.

I like to think it is uplifting and will motivate women to be the best that they can be. There is truth and heart in everything that is written.

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MILK&honey

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 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 their lives, their journeys and their Christianity, and very honestly to. I remember back at the start we would talk about ‘real’ issues such as the struggle with pornography and religion, you know, and abandoned girls who never had 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 to get these stories out there and build on this platform that aims to work together with others, whilst, sharing and encouraging.

But, there is a lighter side too?

We talk about all sorts of this girls like, from makeup and beauty, to fashion, to hotels and travel, the best places to eat; you know a lifestyle hub that’s Christ inspired but engaging and relatable and safe. Sharing is so important to bring all sorts of self-worth and value to women, especially today when this can be diminished so easily in modern day society.

You know, growing up in a sheltered environment and having pre-determined aspirations set out for you has led me to this point, where I now want to be ‘me’, and I want women to embrace 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.

“SHARING IS SO IMPORTANT TO BRING ALL SORTS OF SELF- WORTH AND VALUE TO WOMEN, ESPECIALLY TODAY WHEN THIS CAN BE DIMINISHED SO EASILY IN MODERN DAY SOCIETY.”

Do you think it’s hard for women to identify with themselves within a world of social media?

Even if you have Instagram and you’re following safe content, there is still an element of a ‘picture perfect life’. No one posts a picture of themselves when they wake up, it’s all very tailored and we try to bring that back to reality. You don’t see imperfections, an we wanted to show that, and reinstate being true.

What is your film about, ‘The Dare’ that features on the blog?

We wanted to present a reflective visual of the journey that is being a women, growing and learning over the years, in a raw way. ‘The Dare’ is a spoken word piece performed and written by Sarah Amankwah, which we believe to be powerful, helpful and beautiful too.

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MILK&honey

The Dare:

I remember the first time that I sat in isolation.

I kept face, but it caught my attention.

At age 9, I was a compulsive lair.

I rejected things I didn’t understand, like immigrants.

Who knew those silk-haired, sun-kissed creatures were my neighbours.

This clenching stones not knowing that I to had become a clone. Culture zone; teenager.

Not a ninja but my movements marked splinters.

Most winters I would slumber in the daytime; always afraid to walk the line.

I’m dreaming; but screaming, why does beauty starve

the living

wait, wait, who am I kidding?

I traded my heart to these trolls that scrolled through every crushed artery.

Handed me some sticks and spit and make me your weeping mistress.

Ruled by the fear of never having a happy ever after.

But behold for he is coming; and every eye will see him.

My knight in shining armour.A lover, but not a fighter.

Not afraid to flex to the rebellious yes.

Advised and rejected by men, we did not esteem him.

But he needed to be stricken.

Smitten, it was written, he was wounded for our transgressions. Bruised for our inequities.

Chastised for our peace.

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Beg my pardons, please.

From the minute my tears kissed his feet, I was set free from eternal captivity.

In an instant, his grace was made sufficient.

Not by my needs to please, but he needed to aim high for me so he stepped down and died for me.

Who sympathises with the weak.

Tempted yet with sin yet he was on fleek.

Perfect purchase the payment was permanent.

And I look at you, sleeping beauties and, the scars left behind.

The broken hearted Fionas and Auroras.

Those filthy ogres wearing togas, and those charming lovers.

For heavens sake.

His glorious kingdom awaits; you are known royalty.

He prays that when you sit there and look at me you see a bi-product of a true love story.

I dare you to listen to reason, to commit this act of treason against the world.

Tell every boy and every girl to wake up.

I dare you to shake up the nations, the blacks, white, olives and caucasians.

I dare you to love your frenemies, that’s your friends and your enemies.

I dare you to not follow me, but follow he; come and 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)

WESTERNbloggerculture

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.

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77%

of all bloggers

are female, and

within this

those are bloggers within the beauty and fashion industries.

27%

of

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120 Western BEAUTY INFLUENCERS the ones to watch on Instagram With the world going beauty mad,

Western

BEAUTY

120 Western BEAUTY INFLUENCERS the ones to watch on Instagram With the world going beauty mad,

INFLUENCERS

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 want to!

you know

WESTERNbeautyinfluencers

@jamiegenevieve 741k followers @tanyaburr 3.2m followers @desiperkins 3.3m followers @makeupbyalinna 1.5m followers
@jamiegenevieve
741k followers
@tanyaburr
3.2m followers
@desiperkins
3.3m followers
@makeupbyalinna
1.5m followers

121

WESTERNbeautyinfluencers

@sheidafashionista 542k followers @thepatriciabright 566k followers @iluvsarahii 3.5m followers @christendominique
@sheidafashionista
542k followers
@thepatriciabright
566k followers
@iluvsarahii
3.5m followers
@christendominique
1.1m followers

122

@nikkitutorials 7.6m followers @jaclynhill 4.1m followers @mannymua 3.6m followers @ssssamanthaa 2.4m followers
@nikkitutorials
7.6m followers
@jaclynhill
4.1m followers
@mannymua
3.6m followers
@ssssamanthaa
2.4m followers
@nikkitutorials 7.6m followers @jaclynhill 4.1m followers @mannymua 3.6m followers @ssssamanthaa 2.4m followers 123

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WESTERNfashionbloggers @theblondesalad Chiara Ferrigani 347k followers theblondesalad.com @kristinabazan Kristina
WESTERNfashionbloggers
@theblondesalad
Chiara Ferrigani
347k followers
theblondesalad.com
@kristinabazan
Kristina Bazan
2.4m followers
kayture.com
Aimee Song
@songofstyle
4.6m followers
Julia Engel
@juliahengel
1.1m followers

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Western FASHION
Western
FASHION
Western FASHION BLOGGERS the ones to watch Fashion bloggers have become the modern muses of 21st

BLOGGERS

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!

fashion, showcasing the newest trends and brands. These are the stand-out influencers to be aware of
fashion, showcasing the newest trends and brands. These are the stand-out influencers to be aware of

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EASTASIANbloggerculture

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.

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127

127

EASTASIANbeautyinfluencers

@pearypie 1.5m followers @ellenvflora 423k followers @flamcis 284k followers @imjennim 1.5m followers
@pearypie
1.5m followers
@ellenvflora
423k followers
@flamcis
284k followers
@imjennim
1.5m followers

128

East Asian BEAUTY INFLUENCERS the ones to watch on Instagram Beauty influencers in Eastern Asia
East Asian
BEAUTY
INFLUENCERS
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!

129

EASTASIANfashionbloggers

EASTASIANfashionbloggers East Asian FASHION BLOGGERS the ones to watch Fashion bloggers are still not as popular
EASTASIANfashionbloggers East Asian FASHION BLOGGERS the ones to watch Fashion bloggers are still not as popular
East Asian FASHION BLOGGERS
East Asian
FASHION
BLOGGERS

the ones to watch

East Asian FASHION BLOGGERS the ones to watch Fashion bloggers are still not as popular or
East Asian FASHION BLOGGERS the ones to watch Fashion bloggers are still not as popular or
East Asian FASHION BLOGGERS the ones to watch Fashion bloggers are still not as popular or
East Asian FASHION BLOGGERS the ones to watch Fashion bloggers are still not as popular or
East Asian FASHION BLOGGERS the ones to watch Fashion bloggers are still not as popular or
East Asian FASHION BLOGGERS the ones to watch Fashion bloggers are still not as popular or
East Asian FASHION BLOGGERS the ones to watch Fashion bloggers are still not as popular or
Fashion bloggers are still not as popular or in demand in Eastern Asia as Celebrities,
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!
this has allowed for a wave of ‘Western-style influencers’ to appear. These are the ones to
this has allowed for a wave of ‘Western-style influencers’ to appear. These are the ones to

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04.

A BIT OF PERSPECTIVE
A BIT OF
PERSPECTIVE

PERCIEVING

TAM
TAM

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

and the distortions created through the Fashion industry Model: Tam Dexter Photography: Talia White Makeup Artist:

Model: Tam Dexter Photography: Talia White

Makeup Artist: Jade Victoria

Tam Dexter, one of the North’s most desired and booked models, kick started her modelling career 2 years ago through Nemesis Models, Manchester and posting her test shots on the social media platform Instagram. With already 38k Instagram followers at the age of 23, you’ll see Tam modelling for the likes of Hotmess, Luxe to Kill, Runway96, Baby Milk Clothing, Dorothy Perkins, ASOS and Jade Clark.

But, how does building a modelling business through social media affect your self- perception as your popularity grows and you become more, and more ‘in-demand’? Tam candidly tells all on how it feels to be on the industry side of the lens in modern day society, as well as how the modelling industry can affect perceptions and identities of the viewing and consumer-led public.

Do you feel that working as a model in the Fashion Industry has affected your self- perception and body image at all?

Not as much as some people may think. Obviously I look at other girls that go to the gym a lot, and I’m like “wow I need to go gym more” [laughs], but I’m happy with my body and I get booked for work, so clients must like me.

Do you think that seeing successful models on social media, could issues in young females? Especially those who are wanting to follow your footsteps?

100% of images on Instagram can be so false; lighting and photoshop have more than likely been used. If I wasn’t in the fashion industry I wouldn’t know about the amount of editing that goes into post-production images.

PERCIEVINGtam

PERCIEVINGtam When I was 16 I didn’t care about what I looked like compared to girls

When I was 16 I didn’t care about what I looked like compared to girls in the lower generation, but it seems 16-24 year olds mainly have their head in their phone on social media platforms at the moment, and that can’t be good for them.

Do you think social media has had any negative impact in your modelling career to date, especially being 22 and working within the realms of fashion?

No not really, I don’t think I have enough

followers for it to have a negative impact on me.

I see girls with 50k plus followers and they get

abused in the comments on their own images, it’s disgusting. I think if it got to that I would come off social media as there’s more to life than people saying nasty things when they don’t even know the person that they’re being negative towards.

Have you had any negative experiences with brands or modelling agencies where perhaps their expectations of you were different? Perhaps post-production images can give clients an idea of something that isn’t ‘real’?

No not yet, and I hope I don’t in the future. All my agencies have been really happy with me and my shape, and we also do test shoots for my portfolio showing a range or pre and post- production images.

Do you feel that working as a model, there is a certain expectation of you to ‘look’ a certain way all of the time?

I don’t think there is a certain way they want you

to look, but I know companies want variety in models, i.e. hair colour, cut and maybe physique too. As a model you need to be looking your best at all times, I make sure my hair, nails and skin are in perfect condition all the time.

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“SOMETIMES I LOOK AT MYSELF AND I DON’T EVEN LOOK LIKE ME IN THE MIRROR BECAUSE I’M CONTOURED TO HIGH HEAVENS!”

What aspects of the Fashion and Beauty Industries in particular do you feel most affect self-perception and body image issues of viewers and customers?

Photoshop is a big one, how you can change someones whole image and then use the image everywhere is false to me. Within the beauty industry, obviously makeup is a huge part. Sometimes I look at myself and I don’t even look like me in the mirror because I’m contoured to

high heavens! So young girls wanting to look like

a model or a blogger that they have seen because they contour or use MAC makeup would be a massive self perception issue!

Has imagery of you been published whereby your body or ‘real’ body shape, has been digitally manipulated without your say?

No never, most photographers say I’m really easy to work with as I don’t need photoshop as my skin in great.

How do you feel in general about using digitally manipulated photography?

I think it’s ridiculous. If they found a model with what they was looking for instead of creating

a fake image of somebody to fit ‘the brand’, or

‘look’ I think the world would be a better place in terms of self-perception and self-confidence. At least young girls would know the image is a real person, and could aspire to that and not a false entity created for sales and the media.

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PERCIEVINGtam “CAN YOU IMAGINE LOOKING AT AN IMAGE OF YOURSELF WHICH LOOKS NOTHING LIKE YOU?

PERCIEVINGtam

“CAN YOU IMAGINE LOOKING AT AN IMAGE OF YOURSELF WHICH LOOKS NOTHING LIKE YOU? I
“CAN YOU IMAGINE
LOOKING AT AN IMAGE
OF YOURSELF WHICH
LOOKS NOTHING
LIKE YOU? I CAN ONLY
IMAGINE THE SADNESS”

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.

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“The media influences slim ideals, and potentially can trigger eating disorders. As a result 1.6m in the UK alone suffer”

B-EAT (2011)

CANDIDLY

ASOS

The worlds largest ecommerce outlet, ASOS, talks Social Responsibility, including, Model Welfare and Positive Body Image

including, Model Welfare and Positive Body Image Photography: ASOS SS17 ASOS is known to be the

Photography: ASOS SS17

Welfare and Positive Body Image Photography: ASOS SS17 ASOS is known to be the number 1,

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.

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With ASOS being accessible to over 240 countries worldwide, how does the Model Welfare policy work on an International scale? Are different ethnicties and body types accounted for in order to not only show Western faces and physiques?

JA: The main focus of the policy is the welfare and wellbeing of the models working with ASOS, so it doesn’t specify the need to represent differences in body shapes or averages. However as part of our wider Fashion with Integrity programme we focus on diversity and inclusion so the model booking team is aware of the importance of ensuring that our models reflect our diverse customer base. I think that ASOS does a pretty good job of this already but we are always striving to ensure that all body types, races, etc. are represented across all of our channels.

How are ASOS perceived in the Fashion Industry and ecommerce world in regards to following guidelines and policies? It is noticed that other brands and organisations in the Industry which do not have such pre-set policies.

RC: I hope ASOS is perceived to be quite aspirational in terms of body image and dressing any body shape. We have 4 womenswear specialist ‘Own Brand’ departments – Curve, Tall, Petite/Petite Tall, and Maternity/Maternity Tall, and we also sell ‘Branded Specialist’ brands too.

We [ASOS] strive to be the top of our game, and hope that all of the work done within head office is evident on site through both the end product and social media outlets. We don’t use advertising, aside from our own magazine which is available to customers, we live off word of mouth and the reputation this spreads, the feedback we have had from questionnaires and focus groups have been very positive.

Who do you work with to form such policies, and are these supported going forward?

RC: The design team obviously doesn’t work in isolation. We have very strong relationships

within our Buying and Garment Technology teams to ensure policies are followed throughout the process. Our supplier bases are also an extension of this and regular contact and visits build this trust and continue updating the information and expectations we hold at ASOS.

JA: When forming a policy it is important to ensure all of the relevant stakeholders within the business are involved. For example, for a retouching policy this would include a group of people, so, the Production team, the model booking team and the creative directors.

We would also potentially involve a ‘critical friend’ i.e. a charity or initiative, that it well known for working in the field so that they can provide external advice as the policy is formed. This really helps [ASOS] to ensure that we are on top of our game, and that nothing ‘out of line’ is carried out which could be perceived negatively by the viewer and consumer. We take this quite seriously as a brand.

Do you believe that all brands and organisations in the Fashion Industry should follow policies and guidelines, ensuring that Positive Body Image and Model Welfare are accounted for? Or, do you think the Industry would benefit from National or International policies?

RC: In general, I think that there should be a level of general awareness and boundaries which industries should adhere to, but appreciate to make it national or international would require a big body of work. I think boundaries are now slowly blurring and with recent catwalk shows using plus size, older generations and androgynous models – the tide is turning and Positive body image awareness is now out there not to be ignored but celebrated. There is still a lot to still be done however.

JA: I feel that all brands within the Fashion Industry should draw up their own policies and guidelines. I think this would promote organic change from within the industry that still allows for the creativity and vision to continue but also ensure the wellbeing of models and the public.

“BOUNDARIES ARE NOW BLURRING AND THE TIDE IS TURNING. POSITIVE BODY IMAGE AWARENESS IS NOW OUT THERE NOT TO BE IGNORED BUT CELEBRATED. THERE IS STILL A LOT TO BE DONE HOWEVER”

BUT CELEBRATED. THERE IS STILL A LOT TO BE DONE HOWEVER” CANDIDLYasos When National or International

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When National or International policies are put in place they can help and promote change more

quickly as long as they are not too prescriptive. However, these types of policies are quite often not very easy for brands to navigate and can become a burden with admin and quashing creativity, so do not allow the industry to find

a positive solution from within, which I think is what ultimately drives long term change.

Have any problems arisen in regards to modelling agencies not complying with these policy guidelines?

RC: Not that I’m aware of, but I would like to 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

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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.

Do ASOS work with issues surrounding social 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 media use. We work really hard to ensure that our social media presence is positive and not negatively impacting on the mental health and body image of our customers.

We have wider programmes in place to highlight the impact social media can have on body im- age/mental health. For example, we work with the Diana Award (a charity that is working to pre- vent bullying) and we have been partnered with them for the launch of their #MySenseOfSelf! project which teaches young people about body confidence and self-esteem.

The focus of the project is on an activity in which they draw an outline of their neck and shoulders on a large piece of paper and then write words around the outline that shows what makes them up (i.e. I love cooking, my favourite colour is red). When they have filled the paper around their outline they take a selfie with the paper behind them. The activity highlights that when people take selfies and post them on social media, the selfie doesn’t show who they are as a person but just what they look like (often after they have used filters/apps to change their appearance). We are currently working with the Diana Award to expand on this idea to a more national level and it’s an area we would look to continue work- ing in the future.

With social media taking off, do ASOS work with bloggers coinciding with this?

RC: We do quite a lot of work with bloggers and influencers. For example for CURVE, our plus

bloggers and influencers. For example for CURVE, our plus “WE HAVE RESORTED TO FINDING OUR OWN

“WE HAVE RESORTED TO FINDING OUR OWN MODELS; OFTEN THROUGH INSTAGRAM, COMPETITIONS, OR EVEN AT TIMES THE ASOS OFFICE!”

size ‘Own Brand’, we have done lookbook shoots with Gabi Fresh and Felicity Howard, who are great aspirational women. We also meet with Plus size bloggers, both UK and international for advice and opinions on product/trends, but also just to touch base and see what’s going on in “their family and community” of followers.

So, what do you think are the benefits of having such ASOS policies and ideologies in place?

RC: The benefit to me is simply having less boundaries, but naturally having to think outside the box more because as a designer you aren’t always designing for yourself – it makes you appreciate what you are giving as a service.

And, do you think that there are any negative aspects or restraints in regards to working with such strict policies and guidelines?

RC: Naturally we have to be sensitive to the diversity of our customer base and the different ethnic groups, and respect their opinions and beliefs, whether this is silhouette or cut, body shape, print or pattern, or even the colours used. It adds another level to the design process and can often influence how trends evolve. It’s a journey from concept to the end product, and would hopefully not divide or deter our customer from the ASOS experience, whilst being a learning curve for the design team.

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GOOD

AMERICAN

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

Models: Various; The Good American Squad Photography: Good American AW16

2016 saw the launch of a ‘Denim Revolution’, founded by KUWTK star Khloe Kardashian and Marketing Expert Emma Greedy, making denim history. With sizes 00-24, Good American aims to be a positive influence in a currently negative world of body shaming and judging within the fashion industry, allowing anyone from ‘skinny’ to ‘curvy’ to feel beautiful in their own skin.

Starting from a simple conversation on what it means to be a woman in today’s harsh society of critics, glares and lenses, Good American was born and is here to stay, make an impact and prove a point; you can have clothing that is ‘tailor’ made to fit you, and not the other way around.

What inspired the two of you to start Good American jeans?

KK: Emma and I created Good American because we wanted jeans that can fit real women, and we really feel like this has been lacking in the market. Our denim line will go from size 0 to size 24, but we don’t consider this a plus-sized line. We consider this a line for the everyday woman. We believe in embracing a woman’s curves and I feel like now so many people are breaking down these barriers of not only going to a size 6 or 8, which is considered “normal.” I’m very proud of the message Emma and I are trying to get out into the world and we really hope that it transcends into making women feel empowered in their own skin and knowing that there’s a line that’s going to give you all these trends, you can still be fashion-forward and have everything that the “normal” girls have, and I hate to say that, without having to sacrifice anything else.

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How was it decided that you would cast real women and fans in your campaign instead of booked models?

EG: Khloé put out a message on social media to say that she was launching the brand. We really just wanted women from all backgrounds to come and be part of the campaign. We had about 12,000 entries in 24 hours and we invited 250 people to come down to audition for the campaign; it was amazing. It was one of the most empowering, brilliant days because we had all of these girls that had no idea what they were doing; they saw a manifesto on our website talking about our values and what we wanted this company to be and they responded to that. We’ve got this incredible campaign with all these different women from different backgrounds, shapes, sizes, colors; it was really empowering to do that right at the start of this brand.

KK: What I took away from that the most is that normally when you’re on auditions people are like, “I’m not talking to you, I want this role,” but everyone who came into the room was like, “I just made some new friends out there!” They didn’t even know why they were there, they just knew there was a positive message and they wanted to be part of it. To see people that excited about doing something that’s uplifting, that’s something that really opened our eyes and made us think, ‘wow there really is a huge lack of this positivity in life and building other women up in this field and it’s horrible”.

For a lot of women, it’s so hard to find a pair of jeans that fits the right way. How did you take that problem into account when it came to designing Good American?

EG: Well, that’s the whole thing, that’s what everybody talks about and it’s not easy, that’s why not a lot of brands are able to do it. We’ve spent a really, really long time developing a product that we can be proud of. There are a lot of technical elements. What we’ve worked really hard on is this contour waistband which acts like a ‘self-belt’ and it means that you never have that gap at the back if you have a smaller waist

and a bigger backside. You sometimes need to make alterations and you’ll never need to do that in these jeans. The fabric is super stretchy, has great recovery, the pattern is completely different so that all the curve is in the hip. We’ve got some very special stitching on our jeans so even though they’re very plain, the stitching is curved and it actually follows and accentuates a woman’s figure.

So, before all of this, did you have someone you looked to as a positive body image role model when you were growing up?

KK: It’s so interesting because when I was growing up heroin chic was the really cool thing. And there was Kate Moss. And she was gorgeous, but I was like, ‘I don’t identify with that body.’ I always, weirdly enough, was attracted to the Victoria’s Secret models of the world because they were more voluptuous.

It wasn’t even because they were in bras and

panties. It was like, ‘Okay, I finally see bodies that are a little more like mine.’ And they’re not even bigger girls. They just have bigger breasts and

a little curve. When Jennifer Lopez did Selena I

was like, ‘Oh my God.’ It was so relatable for me and my sisters. But at the time it was really only her.

I don’t remember a lot of other really strong

women at the head of pop culture at that time. And now looking back at J. Lo there were so many girls with way bigger butts, but that was what we had. It’s important to me, no matter what size I am or weight I am, to feel beautiful.

Even at my biggest I was rocking body con dresses and you couldn’t tell me twice.

That’s what I think Good American is. It’s about women of individuality and diversity, but also about being comfortable in yourself. That’s what

we’re trying to promote. It’s not about fitting into

a size two and that’s what makes you beautiful.

I just want people to be healthy and love who

they are and be in control of your life. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a size six.

So, overall, what does the name Good American represent for you?

EG: First of all, we thought the name Good American was a great name. But it was more about a play on the words and the connotations of what being “good” means. Can you not be a really sexy girl who shows off your body and be good and do good in the world? We wanted our company to also behave like a good American. It’s about paying a fair living wage to people, about operating in a way people would find acceptable and manufacturing in America. So all those values of what it conjures up to be a good American is what our company should be and how it should behave.

KK: And with that we created our Good Squad, which is the wonderful girls we have representing our line. They’re bad ass ‘real’ girls who all have a lot going on in their lives. Women who are strong and so versatile. We have girls of all different colors, ethnicities, heights and sizes. They have tattoos, shaved heads, literally everything. Because that’s really now what our world is. It’s not about the cookie cutter ‘I’m a blonde with long flowing hair’ look anymore, all people are different and thats ok.

Do you have any good tips for Women regarding how to try on denim?

EG: It’s ‘buy them online and try them at home.’ We don’t want that dressing room mirror situation. We stock them at Nordstrom and we’re very, very happy to be in stores, but the online experience has brought a whole new dimension to what is a really tricky purchase. If you can, buy a few pairs and try them on in the comfort of your own home with your own clothes. That’s a major plus.

KK: I used to be a sales employee. And sales employees, that’s their job. I have been convinced that I look so good in something and I’ve gotten home and been like, ‘What the fuck 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

decision myself when I shop online.

EG: And the nice thing about our website is we’ve shot everything on three different sized women. So you can see who you’re closest in size to and see how she looks. Which I think is a nice touch on the website.

It’s unusual to have a online website that showcases the clothes in various sizes isn’t it?

EG: Why isn’t everybody doing that? We’re like, ‘This is such a good feeling! Why is everyone not doing it!’ But the reality of the fashion industry is that it’s really stuck. It’s stuck in this idea of only providing sample sizes. It’s stuck in this idea of when you’re in a department store you can’t actually go onto the designer denim floor and find anything above a 10. And 10 is relatively small. It’s ridiculous. So this feels revolutionary because it kind of is. We actually hope other brands follow suit and it becomes the norm. That’s why we keep talking about a “denim revolution.” Having sizes 0 to 24 is not a weird thing. The average size woman in America is a size 16. She should be able to go in her local store and find a beautiful pair of jeans!

“IT’S NOT ABOUT FITTING INTO A SIZE TWO AND THAT’S WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL. HAVING SIZES 0 TO 24 IS NOT A WEIRD THING. THE AVERAGE SIZE WOMAN IN AMERICA IS A SIZE 16. SHE SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIND A PAIR OF GOOD JEANS!”

NADINE

LEBLOND

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 diversity out, leading the way with the stereotypical ‘white female’ stick-thin model, Nadine LeBlond encourages different ethnicities and age groups within her practice as a freelance Art Director and Creative Director working in the Fashion industry. This interview reveals why brands only utilise ‘one type’ of model, and praises brands that realise the commerical benefits of diversity. The industry is slowly changing, and Nadine aims to put her mark on it allowing for consumers to be who they really are.

Can you tell me a bit about your job role working within the fashion industry?

I worked for TK Maxx as a Creative Director and then worked for Hearst magazines, and ‘George’ clothing; both on a freelance basis. Most of the work was art direction, focusing on seasonal campaigns and events. These were a mixture of photographic and motion pieces. My background is in advertising and design, working for top agencies, so I came into the industry with a different and fresh mindset/perspective from those who have always worked in it.

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Do you feel pressure working in this industry to relay a positive and healthy body image and ideal to consumers?

Yes, definitely. I think it’s incredibly important to convey a positive body image to people, not just on an ethical basis. But it also makes sense commercially. If people relate to the brand they feel an affinity to it. From a moral perspective I’ve been on the other side of the camera and been told to lose weight by my modelling agency despite being incredibly thin. It gave me an incredibly unhealthy attitude towards my own body image and led to me taking prescription diet medication to meet the ideals requested by

my agency

which is incredibly damaging.

Have you had any really positive experiences in regard to this? If so, can you give some examples of your work and brands which you feel have had a positive impact in the industry?

Yes. I loved the TK Maxx ethos of using ‘real customers’ who were cast in store. They are not professional models, are a diverse age range and give a much more natural and ‘attainable’ impression of the people that actually wear the clothes. They were incredibly positive campaigns to work on. Other brands are doing a great job of pushing the boundaries. Dove, M&S, Debenhams… a lot of brands are really pushing things now. Even H&M are now embracing ‘women being women’ in all their shapes and sizes. High fashion doesn’t embrace it… but the high street does.

And likewise, have you had any experiences working with a brand who has wanted to project a ‘negative’ body image or ideal, in your opinion?

Yes; but I won’t name names! Generally, as an art director, my opinion is respected. I get involved in the casting and have a say in the situation. I have had brands however not agree with using a plus sized model even when appropriate because their clothes go up to a size 24! It is ultimately their money and decision. If I manage to push them at least some of the way towards

a more positive outcome that’s great; and even better, at least I’ve tried and feel happy I’ve had an influence however momentary.

As someone in your position, how do you deal with this, or challenge this?

I usually put it forward within the concept and give as strong as argument that I can from a commercial perspective. Businesses don’t care about most things… but they do care about their money.

What do you think can be done in the industry to promote positive body image and self-perception?

Using models with a healthier body weight. Presenting people in a happier manner than are not overly self aware and are happy in themselves is important. Also, not over retouching images can really help.

Do you think magazines need to do more to showcase a variety of models and body types?

Definitely, yes! But in general they are starting to embrace the concept of doing just that. Especially when they realise the commercial benefits. I understand that they want things to sell. It’s a tricky mix between creating a beautiful photograph and realism. But definitely more can be done. It’s not an easy job though. most are responding to financial/commercial needs. It takes some bravery and it’s seen as a ‘risk’.

With the rise of social media, do you think this has allowed brands to use photos of models and promote campaigns which may not of been used previously in print? Does this have an impact on body image and self-perception do you think?

Social media definitely has both positive and negative effects. Istagram is very bad at creating an environment where unnatural/non-realities are created and make people feel bad about their own lives/self-image because it’s incredibly unrealistic. Its doesn’t really show the not so beautiful moments! Social media can also be

“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.”

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

incredibly bitchy, backstabbing and cut throat environment to work in.

it can be an

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.

NADINEleblond

BOBBI

RAE

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.

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‘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. Whilst I am not usually one for so many words, through my methods of illustration, design and craft, I aim to unravel the perception of beauty, 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 use these advantages to test, develop and create 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 that.

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 bobbirae.co.uk or search @bearcubs on Instagram

“I AIM TO UNRAVEL THE PERCEPTION OF BEAUTY, TO PROMOTE LIBERATION AND CELEBRATE WOMEN OF ALL SHAPES, SIZES, COLOURS & CREEDS.”

BOBBIrae

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“Social media presents and represents

an impossible ideal look, the average person cannot achieve this. If only

Instagram made real life filters can’t edit real life”

Anon, (2017)

you

SAMANTHA

RAVNDAHL

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 staggering 2.4m followers on Instagram alone. She is a Canadian beauty blogger and vlogger, who rose to fame with her candid YouTube channel (formerly known as Batalash Beauty) back in 2014 before the ‘beauty boom’ exploded worldwide. Exploring the impacts that social media platforms have had on her, Samantha talks openly about the career path that many find oh, so glamorous; yet behind the visage is danger of self-perception issues.

Known for being brutally honest, loud and brash with both personality and her style of reviews and tutorials alike, Samantha gives her account of her experience as a modern day ‘influencer’ and the subsequent pressures which go hand-in-hand with such title.

Anyone would of thought that being a beauty influencer would be the dream job; events, freebies, sponsorships and constant admiration. But what happens when you reach a level of influence that starts to in turn influence your own behaviour and believes? With a large social media following, fans and high expectations, it can be hard to break away after growing to an exponentially high status of admiration.

“Everyone expects me to look like I do on Instagram all the time. I don’t wear glam makeup all the time”, Samantha states. She continues, “you know, everyone expects you to look ‘photo-ready’ all the fucking time”, hinting at competitive and exceptive behaviours from social media communities and social groups. It appears it is taken that what is seen on social

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SAMANTHAravndahl

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 claims hinting at the narcissist traits of those involved in the industry. “All this has done to me is cheapen all the experiences I have. Like, I get taken away to amazing places I could only dream of, and I’m not even taking the scenery in or where I am. It’s become about where the best

lighting is, or what acts as the best backdrop for

a photo to post online”.

It’s painful to hear that social media and the opinions of others can damage someones life experiences, as well as their values and self confidence. Samantha states that she was taken away by an undisclosed brand for a launch event, and was bought clothes to wear, even though she took her own, and that she was the only influencer in the group to have this experience; “they must of thought I was too casual or something, it sucks, it’s like let me be me. The role of an influencer these days is that you are paid to be beautiful and look a certain way, and apparently I didn’t look that ‘certain’ way”.

But, it seems that influencer and blogger culture hasn’t always been this way; “this culture, was initially a positive experience, where ‘blogging’ originally had an emphasis on makeup artistry skillset, and actually being fucking good at the craft, opposed to this present day ideology of being classed as an ‘influencer’ and how many likes or views you get”. This change echos the increase of beauty bloggers and YouTubers around the world, apparently in the West.

It seems that everyone wants a piece of the

influencer game, which in turn has become damaging to those working in it, as well as those who view it for fun or guidance.

Samantha at one point in her career, was massively against sponsorships and undisclosed advertisements, but now with her increased following has been offered many opportunities

“EVERYONE EXPECTS YOU TO LOOK ‘PHOTO-READY’ ALL THE FUCKING TIME”

following has been offered many opportunities and now makes it clear in all of her posts and videos, which are and are not sponsored. “I’m not gonna lie, if someone offers you $5000 and you get taken to Bora Bora to promote a brand, or a brand offers you money to do a video, or go to an event and talk about a specific product, you aren’t gonna turn that down. Who would? We all have to live and have bills to pay”, Samantha states openly and honestly. March 2017 also saw the launch of Samantha’s own MAC Lipstick in collaboration with the brand. 10 of the worlds largest influencers

influencers were offered the opportunity to create their own lipstick shade to be sold in their native countries; a very clever marketing and PR trick from the global brand, whilst also promoting their social media accounts in a new, tactical methods.

It appears that the influencer industry is growing, and Samantha knows she got lucky with her success - “it was all about the timing, and I think I offered something different at the time, as well as being honest about shit. I won’t say I like something if I don’t and I won’t work with brands I don’t agree with” - and is now successful enough to pick and choose who she works with. But at the same time, self-perceptions and selfhood are being dented, manipulated and criticised all the time, in person and on social media. So, this begs the question, is there ever a way back down to ‘normality’ when you reach the top of your game, or is this something that you have to learn to live with?

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