(PDF) Gender Stereotyping in Fashion Advertising

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STEREOTYPES IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY: A LOOK THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA(Name)JMC Department(Date)
2ABSTRACTJean Cocteauhas famously noted, “Fashion produces beautiful things that always becomeugly with time.” Some have only viewed the fashion industry as one that is glamorous, howeverthere is anugly side to working in this spectacleof fashion. The fashion industry uses socialmedia as an evolving platform to generate itsbrand recognition and its consumer relationsthrough networking and interactivity. But for years, stereotypes have plagued the fashionindustry. This is evident in thefilm, “The DevilWears Prada”, where you can find societalexpectations of beauty. The following study shows how media stereotypes continue to beinevitable especially in certain social mediaplatforms. This work begins with an introductioninto the world of fashion in social media.However, these same stereotypes can become problematic for outside spectators. Thiswork begins. The impact of the fashion industry on social media is debated on how it perpetuatessocial prejudice and equality. In this discussion anattemptismade to understand why those thatarestereotyped have little to say abouttheir newrepresentation.Ultimately, this dissertationargues the notion that the fashion industry continues toThe studyconcludes with efforts tocounter stereotyping using another form of programming.
3TABLE OF CONTENTSChapter 1_______________________________________________________6Introduction................................................................................... 6Statement of the Problem..........................................................6Background of the Problem.......................................................7Purpose of the Study............................................................ 9Research Questions................................................................ 10Organization of the Study.......................................................11Chapter 2_______________________________________________________Methodology- Instagram AnalysisData Sources....................................................................... 12Participants.........................................................................13Interview Design...................................................................13Data Collection......................................................................14Data Presentation..................................................................14Limitations..........................................................................15Delimitations........................................................................16Chapter 3_______________________________________________________Literature Review............................................................................Challenging Gender Roles................................................................Rampant Racism in theFashionIndustry................................................Popularity and Effectiveness Social Media......................................................Social Media Users and Demographics.....................................................Improvements in FashionIndustry Public Relations.................................Chapter 4_________________________________________________________Fashion Industry-based Survey.............................................................
4Research Questions Answered................................................................Chapter 5__________________________________________________________Discussion and Recommendations......................................................Discussion..........................................................................Conclusion..................................................................References...........................................................................................
5List of Illustrations and Tables
6Chapter 1IntroductionStatement of the ProblemThe exclusive fashion industry of the past is now more accessible to theaverageconsumer. Social media is anemerging platform that hasgreatlyimpactedtheinteractivity ofconsumers with the fashion industry. Fashion houses are reaching their targetmarkets throughreal time platform thatreaches across the globe. Social media has brought about new channelsforfashion houses to capturetheattentionof their target market. These new channels ofinteractive media include but are not limited to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Social mediaallows the fashion industry to use different forms of mediasuchas: videos, live streams andinteractive features to engage their target market. These capabilities helped fashion industries toincrease brand recognition. However, stereotypes still remain inevitable as the fashion industryuses various social media tools to retail store traffic and online sales. Thesestereotypes remainproblematic as theypromote inequality and prejudice. According to Spindler, “For thelastyear,designers have drawn overwhelmingly from African and Asian cultures on their runways. That,in turn, haspresented a problem for the editors who eventually choose the clothes to bephotographed. Either they can cast models to somehow indicate their understanding of theclothes -- black models in Masai-inspired looks, for instance (no matter from what country theblack models hail), or Asian models in kimonos or chinoiserie (no matter from what country theAsian models hail). Or they can ignore the collection's message, at the risk of incongruity -- or
7insensitivity -- and show awhitemodel in them instead.”1Socialmedia, although apowerfulopportunity to reach and engage a wide audience, is now being viewed as damaging for thefashion industry.Background of the ProblemThe fashion industry has been around since the late 19thcentury. For example, fashion magazineslike VOGUE, started in 1892. Buin over one hundred years, only 1% have featured minorities.In a recentreport by Helena Pike, “BethannHardisonremembersthedayswhen,beforeeveryNewYork Fashion Week,Casting directors would sendout notices toall the modelling agenciesin the city, saying 'no blacks,no ethnics'wedon’t want tosee them.”Backthen, the issue ofdiversity in thefashion industry had “gotlost like a splinter,”says Hardison,a former model andfounder of the Diversity Coalition, which works with industry bodies like the CFDA to raiseawareness about racial diversity and discrimination in fashion”2In popular culture, the exclusionofdiversity remained ahot topicsince the Civil Rights Movement1Spindler, Amy. Taking Stereotyping to a New Level in Fashion. (1997).New York Times.Retrieved fromh p://www.ny mes.com/1997/06/03/style/taking-stereotyping-to-a-new-level-in-fashion.html2Pike, Helena. (2015). Between the Catwalk and the Consumer: Fashion’s Growing Diversity Gap.The Business ofFashion.Retrieved fromh p://www.businessoffashion.com/community/voices/discussions/why-isnt-the-fashion-industry-more-diverse/between-the-catwalk-and-the-consumer-fashions-growing-diversity-gap-2
8in the 1960’s and 1970’s.It took the Civil Rights Movement to help shed a light to thehomogeneity of the fashion world. The fashion industry was obsessed with skinniness, the crazeof youth, the sexist promotion of torturous fashion items. Black models were to neverappear onthe cover of major fashion magazines. Ablack model by thename of JourdanDunn confirmedthis, “The people who control the industry say if you havea black face on the cover of amagazine it won't sell".3Sadly, even today the odds of being hired are still low. Historically, theportrayal of minorities in thefashion industry islessthanideal.Whether its hardly appearing infashion commercials or not appearing at all. Old ideasthat appeal to themajority continuetovictimize minorities.Photographer Nick Knight even adds, “TheFashion industry and the advertising industry issteeped in racism. You just haveto look around atthe number of black girls you see in ads,virtuallynil.”4Models of color remained nearly impossibleto see. There was simplyno institution to hold designers accountable because they chose not torepresent their consumer base. Asian models, American Indians, and Latino models were alsogiven adequate representation. They also underrepresented various body types. It wasn’t until the20thcentury when fashion designers began to diversifythefashion world. Even fashion weekmodels were obsolete of diversity on the catwalk. Beauty in thefashion industry was colorless3Mortley, Jess. (2013). Jourdan Dunn joins the fashion racial diversity debate.the guardian.Retrieved fromhttp://www.theguardian.com/fashion/fashion-blog/2013/sep/20/jourdan-dunn-fashion-racial-diversity-debate4British Supermodel Jourdan Dunn Says Racism in FashionStill Exists. (2013).Girl TalkHQ.Retrieved fromhttp://girltalkhq.com/british-supermodel-jourdan-dunn-says-racism-in-fashion-sadly-still-exists/
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