Can corporations cash in on an empowerment-for-profit trend?
When the cosmetics giant L’Oréal Paris announced a mixed-race British DJ as its first transgender brand ambassador last month, the fashion-industry press rushed to applaud the multibillion-dollar company’s latest gesture toward “diversity” and “inclusion.” Munroe Bergdorf got a byline in the British edition of Vogue for an article entitled “What Makeup Means to Me,” while W Magazine’s Marissa Muller praised L’Oréal for having “made huge strides” toward the “elusive goal” of “representation for all women in fashion and beauty.” Such representation now must include not only “women” with male genitalia, but also tattooed lesbians like Ruby Rose, who has been an ambassador for Maybelline cosmetics and other brands. Fat women are likewise part of the diversity-and-inclusion trend, with plus-size models doing fashion shows for designer brands, a “shift toward runway realism” that is “refreshing,” as Vogue’s Janelle Okwodu gushed.
If a girl wants to be truly stylish for the fall 2017 season, she must avoid being thin, white or heterosexual, and maybe she actually shouldn’t be a girl at all. Not only can boys become makeup models, but girls can become boys in the gender-blender Internet marketplace where young people shop around for trendy identities.