Brava, H&M. The fashion giant’s fall 2016 video has dropped and to our delight it features actual real-life women. You know, women with body hair. Women bigger than size 2. Women who aren’t Anglo. WOMEN OLDER THAN 25.
All the people featured in the rework of Tom Jones’ 'She's a Lady' are still very beautiful, sure, but it makes me pathetically grateful to see women other than Gigi Hadid-lookalikes wearing clothes that might actually fit body parts other than my thumb.
From the opening shot of a sexy full backside, to the closing shot of a gamine model displaying luxuriously untamed underarm hair, the video feels like a genuine celebration of women, in all of our forms.
And that’s so so so much more likely to have me whipping out my wallet to buy the clothes these women are so beautifully modeling.
Audience wants to see themselves represented in the media they consume, so it's baffling that more brands don't capitalize on this to, er, sell things.
Other highlights of the video include: the iconic Lauren Hutton looking badass in sharp suiting, boxer Fatima Pinto wearing sexy spaghetti straps, showing off her rippling biceps, and trans model Hari Nef owning street style like nobody’s business.
Here's Lauren looking at the douches in the room with scorn:
And Hari lighting up a bleak, gloomy street:
And Fatima looking like a complete babe:
Yes, we should be way beyond needing to bow down every time fashion acknowledges the existence of different types of women, but we’re not, so it’s important to support brands who push these boundaries.
(Editor’s aside: For those interested, Tim Gunn’s op-ed for the Washington Post perfectly sums up the dismal state of play in the fashion industry, which is permeated by an undercurrent of disgust for women who aren’t stereotypically young, thin or beautiful.)
H&M's inclusive and diverse campaign is still the exception not the rule. Harper’s Bazaar helpfully collated a list of the top 49 fall fashion campaigns, and there isn’t a single ad that comes close to representation shown by H&M.
Many designers still end their collections at size 12, which seems ludicrous considering there are 100 million plus-size women in the U.S. Do said designers not actually want to sell their clothes?!
Keep it up H&M, you’ll get my money this week. And if common sense doesn’t urge others to follow your path, hopefully commerce will.