At the Better Lives seminar last night hosted by Psychologist Carolyn Mair at London College of Fashion, I gave a talk – the usual stuff…All Walks and our belief that people working in Fashion could begin to understand the psychological impact our industry capable of making.

I argued that YES Design, Product and Fashion messaging REALLY is powerful enough to help us build Better Relationships with ourselves. As proof I presented the first random 100 answers to our Diversity NOW! question which has been completed by around 400 students.

We asked…

Here’s what our students answered…

Diversity would do wonders for my self-esteem. I would be more likely to engage in self-acceptance and appreciate myself for who I am as I will be seeing others just like me all around.

When you open any fashion magazine all you see are white women – where are the ethnic minorities? Are these women being considered as less beautiful?

Diversity  would create a positive impact towards my self-esteem. I am through with feeling like I am not good enough to succeed purely because I do not fit the cookie cutter image the media portray as beautiful.

I feel diversity would have a positive impact because I would be able to aspire to an achievable aesthetic and not be in a position where I am constantly chasing an unachievable illusionary image

Yes because we are constantly challenged to look at ourselves and compare our looks with an unrealistic body ideal.

We are bombarded with images of apparent perfection reminding us of our own imperfections, convincing us of the need to eliminate them in order to be considered beautiful.

Models that have been airbrushed to perfection have left us all trying to achieve a level of beauty that is impossible to reach and maybe does not exist, yet we all still strive for it.

When it came to totting up the simple Yes or NO answers here’s what we found.

Hmmm tempting to join the dots….so if the same people who feel realistic bodies would help boost self-esteem levels graduate and start making an impact within their field…we might just have some traction.

With thanks to Grace Quinn and Fi Anderson for compiling the information from our Diversity NOW! entries
Caryn Franklin

Former fashion editor and co-editor of i-D Magazine for 6 years in the early eighties, Caryn Franklin has been a fashion commentator for 31 years. She presented the BBC’s Clothes Show for 12 years and BBC’s Style Challenge for 3 years as well as producing and presenting numerous documentaries for ITV on designers including Vivienne Westwood, Philip Treacy and Matthew Williamson.

Working in education throughout her career as external assessor and lecturer in colleges like Central St Martins, London College of fashion and Royal College of Art, she is also an ardent fashion activist and has co-chaired the award winning Fashion Targets Breast Cancer for 17 years and proposed the London College of Fashion Centre of Sustainability and is its ambassador.

Follow Caryn on Twitter: @Caryn_franklin