Instagram Celebrates Fashion Diversity With #RunwayForAll
Redefining what beauty really means.
This week, Instagram is rolling out a new hashtag that highlights diversity in fashion, something that’s been a continuous issue in terms of representation. The photo-sharing app’s #RunwayForAll series celebrates a different model for his or her unique qualities each day. Jillian Mercado, a model who has muscular dystrophy, black model Londone Myers, plus-sized model Clémentine Desseaux, and Shaun Ross, who has albinism, are among the faces presented on Instagram’s own account — shared with 162 million followers.
“One of the greatest barriers is not belonging,” says the first person to be featured using the hashtag, Mama Cax, a Haitian model who had her leg amputated at 18 . “Through modeling I hope to show that beauty does not always wear a size zero and beauty does not always walk on two limbs.”
“#RunwayForAll means any teenager feels represented when they open a magazine or watch a fashion show,” says Mama Cax (@caxmee). Mama grew up in Haiti, lives in New York City and never aspired to be a model — “not only because there were very few dark models on magazine covers but also because I grew up with very little knowledge of the fashion industry,” she says. “Eight years ago, after getting my leg amputated, the idea of being a model was even more far-fetched.” Today, Mama is modeling and doing other things that she was told there was no audience for, like sharing tips for traveling as a black female amputee. “The majority of humans do not look like the mainstream idea of beauty,” she says. “One of the greatest barriers is not belonging. Through modeling I hope to show that beauty does not always wear a size zero and beauty does not always walk on two limbs.” Every day this week, we’ll be sharing the story of a model who is redefining industry standards and making sure there’s room on the #RunwayForAll. Photo of @caxmee by @simonhuemaen
- Nikola Tamindzic