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You Walk the Runway! Diversity on the Real Catwalk
The brilliance that is "The Real Catwalk" requires some context.
We are in the 21st century, and in this age of global awareness and connectedness, standards that have long been taken as-is and gone unquestioned, are now being challenged.
Who hasn't heard of Victoria's Secret and their ideal body type that has been glorified as a singular standard of beauty for women for as long as we can remember?
Victoria's Secret has had a long-time unwillingness to change or diversify the looks they put on pedestals on their runways, and now the masses are stepping up and ready to change the status quo.
These unhealthy standards have long defined society's perspective of beauty and tortured young girls and women all over the world.
Now enter our lady knight in a plus size bikini, suited up, and ready to strut her stuff to rid the narrative of a single form of beauty.
Khrystyana Kazakov, a 33-year-old finalist of America's Next Top Model speaks loudly about the bias against regular-looking women and men with different body types and the lack of adequate inclusivity in the fashion world, which in turn influences culture.
In 2018, the model launched "The Real Catwalk" to showcase the real, natural beauty of all kinds. The Catwalk celebrates all body types and brings into the open, people we don't usually see on runways.
This initiative is open to people with different body types, shapes and sizes, and is a safe space for all less represented people.
The Real Catwalk has made so much progress in a year.
"It has become an international strut of self love, love and appreciation for others, celebrating all genders, in all shapes and sizes, colours, abilities, health differences, sexualities etc. It has become a community, a safe space for all to simply exist in a kinder environment." Kazakov shared in an interview with Dazed Beauty.
The first Real Catwalk took place on December 1st, 2018, a day before Victoria's Secret annual Fashion show aired on CBS Television Network.
This was perfect timing to make a bold statement that representation matters. People with different body types, races, and genders paraded the streets in love and with the same motive; representation of all.
awareness for Epidermolysis Bullosa, a condition you may never have heard of, but several people across the world suffer from.
This month, we say a big thanks to the woman behind this vision: Khrystyana Kazakov.
May we all be infected with some of her passionate and effortless body positivity. She says:
"So many messages! Everything from 'everybody radiates a unique ray of beauty. So yes you are beautiful, even if you don't always acknowledge it' to 'there is no one way to be a human! And your authenticity completes the beautiful bouquets that we all are. I'm sorry that I sometimes speak in boring metaphors, but the bottom line is: You are fine, and when you disagree there is an entire community that will remind you of it. You are worthy, you are important, you are beautiful."
Submitted by: Kelechi
"Men say that in this midnight hour,
"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all."