Well judged, Missguided

09 November 2017 | Kate Owens

So we are edging closer to the big ‘C’. Christmas. And if you’re anything like me you may be searching online for a new festive outfit. A tradition I created a few years back, I love to celebrate in a new sparkly dress to really help me get into the Christmas spirit. Even though I still have had no luck and feel as though I’ve trawled through most online retail shops, after reading about one particular online shop earlier in the week, I thought I should definitely check this one out!

The online shop in question is Missguided. Missguided is one of the biggest fashion retailers in the UK with annual sales of £200M and this week it hit headlines after using unretouched photos of models in its clothes. In these photos, stretch marks can be seen on the models across their bums, thighs and breasts.

With a lot of people praising Missguided, saying that it’s ‘refreshing’ to see genuine photos of women, there were some that said they preferred to see flawless and perfect models showcasing its clothes. However, Head of Branding at Missguided, Samantha Helligso commented:

“As a brand, we feel we have a strong sense of social responsibility to support young women and inspire confidence. By showing imagery that’s real and authentic, we want to show it’s more than okay to be yourself. All you have is what you’ve got, so own it every day.”

Personally, I think Missguided has hit the nail on the head here. Nowadays there’s this conception that women especially must almost tick a checklist of features to be considered beautiful and perfect. Whether it’s to have seemingly effortlessly toned abs, the infamous ‘thigh-gap’ and the perfectly rounded buttocks from god-knows how many squats!

The reality is, and what we all need to remind ourselves of, is that the majority of these showcased images have been retouched, with thighs slimmed down, waists tightened and skin airbrushed. And yes, there are those individuals that have been genetically blessed with these features, but as other women we shouldn’t be made to feel inferior to them. We are all different, we weren’t rolled out on a production line to have all the same features – we’re all unique and should celebrate our differences all the same.

Missguided is sending a strong message to the young women of today. The young women who are caught up in the world of social media and whose Instagrams are filled with ‘influencers’ who have ticked the checklist and give these young women the impression that ‘that’ is the way they must look. However, we need to teach, not only the younger generation but also ourselves, that it’s okay to be yourself, to embrace those so-called ‘flaws’ such as stretch marks and instead embrace our individuality.

I say bravo to Missguided and encourage more fashion retailers to follow suit and inspire young women to embrace their differences and individuality and to stop comparing themselves to this idea of ‘perfection’, which frankly, doesn’t exist!