Like so many style section reporters before them, The Guardian' s Tess Reidy and Tracy McVeigh try — and fail — to make the case that runways are getting more diverse. With few true signs of size or color diversity to applaud, fashion reporters are left grasping for any positive spin-worthy model trend — like did you know we're now letting girls with gap teeth on the runway? It's a body positive utopia, y'all!
Teeth gaps are one of several "quirky beautiful" traits — along with "attitude, flair and individuality" — that Reidy and McVeigh highlight as part of "a trend for diversity" now sweeping the catwalks.
Some of the most successful models of the moment have unconventional charms. For Cara Delevingne, it's thick eyebrows, pulling funny faces and doing the Harlem Shake. Georgia Jagger's gap teeth are her signature asset, and her profile is helped in no small way by her rock star heritage. Odd hair colours and styles are more and more acceptable, while style role models include the far-from-bland Chloe Sevigny and Alexa Chung. No one "wants the cookie-cutter model" anymore, according to one Los Angeles makeup artist.
To stand-out in today's modeling industry, "you need more than a conventionally pretty face and a stick-thin physique," Reidy and McVeigh suggest.
Note that these traits are still required, you just need "personality" and "kookiness" on top of looks and a waifish bod. That's the "diversity" that Reidy and McVeigh are celebrating— not one that includes more variety in model looks and sizes but one that demands more from those blessed with a conventional model looks.
Which doesn't sound like much cause for celebration, to me. This is diversity at its shallowest, if you can call it diversity at all.
As for the "occasional" runway appearance of "slightly curvier models such as Kate Upton" ... when that's something worth pointing out, you know the body uniformity on the runways is still pretty bad.
By the way, here are a few of the, uh, refreshingly diverse 'anti-models' mentioned in the Guardian article.
Georgia Jagger in a Hudson Jeans ad.
Kelly Mittendorf Prada ad
Cara Delevingne Chanel ad.
Edie Campbell on the cover of Jalouse