When you hear the word "model," a particular image usually comes to mind: an impossibly skinny, human-hanger of a woman. That has been the standard for as long as most of us can remember. And it's not just about body size. Aside from the occassional beauty mark and off-the-wall hair cut, they are essentially the same woman. Though, Diesel's decision to hire a young woman named Mercado has changed that. Why? Mercado has muscular dystrophy and used an electric wheel chair. She applied to the casting call as a joke - assuming - like most of us would - they would not take her seriously. She couldn't have been more wrong.
Along with 22 others, she was chosen to be the face of the brand. And the significance of this goes way beyond giving Mercado an amazing opportunity
Could our perception of beauty really be changing? Is there a shift in that definition. That's not to say there have not been some atypical models prior to this. Of course there are plenty of plus size models who have found some measure of fame. But that is not enough, if you ask me. Plus-size in the modelling industry is a size 10. That is NOT plus size in the real world.
We need to start seeing models that reflect what all real women look like. That means seeing women with scars, who are short, who are truly plump, who even have deformities. That would be true diversity. And it would encourage the world to finally celebrate all kinds of diversity in beauty. Plus, a move toward this can do so much for girls and women. It can do so much to improve self esteem and the body image issues that plague so many of us.
Photographer Nicola Formichetti, who first posted the photo of Mercado to his Instagram account, has already gotten raves for the campaign. Fans have called the images "Vision," "Bad ass!" and "So cool."
It's crazy that this all started as a joke for Mercado. In her mind, people like her didn't become models. She doubted that the world could look past her health issues to see something truly beautiful. Thank God she was wrong. Diesel has surprised us all with their bold move. Now if only other brands would do the same and become more inclusive.
Do you think clothing lines should use more diverse models?
Image via Diesel