“The majority of humans do not look like the mainstream idea of beauty,” says model Mama Cax.
Instagram’s newest initiative #RunwayforAll proves that the photo-sharing app is about more than double-tapping, filters, kissy face selfies, hashtags and memes (not that we don’t love all of those things).
#RunwayforAll is the app’s attempt to spotlight the array of movers-and-shakers in the fashion industry that don’t look like the girl (or guy) you’ve seen a million times.
With a new post everyday, Instagram will tell the story of a model “who is redefining industry standards and making sure there’s room on the #RunwayforAll.”
First up is Mama Cax, the Haitian-born, New York-based model whose dark skin and amputated leg led her to believe that she had no place in the modeling world. However, her original ideas about what was possible in the fashion world have been shattered, partly by her own accomplishments.
“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.”
Male model Shaun Ross, who’s broken plenty of his own barriers as one of the first openly-gay male models of color with albinism says it’s all about everyone being treated the same.
“I remember when I first entered the industry all I saw were models that looked the same,” he says. “Now here we are almost 10 years later, and I see the choice I’ve made has helped the industry to see beauty in many ways, such as casting models and rising icons like @winnieharlow, @jilly_peppa and more to help lead the fight with me to diversity.”
“#RunwayForAll is a world where everyone is treated the same,” says Shaun Ross (@shaundross). When he started modeling nearly a decade ago, Shaun was the only male model of color with albinism. “I remember when I first entered the industry all I saw were models that looked the same,” he says. “Now here we are almost 10 years later, and I see the choice I’ve made has helped the industry to see beauty in many ways, such as casting models and rising icons like @winnieharlow, @jilly_peppa and more to help lead the fight with me to diversity.” When he started, Shaun was one of a few openly gay models in the industry. “Agents always told male models to be masculine, but that was never the case for me. I never wanted to hide my sexuality,” he says. “I’d rather be myself.” Photo by @shaundross
As fashion continues to bend and mold itself into a reflection of more than just one type of look, we look forward to seeing more and more faces that are completely different and equally beautiful.
Make sure to check Instagram’s page daily to hear the story of a new model who’s pushing the boundaries.
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