Inclusivity and Fluidity
While reality culture gave us restrictive new ideals, the flipside embraced a newfound fluidity. Celebrating all body types was central to conversations of identity. We broke many glass ceilings this decade and explored the full spectrum of diverse and inclusive representation; from nonbinary and genderless fashion to expanded shade ranges in beauty, and welcomed models and role models of all ages, sizes, abilities, sexual orientation, gender identities, and ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
• Nonbinary Fashion: This decade was transformational for the fashion industry. From performers like Billy Porter, who was the first man to wear a gown on the red carpet, to musicians like Billie Eilish, who has pioneered a new, nonbinary aesthetic for what we expect of a pop star, fluidity fashioned new ways of expressing one's identity in the '10s and the catwalks definitely took note. Many designers, like Gucci and Burberry, began showing their womenswear and menswear collections together; and fashion houses, like Chanel, began casting more openly gender-fluid and transgender models in their campaigns.
• 40+ New Shades of Beauty: It may have happened toward the end of the decade, but Fenty Beauty shook up the beauty industry in a major way when it launched in 2017. Rihanna's first beauty launch included an impressive 40+ shade range of foundations, over a dozen (and in some cases, two dozen) more than most heritage beauty brands. The launch spoke to so many black and brown girls who previously struggled to find coverage that matched their skin tone — and simultaneously forced a majority of beauty brands to follow suit.
While we love to thank Rihanna for this move toward greater inclusivity in the beauty industry, she's not the only person who should get credit. Social media may have a lot of downsides, but it also helped start intimate conversations between brands and consumers. "Call out culture" on platforms like Twitter and Instagram, allowed us to directly demand brands to do better. Most notably, Diet Prada's launch in 2014, and Estée Laundry in 2018, have both helped to call out big brands in the fashion and beauty industries — for better or worse.
It wasn't just an expansion of shades that was revolutionary this decade: we saw curvy models, mature models, hijabi models, models with disabilities, and men in gorgeous makeup and glamorous gowns walk the catwalks — and be featured in major editorial campaigns — in a capacity that transcended tokenism.