Unfortunately, luxury athleisure's burgeoning popularity is not immune to at least one side effect that remains detrimental yet symptomatic of the fashion industry: a lack of diversity and inclusion.
In the athleisure industry, at least two major components lack of diversity: 1) ethnicity and race, and 2) body type. Women of color are rarely celebrated as a prototype for wellness, and curvy women struggle to find their sizes in the current selection of premium-quality athleisure.
This is not only an issue in the athleisure industry, but is indicative of a larger problem within the fashion industry as a whole. For too long, the fashion industry has been dominated by a very specific type of person – usually white, thin, and tall. This has led to a lack of representation of other types of people, both in terms of ethnicity and body type.
The good news is that things are slowly starting to change. There is an increasing demand for more diversity and inclusion within the fashion industry, and this is starting to be reflected in the athleisure market. We are beginning to see more women of color represented in campaigns and editorials, and more brands are starting to offer extended sizing options. However, there is still a long way to go before we can truly say that the athleisure industry is inclusive of all types of people.
Athleisure Brands May Inadvertently Reject Cultural Influence and Body Positivity. Even though the mainstream images of the female body are starting to become slightly more varied, certain cultures and body types are overly idolized, leading to the inevitable exclusion of others.
Athleisure brands have become increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more women embrace the comfort and style of sportswear. However, while athleisure may be inclusive in terms of size and age, there is still a lack of diversity and inclusion when it comes to cultural influences and body types.
Certain cultures and body types are idolized within the fashion industry, leading to the inevitable exclusion of others. This is particularly apparent when it comes to the mainstream images of the female body, which are still predominantly white and thin. While there has been some progress in terms of representation, there is still a long way to go before all women feel included and represented within the fashion industry.
To be truly inclusive, athleisure brands need to start celebrating a wider range of cultures and body types. This would not only make their products more accessible to a wider range of women, but would also help to challenge the narrow beauty standards that still exist within the fashion industry.
The Athleisure Industry Must Represent All Who Seek to Join the Health and Wellness Community. Fitness is not a secret society where you must appear a certain way to join. Fitness should not have one look, whether it is body type or skin color. Nor should it be marketed to an exclusive, white, thin audience. Instead, fitness should be about learning to live a healthy and active lifestyle that is all-inclusive of everyone seeking these goals.
We must demand that athleisure brands and magazines to start realistically representing who we are as a health and wellness community.
As the athleisure industry continues to grow in popularity, it is important that it becomes more inclusive of all people, cultures, and body types. Unfortunately, the current state of the industry is far from inclusive. The vast majority of athleisure brands and magazines cater to a very specific type of person: white, thin, and wealthy. This exclusive attitude not only alienates potential customers, but it also sends the message that fitness is a secret society that only certain people can join.
This needs to change. We must demand that athleisure brands and magazines start realistically representing who we are as a health and wellness community. Fitness should not have one look or be marketed to an exclusive group of people. Instead, it should be about learning to live a healthy and active lifestyle that is all-inclusive of everyone seeking these goals.
Only by becoming more inclusive will the athleisure industry be able to truly thrive.