Actress and activist Emma Watson, most known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series, recently tackled the issue of sexism within the fashion industry as she joined her HeForShe campaign with British Vogue for a video in which designers address gender inequality head on.
"I want to get this conversation, this dialogue, happening specifically within the fashion industry, to ask the leading voices about gender equality," Watson says during the video’s introduction.
Those working in all capacities of the fashion realm, including the famed designers and models, face the same problems as any other industry such as issues with fair parental leave policies for men and women as well as equal pay. During the video, designers Stella McCartney and Bella Freud both speak to those points.
Designer Jonathan Saunders points out that although fashion is generally an open, accepting, politically liberal field – particularly in terms of LGBT rights – it is still heavily male dominated.
Only 1.7% of CEO positions at retail stores are held by women. There are even more male women’s clothing designers.
The designers featured in the video also address the portrayals of models in images as in important factor in gender imbalance. Fashion images set the standard of female beauty that is seen and internalized throughout the world.
"We need to give a better message to women of all ages, all sizes and all nationalities. We need to allow women to feel comfortable in who they are," McCartney says.
Saunders also mentions in the video that it’s important for images to empower women as opposed to making them look weak or fragile. (Amen to that!)
Check out the full video below: