Unveiling the Fashion Mirror: How Body Image Shapes Style Trends

An Exclusive Discussion with Industry Professionals at Miami Swim Week, Hosted by Snatched Plastic Surgery

Photo credit: Anthony Perri

The fashion and beauty industries are experiencing a major shift towards greater inclusivity of diverse body shapes and sizes. Miami Swim Week, powered by Art Hearts Fashion, provided the platform for this trend in Miami, Florida from May 30 – June 2. Designers of resort and swim wear prominently showcased models of varying aesthetics in their runway shows, highlighting a week of body positivity.

Miami Swim Week isn’t just about runway shows and beautiful events. It’s also an opportunity to learn from industry professionals and discuss the most influential topics buzzing around the business. Among those topics was that of body trends and their influence on fashion. I had the opportunity to sit on such a talk, hosted by Miami’s premier cosmetic plastic surgery center, Snatched Plastic Surgery, moderated by Miami fashion icon, Timur Tugberk.

Gathered at That’s Amore! inside The Gabriel Miami South Beach Hotel, the event transitioned from a formal panel setting to a laid-back, intimate air-conditioned discussion, offering respite from the sizzling rooftop ambiance of its original location. The eclectic lineup featured founder and CEO of Snatched, Claudia Borges, renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Boulos, luxury swimwear designer Lila Nikole, fashion and beauty editor Bella magazine Daniela Uribe, retail boutique owner and stylist Kendria Godair, and Art Hearts Fashion beauty director April Love.

Designers React to Body Positivity

More than ever, the narrative around body image is embracing the concept of self-love. How we feel and speak about ourselves is far more important than the opinions and words of others. The self-love we cultivate is invaluable to building our self-esteem and resilience.

With this newfound self-confidence, designers are responding by offering a wider range of sizes in their product offerings. Fashion design is progressively embracing inclusivity, prioritizing designs that evoke a sense of confidence and empowerment, irrespective of fleeting trends. April Love highlighted the increasing representation of diverse body types on runways, with designers boldly showcasing their outfits on models of varying sizes side-by-side, a visual we rarely see. Moreover, model selection criteria in the fashion industry are evolving to focus more on confidence and individuality rather than conventional standards. As a result, fashion shows feature a diverse array of models, spanning different genders, ages, and body types, thereby championing a spirited and inclusive vision of fashion.

Swimwear designer Lila Nikole, known for vibrant prints and trendsetting designs, spoke about her design approach and how she creates for multiple body types of women to feel beautiful, powerful and sexy. She brings a distinctive approach to her craft, presenting a range from warm-fitting, tiny outfits to bold, over-the-top pieces for both men and women. This mixture reflects her unique perspective on how the form changes. It allows her to cater to a wide audience with varying tastes and preferences. 

On the editorial side, fashion and beauty editor Daniela Uribe talked about covering a wide array of designers and how they each vary in how they want their collection to be portrayed. She does get “brands who still want to keep their DNA” and keep the traditional model look, which is okay, too. But, the trend is definitely about inclusivity, showcasing different sizes and genders.

Plus-Size Fashion is Curvy Fashion

More curvaceous models grace the runways today than ever before, celebrating both natural and surgically enhanced bodies, expecting mothers, and post-motherhood. This year, some designers embraced inclusivity by outfitting models with sizes ranging from 0 to 20. Kendria Godair sheds light on the retail side, noting that many companies limit their offerings to large or extra-large sizes. Unfortunately, those that do provide larger sizes often adopt a more conservative approach. However, Kendria expresses a new focus within her company to collaborate with designers who maintain consistent styles across all sizes. This shift is attributed to a growing confidence among consumers, who are increasingly open to bolder fashion choices.

Ensuring consistency in fashion across all sizes is crucial, as people of all sizes seek stylish and comfortable clothing. Finding suitable vendors who maintain consistent style across all sizes can significantly improve the plus-size fashion market.

She pays close attention to various markets, tailoring her approach to meet specific consumer demands. The fashion sales business, in particular, leverages inventory data and customer profiles to target different markets effectively. This nuanced understanding of market dynamics also extends to the field of plastic surgery, where evolving body trends play a significant role in shaping consumer expectations and demands.

Body Trends and Plastic Surgery

Healthy self-esteem and growing self-confidence are rooted in self-acceptance and the recognition of one’s intrinsic worth. Building these qualities often involves making positive lifestyle choices, such as maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and practicing self-care. However, there are times when certain body goals or aesthetic desires cannot be fully achieved through these means alone. In such cases, opting for plastic surgery can be a thoughtful and empowering decision. By choosing to undergo procedures that address specific concerns, individuals can enhance their physical appearance in ways that align with their personal vision of themselves. This choice, when made for the right reasons and with realistic expectations, can further bolster self-confidence and contribute to a healthier self-image.

Claudia Borges, founder and CEO of Snatched, discussed the noticeable shift she’s experienced at her cosmetic plastic surgery center. From the curvaceous body types popularized by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj to more elegant and conservative forms, clients still want to maintain that hourglass figure. They’ve just matured a bit. This evolution features the significance of catering to diverse body types, including those who have undergone surgical enhancements. It emphasizes the importance of making fashion inclusive and empowering for everyone, regardless of the method used to achieve their desired appearance.

Miami is more open and accepting of body enhancements and personal changes compared to other places in the country. Participants feel comfortable discussing and undergoing cosmetic procedures in Vice City, highlighting the city’s progressive attitude towards body confidence and personal expression. In this Latin-inspired town, there exists a pervasive “naked” culture, wherein individuals feel compelled to maintain a sexy image, contributing to its reputation for allure, confidence, and seduction.

No matter the desire, at Snatched Plastic Surgery, there is a rigorous vetting process to ensure each client is an appropriate candidate for surgery. Their master surgeons, including Dr. Paul Boulos, meticulously interview candidates, ensuring they fully understand both the benefits and the risks involved in this life-altering decision.

Dr. Boulos likens the human body to a building, emphasizing that while there are various types and styles, understanding the foundation is essential. This knowledge is crucial for managing expectations and being honest about the likelihood of achieving a desired vision and its associated risks. Ensuring patients are well-informed and confident in their decisions, and prioritizing patient well-being over financial gain, is a cornerstone for the plastic surgeons at Snatched.

Technology, such as photo editing apps and imaging software, influences patient expectations. However, surgeons prefer realistic methods. While apps can simulate body alterations without surgery, surgeons focus on achievable changes, demonstrating potential transformations to patients in front of a mirror.

Celebrities, influencers, and social media as a whole have a significant impact on body trends, creating both opportunities and challenges for plastic surgeons. While the social platforms showcase the work of surgeons, it also creates unrealistic expectations. Managing patient expectations through honest conversations is critical for successful outcomes.

Embracing Self-Acceptance: The Power Within

Self-acceptance is an internal journey that begins and ends within oneself; it is the only thing that truly matters. While external programming like social media may feed you people who project ideals and standards, the most influential voice in your life is the one that comes from the identity of who you are on the inside. This inner voice guides you towards recognizing and embracing your true self-worth, independent of outside validation.

Intrinsic value builds when there is accountability and triumph in the face of challenges. It also helps you identify unhealthy habits and encourages you to make better lifestyle choices, even when these decisions may cause short-term discomfort. Ultimately, self-acceptance fosters a resilient and authentic sense of self that no external influence can replicate.

Body positivity is a beautiful message, a clear narrative throughout Miami Swim Week and a welcome sentiment in an industry that has spotlighted the most elite of aesthetics for decades. It doesn’t, however, enable us to ignore our own health and the lifestyle choices we make.

Self-awareness and accountability serve as catalysts for growth, enabling us to strengthen the foundation of our own body of work, from the emotional to the physical. Through mindful intentions and wise choices, we can enhance our overall well-being while radiating confidence, beauty and self-worth. By embracing the current state of our bodies with positivity, compassion and love, while at the same time, knowing when to seize opportunities for improvement, we generate an inner authenticity and honest sense of self that propels us to make each day better than the last.

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