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Educating and Empowering: The Importance of Diverse and Inclusive Beauty Representation in Media

Updated: May 26

Three diverse women smiling and hugging
Photograph by Jacob Lund

How often has it happened to us that while scrolling through Instagram we come across content by a brand featuring a woman with a flawless foundation base or the most perfect waistline according to the false beauty standards set by society? Subsequently, we start comparing ourselves to others without knowing the reality behind these carefully curated photos and videos.

In 2017, The Dove Global Girls Beauty and Confidence Report included a survey which found that "7 in 10 girls wish the media did not judge females on their looks alone, but on what they do and say instead" and "wish the media did a better job portraying a diverse range of women." While the media has come a long way since then, there is still work to be done by brands to avoid ignorance and strive for more inclusive representation.

Why does representation matter?

Representations matter especially when it comes to shaping the minds of girls and young women regarding beauty and self-worth. However, mainstream media frequently promotes narrow beauty standards that exclude diverse representations of race, body size, age, and ability.

A brand that is a great example of representation is Good American by Khloé Kardashian. Unlike other brands, their sizing isn't limited, they make sizes from US 00 to 32, and they have made it their mission to empower women and give them a chance to be seen and heard. Every year, the brand does a nationwide open casting call for diverse women to model in their seasonal ad campaigns.

Initiatives like Good American's inclusive sizing and open casting are important as they challenge traditional beauty standards and promote diversity and empowerment. By offering a wide range of sizes, the brand acknowledges and celebrates different types of bodies and makes women feel comfortable in their skin. Moreover, showing women of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities represents individuals who were underrepresented in the media and sends a powerful message of acceptance to women.

What's next?

Beauty isn't just defined by external expectations set for us but it's our nurturing qualities such as kindness, compassion and authenticity that make us beautiful. When we shift our focus to developing our character and embracing our strengths, we radiate a beauty that goes far beyond what can be seen on the surface.

Embracing inner beauty also means practicing self-love and treating ourselves with the same kindness and compassion we offer others. Also, keep in mind to not use harsh words for ourselves as they can leave a mark deeper than we think. By prioritizing our mental, emotional, and physical well-being, we not only enhance our sense of self-worth but also inspire others to do the same.

I am ending this article with a quote by Anna Quindlen: "After all those years as a woman hearing 'not thin enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not this enough, not that enough,' almost overnight I woke up one morning and thought, 'I'm enough.'"


Sharon is currently pursuing her studies in public relations in Toronto and has a strong passion for journalism and writing. With a bachelor's degree in journalism already under her belt, she's excited to dive into a career in the media industry.

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