Kanika Goyal’s Capsule Collection ‘It’s OK To Put On A Few Kgs’ Promotes Body Positivity But Lacks The Representation Of Size-Inclusive Models. What Even?
Body positivity movement is gaining momentum, especially in fashion and we are seeing more diverse and size-inclusive models on the runway, brand commercials and billboards. The industry which has been unintentionally perpetuating idealistic beauty is now bringing a positive change. The Indian fashion industry is no exception. Designers have been taking notice and scouting body positive models and creating clothes for all body shapes and sizes which was a pipe dream earlier. The latest one to launch a body positive collection is the Indian designer Kanika Goyal. But wait, there’s more to it.
Her capsule collection named ‘It’s OK to put on a few Kgs’ features gender fluid sweatsuits, bralettes and comfy T-shirt dresses claims to be body positive as it comes with fancy optimistic names and a hem tag attached to every piece that says ‘I feel PHAT’ (which is a millennial acronym for pretty, hot and tempting). I know, pretty cool! All seemed fine until I dropped by on the brand’s website to check out the quirky and comfy pieces from the collection and what I found was, well, the lack of body positivity.
The collection is modelled by skinny people who seemingly never struggled with putting on a few extra kgs. Honestly, I was expecting models of different sizes to be wearing the collection because that’s what the concept all about, right? Their website reads, “The collection is evocative of appreciating your self-worth, being comfortable in your skin, and body positivity. Everyone responds to life in different ways, and ‘It’s OK to put on a few Kgs’ is all about self-love and empathy for others.” And, then they go on to cast the standard sized models for their body positive collection. It doesn’t quite add up.
Also Read: Versace Had Plus Size Models Walk Its Runway For The First Time In History At The Milan Fashion Week. Fashion Runways Are Finally Getting Size Inclusive
The collection is pretty chic and stunning. There are hoodies, joggers, oversized t-shirts in featuring the hyped Instagram trend, tie and dye print. However, for a collection that claims to be celebrating all types of bodies, the outfits are only crafted to cater people of sizes from XS to XXL for men and women both. Although the reference size chart shows sizes from 2XS and goes up to 5XL, the collection most certainly doesn’t include clothes for people falling out of the standard size chart. I am sure they have Indian consumers with a body type of XXS and 3XL or even 4XL who would’ve loved to be included in the body positive collection.
For some brands, body positivity has become a mere opportunity to make a buck off the powerful movement rather than being the true ideology of the designers. It has lately been downgraded as a marketing strategy to make the collection sound important and inclusive but really is just a pretend support at best. It’s hard to separate brands who truly encourage inclusivity from those who just mean business.
However, there are designers whose work actually reflects the true idea of body positivity and one of them is Gaurav Gupta. His recent collection featured not only size-inclusive clothes but also had plus-size models walk the virtual runway and showcase the outfits. Another designer who brought the concept of size-inclusive designer bridal wear recently was ace couturier Sabyasachi who featured curvy models to showcase his Summer 2020 bridal wear specially made for plus-size women. THE DREAM! These designers are embracing body positivity and shifting towards fashion inclusivity. Although there’s still a long road to go. More brands need to adopt this concept and make their collection truly inclusive rather than throwing empty words and fancy names, or tags with an optimistic quote. That’s not enough. What we need is representation of models of all shapes and sizes and clothes to fit all body types.
I love most of Kanika Goyal’s collections. They have that millennial vibe, with quirky styles and cuts, vibrant colours and chic outfits that mirrors the Gen Y and Gen Z’s sartorial choices. The collection named ‘It’s OK To Put On A Few Kgs’ got my hopes up. I was happy about the fact that finally, more designers were stepping away from the stereotypes of beauty in the fashion industry and not only making size inclusive collection but also promoting being non-judgement of other people. However, it simply gift-wrapped as a body positive concept, nothing more. Not cool!
Here’s hoping brands and designers learn to embrace body positivity as it is and promote positive body image through their art and clothes. Because, it is OK to put on a few KGs, but it not OK to cash in on a social movement.