HMNT 3001 Week 5 Final Project 2

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Throughout the past five weeks, I have explored various artifacts that address racial and ethical issues in modern popular culture. I have examined their history, accessibility, audience, and distribution over the years. Initially, I chose this topic due to its ongoing controversy in the news and its significant impact on people’s lives. The diversity of opinions and perspectives I encountered during this period further captivated my attention.

Race and ethnicity have consistently played a prominent role in both past and present popular culture, despite it being the year 2023 when such discussions should be unnecessary. Discrimination based on race and ethnicity continues to affect numerous individuals on a daily basis. Modern art and culture still display evident racial and ethnic barriers.

The artifacts I have selected to represent this social issue are “Size Zero High-End Ethnic: Cultural production and the reproduction of culture in fashion modeling” (Journal – Article), “Improved Racial Diversity on the Runways of Fashion Week” (Journal – Article), and “Moana” (Disney Animation – Film). Each of these artifacts sheds light on the racial and ethical issues prevalent in society. For my project, I have specifically focused on how social media influences and shapes the perception of these issues among its viewers. As a parent and a citizen of the United States, I have witnessed firsthand how easily media can influence the perspectives of young men and women.

HMNT 3001 Week 5 Final Project 2

Fashion has long been a significant aspect of popular culture, exerting a profound influence on public perception. Over time, fashion design and culture have undergone significant transformations. While some aspects have evolved, certain “old-fashioned” norms persist. For instance, racial and ethnic diversity, although present, has often been denied or downplayed in the fashion industry. During my childhood, I was led to believe that the “ideal” model or person should resemble a Barbie doll, tall, thin, white, with blonde hair and blue eyes. This perception was shaped by social media and popular culture.

As the fashion industry expands its target audience, it has faced criticism for the lack of representation of people of color. Despite some progress, the fashion industry still predominantly features white models, with designers often opting for a majority white cast in runway shows. This bias based on aesthetics hinders individuals from fulfilling their dreams due to racism and ethnicity. According to Hunt (2018), the fashion world has long faced criticism for its predominantly white, young, and waifish models. This criticism is crucial because the fashion industry significantly impacts the public’s perception of beauty.

HMNT 3001 Week 5 Final Project 2

 Although there has been an increase in the representation of people of color in recent years, it remains an industry predominantly dominated by white individuals (Wissinger, 2012). However, the fashion industry’s audience is constantly evolving, with social media playing a crucial role in this transformation. Social media platforms have expanded the reach of the fashion industry, allowing it to connect with a global audience. While the fashion industry is gradually becoming more diverse, social media has become a powerful tool in facilitating this change.

In a study conducted by Eric McDowell, the racial diversity of models in fashion shows from 2013 to 2018 was analyzed. The study revealed that white models were the majority, comprising 87.5% of the models, while nonwhite models made up only 12.5%. However, it also indicated a positive shift over the years, with the percentage.