Ah, June is right around the corner. The sun will be shining, the birds singing, and corporations are ready to cash in on Pride month! It's that time of year when every brand under the rainbow suddenly becomes a staunch ally of the LGBTQ+ community, churning out rainbow-colored merchandise and featuring queer people in their marketing campaigns. It's enough to make your head spin (or maybe that's just the glitter-induced hangover).
But let's take a closer look at these campaigns, shall we? Often, they feature the same generic stock images of smiling, conventionally attractive white gay men and lesbians, with the occasional token trans or nonbinary person thrown in for good measure. There's no nuance, no depth, no real understanding of the diversity within the community they're supposedly celebrating.
It's like these brands are checking off a box on their to-do list, rather than actually making an effort to connect with and support the LGBTQ+ community.
And let's not forget the sheer performative nature of it all. These brands are more than happy to sell rainbow-colored t-shirts and mugs, but when it comes to actually putting their money where their mouth is and donating to LGBTQ+ causes, suddenly they're not so eager. It's like they want the clout and the sales boost that comes with pandering to a marginalized community, but they don't actually care about that community or their struggles.
But fear not, dear readers, because there are some brands out there who are doing it right. Take SAVAGE x FENTY, for example. Rihanna's lingerie brand has consistently featured models of all shapes, sizes, and skin tones in their campaigns, including queer models. They don't just trot out a token LGBTQ+ model once a year and call it a day; they make a real effort to celebrate diversity in all its forms.
And then there's Amsterdam-based modeling agency APL, who are actively working to make the fashion industry more inclusive. They've partnered with organizations like the Trans United Fund and the Gender Spectrum Collection to ensure that their models represent a wide range of gender identities and expressions. They're not just paying lip service to the idea of diversity; they're actually putting in the work to make their industry a more welcoming and affirming place for all.
So, what's the takeaway from all of this? If you're a brand looking to capitalize on Pride month, take a page from SAVAGE x FENTY and APL's book. Don't just slap a rainbow on your product and call it a day; make a real effort to understand and celebrate the diversity within the LGBTQ+ community. And if you're a consumer, don't settle for performative allyship. Seek out brands that are doing the work to support and uplift the community, both during Pride month and throughout the year. After all, true allyship isn't just a trend; it's a lifelong commitment.