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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Keith

Changing For The Better: Diversity in the Industry

Being a part of the entertainment and talent industry means you get to experience and observe the changes and evolution throughout the space.

Over the past couple of decades the most significant change, or what has stood out the most, has been the increase in diversity across advertising and talent alike.

Diversity in the entertainment and modelling industries has been a hot topic for many years now. While the industry isn’t perfect and still has a long way to go in terms of diversity on every spectrum, it is still reassuring to see that things are beginning to change with more diversity being seen now, than ever before.

In the children’s entertainment industry, there used to be an overwhelming need and want for that perfect Caucasian child – blonde hair, blue eyes. However, it has been years since the children’s industry has seen such a lack of diversity.

Over the past couple of decades, the need for that specific look has shifted. The more the consumers within the industry wanted to see change, the more the brands reacted to this want for change. Like a chain reaction, as the brands began to change their looks and diversify their models, talent and modelling agencies had to react alongside this. It was a chain reaction that many were more than happy to finally see.

The range that agencies have these days expands across different ethnicities, but also different shapes and sizes and children with learning difficulties or disabilities. Talent and modelling agencies need to have a huge range of models and actors to suit every brief possible, especially children’s agencies.

This meant that instead of on-boarding children from images alone, their characteristics mattered more than their looks. Talent agencies, especially children’s agencies, then needed to have a wide range of children, fitting every category including characteristics that would be perfect for the industry. They want to see happy, confident and well-mannered children, no matter their looks.

Over the years it has been great to watch companies and brands embrace the diversity, and witness the change in their messaging and advertising alongside this.

As we continue to move forward, brands and organisations need to make more consistent and better choices to diversity, whether this is related to their campaigns, advertisements or even just their head office staff.

Recently, we have seen some very prominent brands, with huge audiences advertise in ways we have never seen before and show an incredible amount of diversity, as they should in 2020. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t great to see on billboards, or on TV.

Recent campaigns of significance that have circulated this year include Gucci’s beauty campaign including Ellie Goldstein, an 18-year-old model with Down Syndrome. Goldstein has had modelling aspirations since she was a child and hopes the Gucci campaign will inspire other women with disabilities to reach for the stars. Calvin Klein also released their ‘Proud In My Calvin’s’ campaign that included a hugely diverse range of models - something you definitely wouldn’t have seen over a decade ago. It’s another step forward that many are proud to see.

Diversity within the industry has definitely been influenced by the social movements we have witnessed over the last decade. Such movements surrounding diversity will influence our younger generations and lead them towards a better and more diverse future. Most importantly it gives little ones, no matter who they are, the chance to see someone just like them on ads and billboards, which then allows them to reach for the stars and dream big to achieve anything, just like the person on their screens.

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