The Fashion Hero: Taking Back the Fashion Industry

A New Modeling Campaign + TV Show For All Body Shapes + Sizes


By Laura Harvey

Caroline Bernier has seen it all when it comes to the fashion industry.

From pageants to runways, however, the truth behind the beauty isn’t always so pretty.

Despite its focus, as an industry, on the creation of beauty, the picture behind the scenes is often no where close.

Bernier feels that the aesthetic preferences that dominate the fashion industry have created a toxic environment for models and women alike.

“This idea of a perfect of a body—it doesn’t exist,” she said. “It’s a look that’s actually unhealthy—trendy but not healthy.”

She recalls working on a Victoria’s Secret shoot and being appalled by the engineering behind the photos we see.

“There was no eating, no drinking, tape on their boobs.”

Even the women who supposedly had achieved perfection were being told to change. Bernier doesn’t agree with these harsh standards.

“People worry about not fitting in or not being thin enough,” she said, “but everyone wants their moment to shine.”

Bernier’s solution is simple, almost to the point of seeming obvious.

And yet, it is revolutionary.

She is producing an online campaign and international television series aiming to give real women the chance to model. And when I say real women, I mean all the bodies that are larger than a size 2 or shorter than five foot ten.

Enter The Fashion Hero.

Women around the world have been encouraged to create profiles online. Then, viewers can vote for contestants to be picked for the show. While the show will follow a fairly traditional, competitive structure, culminating in several contestants being chosen for contracts with international brands, Bernier aims to empower contestants rather than criticize them and send them home.

“After each challenge people won’t be going home crying, they’ll be empowered.”

How does she plan to achieve this, you might ask. The key for Bernier is showing women love. The transformation she is seeking to inspire is not one that can be achieved with a few hair products. Instead, she hopes to bring about internal transformations in her contestants.

“We will take someone and not change them; we want to love them and care about them.”

Perhaps it is that Bernier sees herself in these women. As a young model and pageant contestant, she was constantly told that she was too short to achieve success. Now, she seeks to break down those barriers.

“I saw so many beautiful girls that were begging for their moment to feel special,” she said.

What she hopes to achieve with the fashion hero is the embracement of beauty beyond the traditional barriers. There is no perfection in her book.

“We know were not going to change the world,” she said, “but things are starting to move.”

We hope her mission and show contribute to the movement.