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Instagram Celebrates Fashion Diversity With Launch Of #RunwayForAll

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Your favourite social media app is taking on the fashion world in the best way possible.

On Monday, Instagram launched #RunwayForAll, a new initiative that shares the stories of diversity in fashion and the game-changers that redefine the industry.

"Every day this week, we’ll be sharing the story of a model who is redefining industry standards and making sure there’s room on the #RunwayForAll," Instagram wrote.

“#RunwayForAll means any teenager feels represented when they open a magazine or watch a fashion show,” says Mama Cax (@caxmee). Mama grew up in Haiti, lives in New York City and never aspired to be a model — “not only because there were very few dark models on magazine covers but also because I grew up with very little knowledge of the fashion industry,” she says. “Eight years ago, after getting my leg amputated, the idea of being a model was even more far-fetched.” Today, Mama is modeling and doing other things that she was told there was no audience for, like sharing tips for traveling as a black female amputee. “The majority of humans do not look like the mainstream idea of beauty,” she says. “One of the greatest barriers is not belonging. Through modeling I hope to show that beauty does not always wear a size zero and beauty does not always walk on two limbs.” Every day this week, we’ll be sharing the story of a model who is redefining industry standards and making sure there’s room on the #RunwayForAll. Photo of @caxmee by @simonhuemaen

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Highlighting Mama Cax, a blogger whose leg was amputated at 18, famous albino model Shaun Ross, famous albino model, model with muscular dystrophy Jillian Mercado, plus-size model Clementine Desseaux and runway model Londone Myers, #RunwayForAll encourages all Instagram users to share their stories.

In an interview with HuffPost Style, Mama Cax touches upon how she "treats her prosthetic as a fashion accessory," and how important it is for her to be a part of Instagram's project.


"Inclusion in the fashion industry, regardless of race, body type or ability is important," the blogger said. "To me #RunwayForAll means any teenage girl feels represented when she opens a magazine or watches a fashion show."

In his Instagram feature, Shaun Ross notes that "#RunwayForAll is a world where everyone is treated the same," and even shouts out Winnie Harlow, an on-the-rise Canadian model with vitiligo.

“#RunwayForAll is a world where everyone is treated the same,” says Shaun Ross (@shaundross). When he started modeling nearly a decade ago, Shaun was the only male model of color with albinism. “I remember when I first entered the industry all I saw were models that looked the same,” he says. “Now here we are almost 10 years later, and I see the choice I’ve made has helped the industry to see beauty in many ways, such as casting models and rising icons like @winnieharlow, @jilly_peppa and more to help lead the fight with me to diversity.” When he started, Shaun was one of a few openly gay models in the industry. “Agents always told male models to be masculine, but that was never the case for me. I never wanted to hide my sexuality,” he says. “I’d rather be myself.” Photo by @shaundross

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"I see the choice I’ve made has helped the industry to see beauty in many ways, such as casting models and rising icons like @winnieharlow, @jilly_peppa and more to help lead the fight with me to diversity," Ross writes.

Head over to Instagram's blog or scroll through the #RunwayForAll hashtag to read more inspiring and diverse stories from the fashion world.

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