Whatever we do, whatever we present, however we present it, we want to do so with hope and integrity. You will never see anything racy or seductive from us. Our models are true-to-life and any Photoshopping we do stays honest and focuses on our mission. We are positive and respectful at all times, because we truly believe in treating each other with honor.
w h o l e s o m e n e s s
The core of exploitation, abuse, and violence is power and control. The most common angle applied in high fashion is of seduction and objectification. The common denominator here is poor treatment or portrayal of a person, especially of women. The latter, I kind of get it – people from the fashion world will tell you it's about trying to sell a product and has nothing to do with trying to mistreat someone...but I think we can agree that we go too far too often (and reports compiled by Model Alliance will back me up on the mistreatment piece). The size 00 airbrushed model wearing almost nothing or posing seductively has become a norm – this is what our girls are seeing and learning from and somehow most people seem to still be OK with this. Our question in response to this is, "Can't we teach our girls better things through fashion?" I keep asking myself, "How do people get to the point of treating or portraying other people so inhumanely?" So far, the answer I find myself leaning towards is that this is learned behavior. So, how can we re-learn and do things a better way? – that's the basic question we're trying to find answers for.
This comes down to pushing for wholesomeness – we're not experts by any means on how to do this perfectly, but we want to figure this out. We've set this as a challenge, a high expectation of ourselves, and a priority of our business. It starts with cutting out any ounce of seduction, objectification, or racy-ness in our branding, our partner and product choices, and maintaining similar standards in our personal lives. On a personal level, I've been making myself read all the details on the packaging or online description of the products I shop – gathering the full picture and story behind the product. I find myself looking for the "about" sections of every website I peruse. Like other millennials with very limited spendable income, I care about where my money is going...and I want it to go towards something good.
Every single day in my head I have a little mini skeptic telling me, "People are not going to want to buy these things you're pushing out there because they're too expensive," "You're not giving a good enough deal," "Your box is too expensive," "No one needs these things," "Why would anyone want to pay double for something they could get so much cheaper at *blank*-mart," "You're too materialistic and not enough about actual social justice," and so on. On a good day, I'm able to counter these voices when I remind myself that bonJOY was never just about the box of beautiful things. It is meant to be about education, encouraging consumer lifestyle changes, and positively impacting the lives of our followers. We would be just like all the other business out there that are just about giving you "the good deal" if we were just about selling things. We aim and dream to be more. Wholesomeness to me is also about being more than what you see, being more than your first impression, and being real. We dig deep. We care about people. And we're not afraid to make ourselves and others feel the feels by sharing the stories behind the products and of the women artisans who created them...they are too good to not be told, and it's how we do our part to exercise wholesomeness.