Female rappers are failing to keep fashion trends in check, leading to the perception that their styles are not being followed, according to a new study.
The study, conducted by a team of fashion experts at the University of Pennsylvania, found that the fashion trends of young women have shifted significantly over the past two decades and that a greater emphasis is being placed on a certain kind of body and skin.
In a report released Monday, the team of academics also said the rise of hip hop is contributing to a trend toward body-shaming among young women.
“There’s a certain type of body that’s seen as attractive, and if we don’t think it’s beautiful, we’re going to go and find it,” said Jennifer G. Gifford, professor of marketing and brand management at the university.
Gifford conducted a study in 2012 and 2013, interviewing women from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and examining their clothing choices.
Gafford said the study found that young women are buying more fashion items and more often in places where they are more likely to be seen.
Gafford added that many of the girls surveyed wore outfits that were considered “too provocative” and “too extreme” for many young women, even though the clothes were generally more appropriate for a younger age group.
“They were buying more extreme clothing and more extreme looks, but they were still very conservative with the clothing,” she said.
“The way they felt about their bodies is not necessarily what they feel about their fashion.”‘
Hip hop and fashion are intertwined’The study looked at more than a dozen clothing categories, from women’s tops to jeans, while asking participants how often they wore clothes in the past week, and what kind of clothing they thought were “too risque” or “too conservative.”
Giffords team also examined how the fashion of young people affected their attitudes toward the media and in general, the study said.
It found that there is a general assumption that the media is not supportive of young girls.
But the survey data showed that younger girls are actually less likely to consider news about fashion as news, Giffords said.
Giffin said the team is working to change that, but also to change the culture around young people.
“We have to make it clear to young women that we want them to be empowered,” she added.
“I think there’s a lot of room for change in this space, but it’s not enough.”