Celebration of Diversity pt. Three

Our Visual Artwork Editor, Rosalind Main writes about I Am More Than’s third annual event, ‘Celebration of Diversity’. I Am More Than is an empowering and beautifully feminist project founded by her and Morgan McTiernan, both of whom are fashion models and activists for body inclusivity…

An Evening for Everyone

Friday 8th of November saw the third annual show of I Am More Than’s ‘Celebration of Diversity’ event in the heart of the Capital. Located at the Wee Red Bar, myself and Morgan McTiernan are both fashion models/ activists for body inclusivity and on Friday 8th we hosted an evening of live entertainment, a fashion show with models of all abilities and designers from all over the country, speakers and music which lasted the whole evening. 

Both Morgan and I are the co-founders of Scotland’s Model Led Health and Beauty campaign ‘I Am More Than’ – aimed to celebrate people’s differences and highlight how we are all ‘more than’ what’s on the surface. Highlighting the message that it should be about what we can do rather than what we look like. 

This event is important to us and our community as we represent people from as many backgrounds and abilities as possible.

The event consisted of speeches from myself and Morgan and from Scottish Activists (including Jordy Deelight, Edinburgh Drag Queen and Cystic Fibrosis sufferer who recently had a documentary made for BBC Scotland called Jody’s 65 Reasons to Live) and Mandy Jones who is a campaigner for mental health and well-being. The speakers were followed by an all-inclusive fashion show where models wore garments made by Scottish designers who have made clothes specifically to tailor a wide range of body types. The event had a great atmosphere and the and everyone in attendance really enjoyed themselves.

We have been co-hosting a Celebration of Diversity Event every year in Scotland since 2017 and in Morgan’s words ‘Now more than ever the topic of inclusivity and diversity is very important. It has been a topic of discussion for a while and now is the time to practise what we preach. We’ve created and built a community of likeminded individuals who are passionate about inclusivity and raising awareness of the lack of. The event is an accumulation of this and place for us to celebrate everyone’ 

For me, hosting events like ours are crucial to everyone in and out of the fashion industry. The events are a reminder that beauty ideals are not just one thing; it’s many things a person can be. By creating our Celebration of Diversity event, we are inviting everyone in for an evening of exciting visuals, educating words and the message that beauty is what you can do and who you can become, rather than just what you look like. 

Statements form some of those who took part:

Designer Kate Harvey:  

‘I loved being part of such an inclusive and non-judgemental event that welcomed everybody. It was a joy to have contributed and I hope to contribute to future events. Interventions like I-am-more-than are so important in shifting perceptions of modern-day beauty and I hope one day this will be the norm’ 

Designer Alison Black, recent ECA graduate: 

‘I loved the community that the event brought together and the positivity of everyone that took part. It’s reassuring to see so many people invested in wanting to make fashion and beauty standards much more inclusive, and hopefully this event will inspire others to see beauty in diversity’ 

Designer Kimberley Smith: 

‘It was so lovely to be involved in an event with such a warm, welcoming atmosphere for such an important cause. Event like IAMT’s are so important in encouraging everyone to embrace their own individual beauty and strength’

Speaker and Activist Jordy Deelight : 

‘It was a privilege to get the chance to speak about my practice and own work on identity at the I am more than event. The ladies behind the project have managed to secure a safe and comfortable space for all kinds of artists to celebrate body positivity and they should be commended for it.

These events are a necessity for artists and will give us a comfort zone to explore our work and discuss relevant topics without judgment or fear’.

Hosting events that bring together a community of creatives brings a tremendous amount of gratitude to Morgan, myself and those who have taken part. We are always working on new themes for our events / photoshoots / talks so if you have any ideas or would like to contribute please fire over your suggestions!

Instagram: @iam_more_than

Rosalind Main, Visual Artwork Editor