As the metaverse begins to take hold, it must improve and champion body positivity and inclusivity, argues Blueberry Entertainment founder and chief executive Mishi McDuff.
As virtual worlds gain mainstream acceptance, the industry is at a pivotal inflection and it must establish strong, cultural standards from the ground up, says McDuff.
Meta has predicted that a billion people will be in the metaverse within the next decade and the potential reach and influence of the technology is enormous.
“As a female founder of a metaverse fashion brand, I can safely say the metaverse needs to be representative and inclusive of its users,” says McDuff.
“In an environment where you can be a supermodel, people are actively choosing to be themselves. For example, one of Blueberry’s best-selling items in Second Life has consistently been avatar skins featuring “stretch marks.”
“Digital users demand inclusivity and forms of empowerment not available to them in physical worlds. People are craving normalisation.
“This is because digital fashion acts as the driving force behind self-expression and digital identity across dozens of metaverse communities, so it’s vital we ensure it’s an inclusive place where body positivity is championed.
“Digital fashion is already an enormous business, and has the potential to surpass physical fashion as users increasingly flock to metaverse worlds.
“The brands that get it right, with body positivity and inclusivity at its core, will help to foster a progressive and supportive culture for decades to come.”