At the end of the day, Aerie, the lingerie brand owned by American Eagle, is out to sell as many bras and bottoms as possible, but at least it’s doing so with integrity and good intention. The company has released a new set of ads on its website that feature real women with real disabilities, differences and heath issues.
Models who use arm crutches, wheelchairs or rely on colonoscopy bags, as well as others who have Type 1 diabetes, vitiligo, Down syndrome, fibromyalgia and more, were photographed in Aerie lingerie. Photos were left un-retouched, something the brand has made a priority for years now.
The images are part of a series called Aerie Bras Make You Feel Real Good, and based on the looks on these women’s faces, they’re feeling both real and good, celebrating what makes them unique and beautiful. The brand landed on its latest models through an online outreach program where it asked users to send in videos explaining why they wanted to participate in the upcoming campaign. Two thousand people replied and a handful were selected to participate.
“As a brand, Aerie has been a leader in empowering women and celebrating inclusivity and body positivity since our launch of #AerieREAL in 2014,” Jennifer Foyle, Global Brand President at Aerie, told Fashionista. “Our newest bra models are part of our brand’s ongoing commitment to show real, authentic and unretouched women, who are at the core of everything that we do.”
One of the models, Abby Sams, celebrated the release of the images on Twitter.
— abby sams 🦈 (@abby__sams) July 10, 2018
Another model, Evelyn Robin Ann, from Toronto, echoed Abby’s enthusiasm.
— Evelyn Robin Ann (@evie_ann_) July 11, 2018
The imagery has received serious praise online since the campaign went live, and handfuls of women are coming forward thanking Aerie for disrupting traditional beauty norms by showcasing regular women with real diseases and differences.
— madelynn ♡ ☆ (@_madelynn101) July 11, 2018
Surely, Aerie’s competitors are watching and taking note, and hopefully their success encourages other brands to get on board with swapping obvious model-types with other kinds of people too. Beauty goes beyond perfect skin and a thin waist, and #AerieREAL proves it.