Disclosure: I received compensation as part of my relationship with Quality Blue Community. All opinions expressed are my own.
Aerie, American Eagle’s sister store that specializes in selling lingerie, made a very large and noticeable change back in Spring 2014. They decided that their entire ad campaign would feature models with NO airbrushing. No matter how you slice it, this in my opinion is a very powerful campaign.
First, it’s important that we look at Aerie’s demographics women, ages 15-21. This is one of the most impressionable groups when it comes to body standards. Eliminating photo shopped models gives young ladies a realistic view of what their bodies may look like. It tells young girls that every 18 year old is not an A-cup, some are C-cups and that’s ok. Every butt is not plump, some are actually flat, and that’s ok. You don’t have to have the body of a supermodel to wear these clothes, and that’s ok.
As a parent of a pre-teen, Aerie’s campaign was very near and dear to my heart, because as a plus sized woman myself, I have a hard time purchasing clothes from brands that show nothing but models that are labeled by society as ‘perfect’ and ‘oh yeah we sell this in plus sizes too’. Especially advertisements for bras, I find them to be the most problematic. They show nothing but women with very small breast sizes posing as if that is the standard bra size. In reality, the average bra size for women is 34DD (source). I’m a 40DD, yet I see models that are no bigger than a B. See the problem? It’s almost as if the industry is trying to hide the reality that lots of women have large breasts.
Overall I feel that Aerie’s campaign is encouraging young women to remain self-confident. It’s very important in the digital age that we allow young ladies to see that there are other ladies just like them. They already see this at school and their favorite hangout spots, thank you Aerie for bringing it to print as well.