As a business student, fashion lover, and former Aerie sales associate, I want everybody and their brother to hear about Aerie’s new au naturel ad campaign dubbed #AerieREAL. The ad campaign features models of all shapes and sizes modeling Aerie garments, TOTALLY UNRETOUCHED. There are a few aspects of this that I find totally amazing:
1. #AerieREAL is a step towards promoting a healthy body image for women of all ages. Women have a tendency to feel defensive about their size. Overweight girls are accused of eating too much, being lazy, or not caring about themselves and underweight girls are accused of starving themselves or being vain and both accuse each other of being unhealthy. The fact is that we’re all different. We all have different reasons for being the size or shape that we are and each person has a situation unique to them and should be able to live in their body without feeling the world’s harsh judgement.
2. Yes – Victorias Secret Angels have the hottest bods on the planet and can really rock lingerie but do they really represent ANY of us everyday, modern-day women? I think not. When I’m buying something as intimate as undergarments looking at other SUPER hot women with perfect proportions in the bra I’m about to buy doesn’t actually make ME feel sexy. I like that Aerie is taking an approachable route. Of course all of the Aerie models are still insanely beautiful and have great bodies…but it’s nice to know that looking at a model close to my size actually reflects the way I’d look in any particular item and that makes me feel more confident in my purchase.
3. The campaign is a catalyst for change. I hope that other brands & publications will see the overwhelmingly positive response Aerie has received from the unretouched #AerieREAL and make strategic changes in how they choose to sell to women.