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The Blue & Gray Press | December 15, 2017

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Aerie’s “Real” campaign takes a stand against modeling industry

By SARAH GRAMMER

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The belief that a woman must be abnormally skinny to be beautiful resonates far too much with girls who already have to deal with self-esteem issues.

Everyone is built differently and everyone is beautiful. We should not be outcasting each other based on appearance; we should be empowering each other.

At least this is the new message American Eagle’s sister store, Aerie, started marketing.

Aerie recently declared that they are going to stop airbrushing and using supermodels in all their advertising for the spring 2014 season.

They are calling this their “Real” Campaign, and are trying to show people what real women look like.

Letting it all hang out, with tattoos, stretch marks, dimples and belly fat, to demonstrate that these “imperfections” are not imperfections.

Aerie is hoping to send better messages to women and girls about body image. Something some thought the world of fashion would never do.

They are finally beginning to recognize the body image problems caused by publishing photographs with airbrushed, unrealistic models.

While body image is a huge issue and a wonderful reason for this change, Aerie has another reason for the switch.

Online shopping is extremely popular in this day and age, and with that, online bra shopping has increased as well. Anyone who has ever been bra shopping knows how difficult it is to find the right size.

Well Aerie just made things easier. They will have models to view online with all different body types that will help women better decide how a bra will fit their own body type.

You will be able to go online and choose between differently shaped models in the bra size of your choice.

Not only does this make shopping easier for customers, but it will give them a more pleasant experience because they will not feel inferior to the models on the website.

While Aerie’s new developments are great, will they make a huge difference? Is just this one store’s effort enough to change the way a society is trained to think? If other stores do not follow Aerie’s lead then do their efforts make a difference?

In the minds of many women it could. Knowing that not everyone conforms to this unrealistic idea of beauty could be enough to show girls that they do not have to try and be something that they are not.

If other stores do not follow this new example we may continue to see even more of eating disorders in teenagers and young adults.

While Aerie’s new campaign is a step in the right direction, we still have a long way to go.