Clothing brand Aerie has featured a number of models with disabilities in their latest ad campaign, to share a message of inclusivity and self-love.
Aerie has long made the world feel real, beautiful, and just plain good, and last week, the brand continued their trend. This time by showing and proving that true beauty, or real beauty, does not need to fit inside of a neat and tidy little box. As part of the brand’s ongoing campaign, #AerieREAL, which, according to Adweek,“aspires to promote body positivity through the use of unretouched images—typically, featuring models of different racial backgrounds and in a variety of body types.” The undergarment retailer’s latest viral ads do exactly that.
As a woman with a lifelong physical disability, it brings me so much joy to see this campaign! Thank you @Aerie for show casing a beautiful group of woman who are extremely unrepresented in all forms of media https://t.co/J8UokiAky0 #AerieReal— Stacy Albright Tumolo (@Starbright24) July 15, 2018
The campaign just released images now seen on the site’s product pages that feature women of all shapes, sizes, and colors from all walks of life proudly displaying their disabilities, medical illnesses, or chronic conditions for the entire world to see. They do this all while fashioning everything from the brand’s bralettes to their signature workout apparel, of course. From a cancer survivor and a Down syndrome Paralympian (i.e. gymnast Chelsea Werner!), to a gorgeous gal with fibromyalgia (+ body hair), a ravishing beauty with vitiligo, or two more just rocking it out with their insulin pumps or ostomy bag, Aerie’s new campaign definitely embraces a whole other side of beauty.
Casting-wise, a call had been put out by the brand across social media, asking women to brave the masses and to share a video of themselves that explained why it was that they wanted to take part in the #AerieREAL campaign. The response was sensational, with just about a couple thousand responses. In the end, exactly fifty-seven women were cast in the latest campaign, “Aerie Bras Make You Feel Real Good.” According to an official Aerie press release, the women were selected because they “represent the inclusive beauty that makes up the DNA of the brand, which is committed to empowering all customers to embrace and love their real selves.”
As a brand, Aerie has long been about love. It stands tall as an ongoing leader in empowering women and celebrating inclusivity and body positivity by sticking to its cheer-worthy commitment to not edit any of the images used in any of its marketing, in its stores, and on its website. It all began with the initial launch of #AerieREAL in January of 2014.
“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,” adds Jennifer Foyle, Aerie global brand president. There is no real surprise that Aerie's latest depiction of women has garnered much praise from fashionistas, fans, and advocacy groups alike.
The fact of the matter is, one in five Americans have a disability, which is defined as either a mental impairment, such as autism, or a physical one, such as spina bifida. Messages of body positivity for women and people with disabilities are, as Papermag writes, really important, “because they allow for necessary forms of inclusion within an often still exclusive fashion industry.”
In Aerie's case, not photoshopping women who appear in their ads has actually helped sales surge over twenty percent in previous years, according to a 2016 report. Real. True. Natural. Beautiful. Thank you Aerie for yet another fashion slam dunk worth celebrating.