Aerie Features Unretouched Models

22 Jan

Lingerie brand Aerie (part of American Eagle) is being talked about a lot for featuring unretouched models in their ads.

Their new campaign features “real” women, and even asks women to use #aerieREAL to share photos of themselves on social media.

Here are a few photos from their campaign:

I read about this through this Buzzfeed article, and my first reaction was, this is great! I think most of us know that models in ads are pretty much all photoshopped, but for a brand to take this sort of initiative sends a positive message.

However, as I read through the comments, I saw that not everyone agreed with me.

A lot of people were saying how these aren’t “real” women (what does that even mean) because they are still gorgeous and not overweight. They said it would be better if Aerie used models who were more overweight.

Other commenters rebutted this opinion by saying, why do they need to be more overweight? We should be celebrating the fact that they have healthy bodies, and that Aerie is featuring them totally unretouched.

Here are a few of these comments:

“Great.. now girls can feel bad that not only do they NOT look like the retouched models, but they don’t even look like the “real girls”… A step in the right direction–but a very small step, I’m sure not about to give Aerie a blue ribbon for inclusiveness.. Lets see some girls of different shapes and sizes.”

“Well, they should use people who are fit. I think people should be inclined toward fitness. The average weight in the US is overweight, which is really not good. And i say this as someone who is definitely overweight. If you’re happy being overweight, that is fine. But we should continue to push people toward not being overweight. I see nothing wrong with choosing people who may look “above average” to showcase your product. And really, these women aren’t super thin. They just look relatively fit.”

I thought they did do a good job of showing girls of different shapes and sizes. And I somewhat agree with the second comment-these girls look fit and of average size, what’s wrong with that?

I think this is a good step by Aerie, and hopefully other brands follow. Yes, these girls are still models, and even unretouched look better than I do 😉 But it’s a great thought and a way to encourage women to stop comparing themselves to the photoshopped models we see every day in ads.

What do you think of this campaign? Good? Bad? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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16 Responses to “Aerie Features Unretouched Models”

  1. Ali K. @ Hit the Ground Running January 22, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

    I love this campaign. The girls look fit, average sized (not skinny minnies), and naturally pretty. I’m all for it!

    • reach-yourpeak January 22, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

      I agree! Good for them for doing something different

  2. Stephanie January 22, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    I don’t see anything wrong with celebrating athletic bodies! No matter what you do, someone is going to be insulted. I do think that all ads should have minimal retouching. I feel like I should have a completely poreless face (which is impossible because we need pores on our skin!). Reminds me of the Dove Real Beauty Campaign a bit.

    • reach-yourpeak January 23, 2014 at 10:04 am #

      Agreed, I thought of Dove real beauty too. Photoshopping has gotten out of hand in recent times, ugh

  3. fitnessmeetsfrosting January 22, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

    LOVE it! You’re never going to be able to please everyone. I agree, we should celebrate HEALTHY women. If they happen to look great untouched, then so be it.

  4. Shannon Ellis January 22, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

    I had not seen this campaign and so I’m glad you highlighted it here. I think these women look beautiful! I think this campaign did a great job of showing happy, healthy women as they are. They couldn’t take pictures of everybody. 🙂

  5. Courtney @ Star Systemz January 23, 2014 at 3:33 am #

    I love this campaign! I think there is nothing wrong with finding healthy fit women and advertising them, sure MOST women do not look like that model BUT there is no reason that advertising should not showcase healthy fit women, this gives us gals something to look forward to when at the gym! Love + shine CourtStar

    • reach-yourpeak January 23, 2014 at 10:04 am #

      I completely agree! Someone made a good point of yeah these ladies are still models but so what? Yeah, we’ll never look like models but who cares-if everyone looked like models then we would all be models! lol

  6. Travel-iN Fitness January 23, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    I love that this campaign! She looks very “real” to me.

  7. Jim Hartman January 23, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    I love it ! : )

  8. David January 23, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    I love this campaign with a few caveats. First of all, I dislike the trend of “real” women moving towards women who are heavier. “Real woman” should mean ANY woman who hasn’t been retouched on photoshop. (My girlfriend is a ballet dancer and quite thin and is constantly frustrated by pictures on facebook that will show thin, un-photoshopped pictures of a girl beside a picture of a curvy girl with a caption by the curvy girl saying something like “This is how real women should look”)

    So as long as “real women” means simply un edited and there is a variety of shapes/sizes (yes, even thin and heavier), I’d be willing to support it. I would also want for anyone they show to be healthy. Eating disorders are unhealthy and being significantly overweight is unhealthy. Society shouldn’t send the message that being fat is okay… because it does cost our healthcare system a ton (though fat shaming should stop by all means).

    • reach-yourpeak January 23, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

      YES to all of this! I agree 100% with all of this. Comments were saying how these women weren’t heavy enough to be “real” and they should use overweight women. why? You’re right, eating disorders whether you’re too thin or overweight shouldn’t be made to see ok. I think HEALTHY women is what we should focus on. I agree that I hate that “real” nowadays means heavier. Someone can be thin and healthy, just as someone can be a little heavier and healthy as well. Thank you for writing this!

  9. kristenk January 23, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

    I like this too! I love Aerie (yes, I’m 26 and still shop there during sales because their stuff gets crazy cheap) but they usually have the tiniest girls modeling their stuff. This is an awesome step!

  10. ninya walters January 30, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

    As a mother of an 8 year old girl, I am happy to see a more realistic representation of the female form. Hope more companies follow their lead.

  11. These women are lovely.

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