Aerie has recently rolled out its inclusive campaign, featuring women of different shapes, races, and sizes. In photos scattered throughout the brand’s website, you can see models who use wheelchairs and arm crutches, as well as those affected by vitiligo and Type 1 diabetes.
Abby Sams, one of the models featured under the #AerieReal campaign, took to Twitter to express her joy. She tweeted, “Aerie just sneakily released some of my photos! Look at this disability representation people! I can’t believe it’s actually me.”
People on social media have applauded the brand for photographing women who aren’t often featured in major ad campaigns. Several Twitterati wrote that seeing these models in the photos made them emotional. Here are some of the most retweeted reactions.
@evquaymac – “oh my god!!! This is the first time I’ve ever seen myself represented in a model!!!!”
@amandadilella – “Yessssss I am crying happy tears to see this beautiful @Aerie model wearing her CGM and insulin pump! This is OUR normal living with type 1 diabetes and it’s so nice to see brands normalize it too.”
@Mizz_j_smith – “I literally cried when I saw this today. Thank you for making my daughter a little less self-conscious about her diabetes,”
@BeckyB1329 – “All of these pictures make me so happy and I’m still internally screaming.”
@ddmarriee – “I need to start shopping at @Aerie more. They demonstrated a wonderful commit to diversity in their models and I hope that this is a theme throughout the entire company. Wow. This is beautiful.”
@peebs1701 – “I am about to cry. I NEVER see people with ostomies.”
@danidonovan – “I’m tearing up at this thread. @Aerie made the decision years ago to never use airbrushed models, and now these wonderful photos. Representation matters. Showing girls of all shapes, sizes, ages, colors, and conditions help us all feel beautiful in our own skin.”
The Back Story
Aerie asked social media users to share videos explaining why they wanted to be a part of the brand’s #AerieREAL campaign. Almost 2,000 women responded. In the end, only 57 women of different ages, backgrounds, and body types were selected.
While this is the brand’s first time featuring women with vitiligo and disabilities on the website, the step comes naturally for the brand. “Aerie Real” campaign was launched by the brand in 2014. The company announced that it would discontinue using supermodels to encourage positive self-image. Over the years, this campaign has had massive success reaching all types of young women under the Twitter name # AerieReal.
Other campaigns that advocated inclusivity
With time, many brands have also jumped on the body positive movement. Diesel’s high-energy campaign and Say Something Nice campaign from Desigual have featured women with vitiligo (Winnie Harlow). Rebecca Violette and Missguided also started celebrating skin diversity in their respective brand campaigns. Slowly, mainstream beauty brands too woke up from the unrealistic standard of beauty. And, CoverGirl’s TruBlend foundation ad featured Amy Deanna, a black model with vitiligo.
What is our take?
Real women, irrespective of their race and sizes are flaunting their bras – it’s a simple thought, but not many brands have been able to represent it accurately in the fashion world. However, campaigns like this can make us more excited for the future of both the beauty and fashion industries.
With campaigns like #AerieREAL, the fashion industry is slowly inching its way toward better inclusivity. These lovely models not only wear the brand’s lingerie beautifully, but they represent a group of people who are underrepresented in the media. This is inclusivity in every single sense of the word, and positive responses prove why this move was so important.
We hope that other brands will follow Aerie’s footsteps and make their campaigns more inclusive and representative of the world we live in. Hopefully, in times to come, the fashion industry will be more diverse and open for the better representation of vitiligo in advertising. Living with vitiligo, diabetes or a medical disability can be scary. But, more brands like Aerie can go above and beyond to make every single person feel comfortable in their own skin.