The fashion industry has historically prioritized models that are tall, thin, and seemingly flawless by society's standards. At first glance, some may argue that a clothing designer's preference should be respected, including which type(s) of models he or she hires. However, in recent years, the "art" of photo-shop and retouching models in photos has escalated to unreasonable levels. Not only does this present an inaccurate picture of these women and men, but it can also negatively influence on the children, teens, and adults who view these altered photos. These negative effects include low body confidence, insecurity, anxiety, and can even support the development of an eating disorder.
Aerie's recent campaign, "Share Your Spark", emphasizes the beauty of all women and men, regardless of their size and outward appearance. Using the hashtag #AerieReal, Aerie has taken the initiative to stop all forms of photoshop and retouching on their in-paper and online advertisements. To put this body-positive ideology into place, they hired over 40 "Aerie girls." These women are of diverse backgrounds and bodies, which displays their uniqueness and ability to feel comfortable in their own skin. One Aerie girl, Iskra Lawrence, is a model from England and has become the face of the #AerieReal campaign. In addition to her modeling, she is also an ambassador for NEDA or the National Eating Disorder Association. These types of connections further support a healthy relationship with one's body.
Aerie seems to be one of the first companies to truly devote themselves to the body-positive movement. Through their "Share Your Spark" and #AerieReal campaigns, their elimination of photoshop, hiring diverse models, and supporting NEDA, Aerie is doing a phenomenal job to support body-positivity and self-love.
Other companies, like Nike, have also diversified their models and have taken steps to a body-positive approach. Will more companies follow Aerie's lead and endorse a body-positive and self-love framework, or do you think that the thin-ideal will remain a constant in fashion?
Link (for article): https://www.allure.com/story/aerie-body-positive-campaign
Link (for photo): www.ifashionnetwork.com