The Aerie spring 2014 campaign isn't the typical lingerie campaign. The main reason is that the American Eagle-owned label tried something very few labels and magazines dare to do: to make an ad campaign using only unretouched photos. Though there have been a lot of discussions lately about the need to promote more realistic beauty ideals and let go of the narrow definition of 'ideal body' and of typical practices like airbrushing, few brands have actually put these concepts into practice, which is why the brand's new initiative is all the more impressive, especially since the ads are absolutely gorgeous.
The concept behind Aerie's unretouched spring 2014 ad campaign is shockingly simple and was comprised by the brand in a simple slogan: “No more retouching our girls and no more supermodels. Why? Because there is no reason to retouch beauty.#AerieREAL”, followed by an equally self affirming statement: “the real you is sexy.”
The label's decision to show unretouched photos also has to do with catering to girls with different body shapes: “The purpose of ‘aerie Real’ is to communicate there is no need to retouch beauty, and to give young women of all shapes and sizes the chance to discover amazing styles that work best for them,” Jennifer Foyle, Aerie’s Chief Merchandising Officer stated.
The label, who caters mostly to young women in the 15 to 21 year old age group, one of the age groups whose body image is highly influenced by the images promoted in the media, confirmed that no change whatsoever has been made to the images. “We left everything. We left beauty marks, we left tattoos, what you see is really what you get with our campaign. It’s a selling point because our customers represent this great demographic and they don’t really get to see what girls their age really look like,” Aerie’s style and fit expert Jenny Altman told GMA.
Aerie's retouch-free lingerie campaign was received with a lot of enthusiasm by the label's loyal customers who loved the authentic representation of beauty and praised the initiative. Though one Photoshop-free campaign isn't enough to change the beauty stereotypes so prevalent in the media, the success of the label's new campaign might encourage more labels to go on a similar path.
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