The American Eagle Outfitters’ swimwear and lingerie offshoot Aerir has continued to impress the fashion world over the last two years with their Photoshop-free ad campaign #AerieREAL.
For their latest installment, the retailer decided to move away from the ‘sample-size’ build and instead featured the curvy teen model Barbie Ferreira.
In an interview with fashion website Refinery 29, Jen Foyle, Aerie’s global brand president, spoke about the decision to cast Barbie and the importance of embracing ones real self, saying: “I want to promote the idea that it’s okay to look like yourself.”
We cast Barbie because she’s got nothing to hide, she’s strong and beautiful — she embraces her real self, which is the spirit of the Aerie Real message.
All of the images in the #AerieREAL ads have celebrated women with varying physiques, sans any digital manipulation, since the campaign debuted.
Barbie is happy to be working for a company that doesn’t feel the need to re-touch her photos or alter people’s perception of her body, and we agree with her – the fashion industry shouldn’t be allowed to define beauty.
Fashion experts are saying that the ads are particularly refreshing and that there’s never been a better time to be a plus-size model thanks to the example of other ‘plus size women’ like Melissa McCarthy, Rachel Roy, and Rebel Wilson.
Unfortunately though, they claim it’s still business as usual for the vast majority of catwalks and campaigns, which continue to be filled with the usual size zero models.
The fashion world has long been criticised for its portrayal of an unrealistic body type and especially size zero models which have been accused in the past of promoting eating disorders.
Despite this, the move to use alternative models is nothing but a plus, and will hopefully encourage young girls to aspire to a more realistic body type.