Synonymous with non-retouched modeling and body positivity, the American Eagle lingerie and intimate apparel brand Aerie is going all the way in showcasing models of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities by adding models with disabilities and other various conditions to the mix, reports USA Today. Their new #AerieReal campaign proudly displayed their figures rocking lingerie and sports wear in wheelchairs and arm braces; photos also show women with their insulin pumps and J-pouches. They also included women with vitiligo in this latest endeavor.
Aerie surprised even their models with the zero fanfare rollout of this campaign. One photo was shared on the company Instagram, giving a very vague announcement that did not explain any details of what was actually about to happen, but merely said new faces were coming to their site during the week. Since releasing the photographs, advocacy groups as well as Twitter are exploding with approval and praise. Fans on social media, such as advocacy group and non-profit Suffering the Silence, expressed their hope that other clothing and lingerie brands will follow in Aerie’s example, releasing their own body positive, inclusive acceptance and representation for all women.
“Check out this wonderful campaign by @aerie & @AEO featuring women with illness and disability. We hope that other brands will follow suit and make their campaigns more inclusive and representative of the world we live in.”
Comments are poring in over these photographs. Many people who share the same diseases being represented in the modeling are touched. One user, @_madelynn101, tweeted her excitement at seeing the diversity.
A cancer survivor, down syndrome paralympian, me, and fibromyalgia (+ body hair). Their work in chronic illness and disability representation this campaign was REAL and AMAZING.
— abby sams ???? (@abby__sams) July 10, 2018
This depiction of women does indeed seem to be hitting Twitter right in the feels. Some users have been apparently brought to tears because of the happy emotions they’re having over a long-awaited inclusion of their own disabilities being displayed proudly and in such a beautiful way. Another women on Twitter, @amandadilella, reacted to the add with a clap emoji, saying, “This is OUR normal living with type 1 diabetes, and it’s so nice to see brands normalize it to!” She ended the text with a #T1D and a heart emoji.
Parents are even joining in on the Twitter praise being given to Aerie. They are thanking the brand for making their daughters less self conscious about their diabetes and other disabilities or conditions.
Aerie is definitely putting their money were their mouth is by going where few others have in the past. This week is certainly an accomplishment for the company. Aerie first began their #AerieReal campaign of not airbrushing their models back in 2014, challenging supermodel standards and skyrocketing sales, cites Huffington Post. This new inclusion may tip the scales.
Abby Sams, one of the models for this particular campaign, told HuffPost that modelling with so many women who have these disabilities and different conditions is “like a freaking powerhouse!”