I’m a 21 year old girl who goes to a school with 23,000 other students, about half of them being girls, and it’s been proven almost impossible to avoid comparing my less-than-perfect body with my friends, classmates, and the other hundreds of girls who pass by me on my way to class. Not to mention the weekends, when you’ll find me at a party, regretting the pasta I ate for dinner while I watch girls in crop tops chug beer without a worry in the world, while the douchebags of America (the UMass male population) drool over them. Surely these boys are just looking for a good conversationalist that will double as his life-long friend!
In reality, the girls who eat spinach for every meal and run 7 miles a day don’t exist, and if they do, they’re not very fun anyway. My point is that us girls have a warped perception of what we should look like. And I’m not saying that this is completely the media’s fault, but it definitely plays a huge role in our vision of the “perfect” body. Aerie, the sister brand of American Eagle, has taken a huge step in the right direction with its new “Aerie Real” campaign, which advertises it’s lingerie line without using any Photoshop on their models.
This campaign is aimed at Aerie’s target customers, females from ages 15-25, and is focused on letting these customers see and understand that the “flawless” models shown on ads are simply not real. The photos advertised by Aerie are clearly not enhanced through Photoshop editing tools, and the company uses the phrase “The girl in this photo has not been retouched. The real you is sexy.” I find this admirable and a step in the right direction, not only for Aerie’s marketing strategy but also for their image as a whole. The models in the photographs are still models, and with that being said, they’re all beautiful girls wearing makeup in perfect lighting. But the difference that Photoshop makes is a noticeable one, and the girls in the Aerie Real ad look more “real” than any model I’ve ever seen.