Move Over, Dove. Aerie Just Upped the Ante With an Incredibly Diverse Ad Campaign
Aerie, the American Eagle sub-brand, has featured women of all shapes and without Photoshop in its marketing for years. Now, it's built on its 4-year-old #AerieREAL positioning with new ads featuring women who often get ignored in ad campaigns—the less conventionally able, cancer survivors, and women with chronic illnesses.
Below is a tweet from Abby Sams, one of the models featured in the campaign.
More campaign images appear below, most courtesy of the Daily Mail.
Model Catherine Coule has fibromyalgia, and poses here with visible underarm hair:
Gaylyn Henderson posed with her ostomy bag. She had her colon removed as a result of Crohn's disease:
Rajee Aerie (apt!) had polio as a child. Today she uses crutches, a big step up from the wheelchair she once relied on. She's posed below in activewear:
Jennifer Van Dusen, who was diagnosed with breast cancer, had a double mastectomy:
Model Evelyn Riddell has Type One diabetes. To bring the condition to light, she posed with a glucose reader attached to her body:
Another model posed with braces and underarm hair:
Chelsea Werner, who has Down syndrome, is an Olympic gymnast:
And Lexus Morgan has vitiligo!
#AerieREAL also features some familiar faces, including Olympic gymnast and sexual abuse survivor Aly Raisman, and longtime Aerie égérie Iskra Lawrence. They respectively appear below:
The images also appear in the online store, reflecting a larger viewpoint about the types of bodies that merit being seen.
I need to start shopping at @Aerie more. They demonstrated a wonderful commit to diversity in their models and I hope that this is a theme throughout the entire company. Wow. This is beautiful. #AerieReal pic.twitter.com/hUTmUYNVWY— Danielle (@ddmarriee) July 11, 2018
The campaign launched quietly. Most discovered it through tweets from the models and other representatives or by perusing the site. That #AerieREAL launched in 2014, and continues to evolve without fanfare, sends a larger message to women—that there isn't much here to celebrate. It's just life, and more diverse depictions of the kinds of women who truly exist in the world should be the standard, not an exception.
Explain that to Victoria's Secret, AMIRITE?
"Now, more than ever, we want to encourage women everywhere to feel empowered to embrace their own unique qualities and beautiful real selves," said Aerie Global brand president Jennifer Foyle.