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Aerie ditches Photoshop in new lingerie campaign


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The sister brand of American Eagle has ditched Photoshop in its newest Aerie Real lingerie campaign, in favour of unretouched ads featuring beautiful, natural women. The print ad declares ‘The girl in this photo has not been retouched. The real you is sexy.’ 

It is almost a shame that this campaign is being hailed as ‘revolutionary.’  The ‘real’ women are still professional models; gorgeous, toned and completely in line with the conventional image of beauty. This ad is a step in the right direction of course, and a stark contrast to recent images of the photoshopped Cara Delevingne for La Perla. But is it enough? These are not normal women by any stretch of the imagination. The brand is American and the average dress size in America is size 12 (size 16 UK). These women are certainly not representative of reality.

However, with that in mind, perhaps Aerie’s greatest victory with this campaign is the changes to its website. Most retailers show the ideal bra size on a model whether the customer wants a 32AA or 40DD bra. Aerie’s improved site shows a model with the same size breasts modelling the same size bra you want to buy at the click of a button.

It is sad that this campaign is ‘groundbreaking.’ But in a world where super hot isn’t enough and digital slimming and blemish retouching is the norm, Aerie is making a positive step away from the impossible inhuman proportions favoured by other brands (see Victoria’s Secret Pink range, aimed at the same audience of 15-21 years.)

There is a long way to go. But for now; good work Aerie. I look forward to seeing other brands follow suit.

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