I’m a 24-year-old American female and I’ll be the first to tell you that I have body image issues. I’m not afraid to admit it. It’s human nature to focus on the one thing you hate about yourself and to ignore the hundreds of other reasons that make you beautiful. But these natural tendencies are made 10 times worse by the images the media pushes on us. Everyday we’re bombarded with models and actresses and singers with perfect hair, flawless skin and abs of steel that would set off a metal detector anywhere they go. It’s easy to SAY I’m beautiful no matter what I look like, and I KNOW those women are gorgeous freaks of nature, but it still make me FEEL inadequate.
That’s why I was so excited when I saw the new spring ad campaign for Aerie’s line of lingerie. Aerie Real features real women with all of their beauty marks, stretch marks, and imperfections left untouched. Well, for the most part, I saw a few of the ads and the girls are still absolutely gorgeous and almost pretty much perfect. However, I think this is a HUGE step in the right direction and when you think about it it’s a genius marketing strategy.
If I’m looking to buy something and the model looks nothing like me I’m probably going to be turned off. But if I see someone closer to my body type rocking a pair of skinny jeans, my bank account is going to be short an extra $40 or more. I know American Eagle isn’t the first to take the natural beauty approach. Unilever launched the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty in 2004. They released a video where they created sketches of women based on their own descriptions of themselves, and then drew the same woman based on the description of her by another person. I’m not going to lie. I cried after watching it. You can check it out here: Dove Real Beauty Sketches Video
After seeing that video it’s just so obvious to me that woman AND men need more ads like this. I’m really looking forward to seeing more companies take this approach. It might sound cheesy, but we really are awesome just the way we are. I think that sometimes we just need someone to show us that.