I absolutely love hearing about a current event, then researching into articles that provide different views on the subject. While scrolling through Instagram recently, I found a photograph of one of Aerie’s new models preaching about body image. I was immediately intrigued and found myself drawn to the two articles discussed below. While both are talking over the revolutionary launch of Aerie’s new unretouched ads, each author shares a slightly different viewpoint.
Ellie Krupnick of the Huffington Post informs of the company’s 15-21 year old graphic, and further states that the body confidence of young women is often influenced by female beauty as it is portrayed in the media (Krupnick). The idea of bodies looking more realistic without the use of Photoshop is moving away from the seemingly “impossible proportions”, such as the ones expressed by the older Barbie (Denee). Aerie’s unretouched photos are encouraging the same movement as the new Barbie shapes with more meat on the thighs of these women, a more realistic stomach and a more accurate reflection of today’s society (Denee). With mainstream fashion focusing so much on slender bodies (Connell 212), young women are made to feel like their bodies aren’t sufficient. However with Aerie showing off their bras and underwear on bodies that have “real rolls, lines, and curves” (Krupnick), young women can feel like their bodies look exactly how they should. I love that Aerie is “challenging supermodel standards” (Krupnick) and I agree that although one ad can’t change the minds of women, this is a step in the right direction in helping young women feel more confident.
I appreciate how Roo Ciambriello mentions the thoughts going through some people’s minds when they look at these photos, offering the awareness that “these particular girls don’t need retouching” (Ciambriello). However these models aren’t all stick thin or giving into the modern standards that make women feel they need to be extremely thin (Weitz 10). As a 20 year old woman, I know that ads for bras and underwear can often make us feel self-conscious about our bodies. It’s comforting to see that the figures of the women shown in these “superhuman” (Ciambriello) looking ads aren’t always as picture perfect as they seem. With the media generally enforcing the idea that women need to look a certain way, I appreciate the empowerment Aerie is giving women to feel they are strong and sexy no matter what their body shape is.
Ciambriello, R. (2014, January 21). Simple, Revolutionary Lingerie Ads Feature Beautiful Models and No Photoshop. Retrieved June 09, 2016, from http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/aerie-launches-simple-revolutionary-lingerie-ads-beautiful-models-and-no-photoshop-155088
Connell, Catherine. “Fashionable Resistance: Queer “Fa(t)shion” Blogging as Counterdiscourse.” WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly WSQ 41.1-2 (2013): 209-24. Web. 8 June 2016.
Denee, Marie. “Mattel Debuts a NEW and Updated Barbie! Check out the Curvy, Petite, and Tall Barbie!” The Curvy Fashionista. N.p., 28 Jan. 2016. Web. 08 June 2016.
Krupnick, E. (2014, January 25). Aerie’s Unretouched Ads ‘Challenge Supermodel Standards’ For Young Women. Retrieved June 09, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/17/aerie-unretouched-ads-photos_n_4618139.html
Weitz, Rose. “A History of Women’s Bodies.” The Politics of Women’s Bodies: Sexuality, Appearance and Behavior. Ed. Rose Weitz. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2010. 3-12. Print.