The way men and women are portrayed in advertising not only effects the way we see ourselves, but it also influences the way we see each other. Somehow over time, although male ads have stayed fairly similar, women in ads have changed completely. Now one brand is trying to shake up the advertising world and it’s working.
American Eagle has transcended from a more juvenile brand, like Abercrombie, to a more universal brand thanks to a unique advertising strategy. The lingerie side of the company has created a campaign surrounding body positivity and DO NOT photoshop their models. They use real people to both model for them, who then in turn have become influencers in the social media and real world.
This technique is something so completely different from the status quo, which is why it’s so successful and refreshing. Every body is different and not everyone can have six pack abs, be blemish free, and all of those unrealistic qualities that photoshop have erased from the mass produced images women and men see every day.
To see an image where a model has cellulite and curves and a belly roll, shows both men and women that it’s ok to be confident in your own skin. It’s a reminder that the images we see on most websites are altered in some way to make the person you’re looking at look perfect. People strive to look like these images, but what we’re striving for is unattainable, unless you’re a robot that can swap out your genes for a new torso.
The point here is that there’s nothing wrong with models who are thin and have rockin’ bods, but when that’s all that the media presents to young boys and girls, their image of what to strive for is detrimental to their mental health. Adults have insecurities too and are influenced by these images.
Thankfully with companies like Aerie changing the way they produce advertisements and the way they approach campaigns, has shed light on this issue and given people a platform to look at real people wearing real clothes. Someone is much more likely to buy your clothes if they see someone with their build already wearing it, rather than thinking they’ll never look as good in it as the person in the ad.
The company has started a movement with their hashtag #AerieReal, where they ask girls to tag them in their un-retouched photos. More and more women have posted pictures of themselves that they would have otherwise been afraid to post because of ridicule from others or just insecurities of their own. By posting the ones they wouldn’t normally post, these women are breaking the industries mold of perfection and showing the world that what we need is truth, not deception.
Women should be confident in their curves and men should see those curves as something beautiful in their own right, in others and in themselves. A confident and strong woman is a force to be reckoned with and American Eagle is leading the way to a better future for both men and women.