Models featured in the spring collection of American Eagle's lingerie store Aerie aren't getting any special treatment.
In its Spring 2014 ad campaign Aerie Real, the company promises that any images of models featured in its ads won't be altered in any way. No Photoshop. No airbrushing.
The move is considered an industry line very few fashion magazines have gone before. (Think Marie Claire's 2010 cover with Jessica Simpson or Ingelligent Life's 2012 cover featuring Cate Blanchett.)
The campaign is "challenging supermodel standards by featuring unretouched models in their latest collection of bras, undies and apparel," the store said Friday in a public statement.
The raw photos show women of all shapes and sizes -- ones, the company said, wouldn't necessarily be considered for lingerie modeling in the current airbrushed industry. The women are still gorgeous, young, thin, and smiley -- after all, they're trying to sell bras and panties -- but now they're also freckled, scarred, and tattooed.
But for the Aerie brand, which is aimed at the 15 to 21 year old demographic who are known to be sensitive about their body image, the untouched photos make a powerful statement: model or not, rolls are real.
Just this month both Elle and Vogue magazine were criticized by its readers for altering its respective cover photos of curvaceous celebrities in an effort to sell perfection. Here's a before and after look celebrity news site Jezebel featured Lena Dunham's Vogue shoot, which showed multiple alterations including a higher neckline, a thinned neck, and knee, hips pulled in, and a pointier chin:
Dunham's "after" may look more seamless than her "before," but it's not real, say critics.
And that's why Aerie's Real campaign may be listening to those of us who live in a wrinkly, boobier, stretchier, roly world who have had enough.