Photo by Ali Milton for Aerie
If body positivity and cute, comfy clothes are your thing, then you should definitely be checking out Aerie. Aerie, American Eagle’s brand of primarily lingerie and sleepwear, launched their #AerieReal campaign in 2014, which vowed to celebrate all women with unretouched photos of models of various body types and racial backgrounds.
Continuing on with their initial message, Aerie recently unveiled a new bra campaign with models with a variety of conditions. This campaign included models with an ostomy, type 1 diabetes, vitiligo, fibromyalgia, arm crutches, a wheelchair, and more.
If their representation of real women in their campaigns wasn’t enough, Aerie also made sure to make every girl feel like an #AerieReal model. On Instagram, Aerie will run periods where for every girl that posts an unretouched swim photo in Aerie swimwear, Aerie will donate $1 (up to $50k) to the National Eating Disorders Association. This encourages girls to love their unretouched photos enough to share them, and all while helping those who are suffering from eating disorders and supporting the cause to prevent them. They also will repost some photos that are posted for the campaign on their account, showing that anyone can be treated like an Aerie model just by being themselves.
Photo: Christine Helenmary Smith
Aerie doesn’t stop there, either. In their fitting rooms, the mirrors are covered in positive handwritten sticky notes, saying things like “you’re perfect sis,” “take time to love yourself,” and “you are worthy.” For all the girls that sometimes have a hard time facing their own bodies in the mirror, Aerie takes the time to try to make it a better experience. The notes are also written by other Aerie shoppers, so everyone is able to spread the love and positivity.
Photo by Ali Mitton for Aerie
Aerie’s push for body positivity and inclusivity is a huge step in the right direction for clothing brands everywhere to be following. So many young girls are seeing parts of themselves represented on models for the first time ever, which is so important in a time when models are seen as the “goal.” Besides the fact that it is important for girls to see themselves in the media, Aerie’s actions also more accurately portray the average girl, not just the “model type” that we have grown accustomed to. Aerie shows us that anyone and everyone can be the “model type.”
Even completely disregarding Aerie’s efforts to create an atmosphere of body positivity with their brand, their clothes are definitely worth taking a look at! I have been shopping at Aerie for years, and I especially love their underwear, swimwear, and pajamas.
If you have been looking for an alternative to Victoria’s Secret (especially given the chief marketing officer’s recent statement about including trans and plus-size models), look no further. Aerie is almost constantly running 10 for $35 sales on their underwear, and they are much more comfortable and practical than Victoria’s Secret—while still being cute! Plus, they have the magical “boybrief” undies, which are somewhere in between a bikini and boyshort cut, and are truly a wonderful experience. Even if they aren’t your typical cut, give them a try—you might be surprised.
I have to talk about their sleepwear, because the pajama pants that I have from Aerie are my favorite pajama pants of all time, and I consider myself a pajama pants connoisseur. In the winter, Aerie brings out flannel jogger pajama pants, and they are truly life-changing. They are super soft, have a tapered ankle, a super stretchy waistband, and pockets that are big enough to actually carry stuff in. Keep an eye out for them when the weather starts to get chilly!
If you’ve never given Aerie a chance, now is your time! Support women, self-love, and cute, comfy clothes.
Stephanie is an undergraduate student at Washington College. She is an English major with minors in Journalism, Editing, and Publishing, and Justice, Law, and Society. When not writing, you can find her either at a concert, reading a book, or petting a cat.