As the mother of two girls, I am constantly made aware of how external forces impinge upon their self-esteem. Fragile female self-esteem is not a new teen phenomenon, but what is new are the unrealistic standards of beauty portrayed in the media.
Not being the only one who has noticed real people don’t exist in ads anymore, aerie, American Eagle’s sister store for lingerie, has launched aerie Real, a Spring 2014 ad campaign featuring all unairbrushed models. On Friday, aerie announced with the launch of their new Spring 2014 ad campaign, that they are, “challenging supermodel standards by featuring unretouched models in their latest collection of bras, undies and apparel.”
This statement is strengthened due to the target demographic of the retail line, 15-21 year old young women in high school and college. This is the demographic proven through numerous research studies and surveys to bear the most negative impact of images of female beauty in the media. The fact that aerie decided to roll out an ad campaign without retouching highlights the issue of self-esteem in young women and the media, and demonstrates that they are willing to bear some of that responsibility, in a positive light. Of course, it is for a product that highlights sexuality in young girls… but that is a matter for another discussion.