The #AerieReal Campaign Just Got Even Bolder

January 25th 2016

#AerieREAL, American Eagle's highly praised untouched model campaign, has taken another step in the right direction by featuring "curve" model Barbie Ferreira in a few of its new ads. Though the ads haven't been released yet, #AerieREAL recently shared a teaser video featuring Ferreira relaxing by the pool. Ferreira, a woman with curves, said in the video that she is "unapologetically" herself and that Aerie's Photoshop ban is very important to her.

"What makes me #AerieREAL is that I am unapologetically myself, no matter what anyone’s opinion is,” she said in the video. “Not being retouched in the images is something that’s very important to me—people knowing that that’s what I look like without anyone’s perception of what my body needs to look like.”

RELATED: American Eagle Stopped Photoshopping Its Models, And It's Affecting Their Bottom Line

Aerie global brand president, Jen Foyle, told Refinery29 that this attitude is why the brand chose Ferreira to participate in its highly lauded campaign. "We cast Barbie because she’s got nothing to hide, she’s strong and beautiful—she embraces her real self, which is the spirit of the Aerie Real message," Foyle said.

Though Aerie's campaign shows huge progress toward body acceptance and positivity in advertising, Ferreira did reveal that not everyone has been on board. Following the teaser video release, she published a series of tweets about negative comments people have made about her body. She added that some have even suggested she is promoting obesity by modeling:

Regardless of the flak, Ferreira has received ample praise for her work on social media:

RELATED: Emma Roberts And American Eagle Take A Stand Against Photoshop

Two years ago, Aerie debuted its #AerieREAL campaign in a commitment to feature non-airbrushed models and challenge supermodel ideals, and many have responded favorably to the company's bold approach. A conference call later that year revealed that Aerie's sales climbed nearly 10 percent following their decision to stop using retouched images in ads:


"The purpose of 'Aerie Real' is to communicate there is no need to retouch beauty, and to give young women of all shapes and sizes the chance to discover amazing styles that work best for them," Foyle said in a statement after the campaign launched. "We want to help empower young women to be confident in themselves and their bodies."

Aerie's Instagram page features images of women of all body types and does not airbrush their beauty marks, scars, bruises or stretch marks:

RELATED: How Retailers Are Failing Themselves and the Plus-Size Community

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