Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I Am #AERIEREAL

Here’s a shocker for everyone reading this: I am not skinny. Summer is here, and I know this can be a vulnerable for those who don’t have “bikini bodies.” And I get it, I really do. There are times when I have wanted to cover up or stay wrapped in a towel. But that’s no way to have fun in the summer. My weight and body is something I have come to accept. I love myself just as it is. This is not easy, especially when there are so many images that invite me to think otherwise. A rare case of a brand offering support for girls who are not perfect is Aerie’s No Touchup Campaign. I can’t remember when it was launched, but I was extremely happy to see models just as they are in their ads.


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This is a good step in the right direction when it comes to positive body image. Girls can come to accept freckles, body rolls, and tattoos. Aerie primarily sells bras, underwear, and swimwear. Let’s face it, even the best of us don’t always feel comfortable mostly naked. By seeing models embracing their bodies the way they are, more of us can actually picture ourselves in the same getup and smiling the same way. However, this campaign has raised one issue in my mind. These models are still perfect versions of themselves. I want to see me up there in an ad. I want to see someone whose thighs clap for them when they run up the stairs. I want to see stretch marks from girls who prefer going out for ice cream as opposed to going for a run. I want to see someone who is not skinny because I strongly believe that ads can persuade the world to see beauty in every woman.

Body image is a difficult subject to write about. I want to leave you on one note. Healthy does not mean skinny. Not every skinny person is healthy and not every not-so-skinny person is unhealthy. Healthy means in good physical or mental condition. To me, "healthy" has more to do with being happy. So I'm healthy and I'm beautiful. If media’s not going to appreciate your body, it may be time for you to start.

-Daniella