A New Era of Body Positivity

A New Era of Body Positivity

Valentina Franco, News Editor

Recently, the brand Aerie announced that their company would stop using Photoshop to touch-up models that appear on their advertisements. Aerie is a sister company to American Eagle that focuses on selling lingerie. Since their main consumers are adolescent women, Aerie wants to challenge the standards of what women in advertisements, and women in general, have to look like in order to be socially acceptable.

The aura of body acceptance Aerie is looking for follows a new trend of body positivity the teen generation has engendered. Due to awareness of eating disorders and the way media negatively portrays bigger women, young consumers are more aware of the problem of ‘fat shaming’ and are making strides to fix it. With the addition of plus size sections in stores like Forever21 and H&M, hashtags like ‘Fat Positive’ trending on Twitter, Special K running a series of television commercials that present jean sizes as compliments and companies like Aerie now embracing their model’s figures as they are, society seems to be making strides to create a more accepting atmosphere for people of all shapes and sizes.

Due to Aerie’s efforts to embrace imperfections, their instagram page “aerie” advertises their underwear line and shows unedited pictures of women with imperfections like stretch marks, freckles,  and sun spots, among other things.

“I think it’s great because there’s a statistic that 78% of girls 17 and under are unhappy with their body, and I think Aerie showing young girls that ‘hey, not everyone is a size 0 and that’s okay’ is really important.” Molly Teitelbaum, senior, said.

Some of the models shown in Aerie’s ad campaign even appear to be fuller and bigger than the average model that would generally appear on billboards and in magazines.

Body positivity does not only create an atmosphere of acceptance for women and their bodies, but men also benefit from, agree, and encourage the body positivity movement. Men are equally misrepresented in the media in things like ads, movies, and magazines, just like women. Body positivity lies in the ideals that everyone should be accepted and happy with their bodies, no matter their size, their shape, weight, height, or their sex.

“I think that companies shouldn’t use unrealistic standards for bodies, and the fact that they [Aerie] aren’t using Photoshop is good because it shows people that these are actual human beings and not works of CGI. I say that if you’re happy with your body, then: Go, you! And don’t let anyone tell you your body doesn’t meet their criteria because your opinion is the only one that matters. And I think that more people are thinking that way and it’s great,” Victor Lucena, senior, said.

To diet for health in a healthy matter, to not judge the weight of others, to not contribute to corporations profiting from image insecurities and to support those that embrace natural figures is the philosophy of Body Positivity.

“You aren’t defined by the number on the scale, and that’s also really important because there are so many diet programs out today that say ‘hey, you don’t look good, drop some weight’ The number on the scale doesn’t define you, I can’t stress that enough,” Molly Teitelbaum, said.