As I was scrolling down my Facebook news feed I happen to run into a promotional video about the lingerie company Aerie’s new campaign, which if you haven’t heard already is a campaign devoted to unmasking the beauty of real women through featuring women in their advertisements plus the curves and minus the photo shop. I initially was so ecstatic over the idea because in truth I genuinely feel as though girls everywhere are sick of seeing models with “C” cup breasts, yet waists so disproportionately petite that they could fit inside the head hole of a tiny t-shirt. With that being said as I looked through all of the girls in the in the campaign, I realized something- there were no super thin, size zero, bone-showing girls. You may be thinking “well that’s the point isn’t it? To show what real women look like?” And to some extent yes, that’s true. Real women have curves and rolls and stretch marks- and to a certain point I believe society recognizes this now. However what I feel society blatantly fails to recognize is that there are women who don’t have those extra curves, women who wish they did.
We live in an era in which weight shaming is only bad if it is a girl who is overweight, yet girls who happen to be perfectly healthy are labeled as “anorexic” or “skin and bones,” and if they come out about how they feel which is rarely ever- they are scoffed as humbly bragging. If you Google search “skinny people” you will get results like “skinny people are mean” or skinny people are ugly” or “skinny people are dull and crunchy like carrots” (…..?) Granted if you do the same about fat people you get equally as insulting responses- but that is precisely my point. We don’t all look like the women from the cover of Sports Illustrated, and all men certainly don’t look like shirtless Ryan Gosling (click here for reference), so why haven’t we established this yet and moved past it?
We are starting to evolve to the point where we are realizing that being healthy is sexy, but we haven’t quite gotten to the point where we understand what healthy is- often a healthy girl is labeled as fat, just as often a healthy, skinny girl is labeled as anorexic when in reality both are healthy. Society is quick to “weight shame,” and “slut shame” or judge other women- and often it stems from an insecurity within. Yes, curvy is beautiful, but why can’t skinny be beautiful too? Why can’t every healthy body be beautiful whether it be curvy or bony, black or white, young or old?
So while I wholeheartedly applaud Aerie on their lovely campaign for trying to expose the real beauty that lies within the natural body of a woman- I feel like as a whole society has a great deal of work to do before this goal is fully accomplished.