Aeries of Grandeur

Aerie recently unveiled a new marketing campaign taking a bold stand against retouching. The models in their ads, they say, haven’t been altered in any way to create unrealistic images of the female form.



Look, I can sympathize with the positive message Aerie is trying to send, but the message appears to have gone from “You will never be able to attain this level of beauty” to “You should be able to attain this level of beauty, presuming you are already fairly attractive.”

Because the point of fashion is to create desire and sell the ideal. You’re never going to see slovenly models because that’s not what the industry is trying to sell. And on top of that, Aerie’s saying they aren’t doing any retouching, but let’s face it: Photoshop isn’t the only tool they use for fashion ads. There’s make-up, camera angles, all the smoke and mirrors that make women go, “Wow, could I look like that one day?” and men go “Score! New wallpaper.”

It’s all well and good to say we should celebrate imperfection, but if you’re part of an industry that sells perfection, you’re just trying to have it both ways.


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One response to “Aeries of Grandeur”

  1. Laurel Schwaebe says :

    There’s an unfortunate Catch-22 about these things, in both men’s and women’s fashion. Obviously you want to sell your product, so you make your people look good…unfortunately, they look too good and are so touched up that they’re not real people any more. What Aerie is /trying/ to do is use real bodies in hopes of avoiding the criticism most companies get for feeding body issues in young women. However the people still have to look good, so they’re not going to use unattractive people. I guess it’s a good thing to tone down the photoshopping, but obviously the average person won’t look as good as even the untouched up women in the ad. Long story short…womp womp.

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