Why So Serious?

Okay, I'm going to take a minute to use my blog for something I haven't done before - to talk about something on the serious side.

I've been thinking about this for a while and can't hold my tongue any longer and what better place to let it all out than on my blog?

I'm sure many of you have seen the new campaign Aerie (American Eagle's store for women's sleepwear and lingerie) has released. It's tagline, "The Real You Is Sexy."

At first glance, this seems like a brilliant and revolutionary idea. Upon further inspection though, you realize these girls are still size 2 supermodels who look amazing in skimpy underwear and still make me feel like a stuff sausage in my cotton briefs and demi bra.

While the premise of their advertising campaign does deserve some credit, the end result is somewhat insulting to this size 8 girl who has struggled with body image for most of her adolescent and adult life.

First of all, for girls who supposedly are not supermodels, they sure do look like them! These girls are beyond beautiful with little to no makeup, no Photoshop (although I'm still skeptical about that), and are a model-like size (as in, probably around size 0-4).

The only girl who even looks remotely like me is the girl above. Like me, she's probably around a size D. Which brings me to my next point. After hearing about their new campaign, I visited their store. I have never been able to fit into their bras before - they run at least a size or two too small. I figured after this campaign was released, maybe they changed this since they were marketing their products to "real" girls. 

Well, they didn't. 

Their D cup bras still fit like a B and their DD cup fits like a small C.

This was definitely a spirit breaker.

I am a REAL girl. And yet, why can I not even fit into their bras?

After being ushered out of the store by the salesgirl since she knew I wouldn't be buying anything, I wanted to cry. It is extremely frustrating to be bombarded with ad campaigns that scream what beauty is or should be, and then feel like you don't fit that mold. And that's the thing - there shouldn't be a mold. Everyone is different and everyone is beautiful and that is what we should be celebrating.

If Aerie want's to promote "real" then they should have real, everyday girls from across America model their lines. If we want to enforce good body image and self-esteem, don't show me a girl whose 4 sizes smaller than me and then tell me she's not Photoshopped. That just cements the fact that I can never look like that. At least before, I could say "Oh she doesn't really look that way! She probably looks closer to me when they haven't retouched her." If using a size 2 model and not covering up her tattoo is supposed to be groundbreaking, then I think they're missing the mark here.

If we want to change the way the world and the media sees beauty, we can't do the same things but call it something different. We have to actually change. If Aerie want's to show change, if they want to show that everyday, real-life girls are beautiful in their own way, then show us everyday girls. Sign a size 6 model. Let a size 8 girl model your line. Let girls who actually look like me into your ads and then I can take this ad campaign seriously.

Oh, and start selling stuff I can actually fit in to.

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