Health & Wellness: Fashion’s Body Positivity
By Lydia Denney
With summer 2017 in full swing, here are some retailers and swimwear companies that are making an impact in the fashion world with body-positive campaigns.
#AerieREAL – Aerie for American Eagle
Since the spring of 2014, the #AerieREAL campaign has been promoting body positivity and empowerment for all women. Aerie is a lingerie and swimsuit line sold through American Eagle Outfitters that features a wide range of unretouched women in their ads and social media. Since the #AerieREAL campaign began, American Eagle’s sales have only increased. In fact, sales were up by 32 percent in May of 2016. Last year, Aerie announced that for every 100 percent unretouched swim photo posted with #AerieREAL, they would donate $1 (up to $10,000) to the National Eating Disorder Association. Aerie has decided to continue the same donation through this summer as well.
#ThisBody – Lane Bryant
The popular plus-size clothing brand, Lane Bryant, has made recent strides for body positivity and plus-size women. Starting in 2015, Lane Bryant launched a #PlusIsEqual campaign in support of plus-size women and fashion. Last year, a new campaign began with the hashtag #ThisBody to highlight how women can inspire each other, despite what size clothes they may wear. Since these campaigns began, Lane Bryant’s sales have also increased. One highlight for 2017 is the unretouched Lane Bryant ad featured in Sports Illustrated. The ad shows a picture of Denise Bidot, a famous plus-size model and body image activist, wearing a bikini and showing off her stretch marks.
#TargetSwim – Target
While Target has had some problems in the past with available plus-size fashion, this summer they are using more body-positive messages in their ads. Over the past few years, Target has began to widen the range of models in their ads and commercials. However, this year is the first year that Target has announced they did not use any Photoshop in their 2017 swimsuit campaign. Since Target began to use body-positive advertising, their sales have increased. (Is there a pattern here?) Target has also teamed up with four diverse women (one of them being Denise Bidot) to promote the #TargetSwim campaign for summer 2017. Each of these women brings a different set of skills to the team, but they all want every woman to feel confident in a swimsuit.
#RheyaSwim – Rheya Swim
Rheya Swim is a smaller swimsuit company based in Los Angeles. However, it is making a big impact on social media with its body-positive website. All of the photos on the shop page of the website are unretouched. There is no airbrushing or slimming down, but instead there are stretch marks, veins and beauty marks. The creator of Rheya Swim, Chloe Madison, and her best friend are the models in the pictures. Madison had originally had the photos altered, but when she saw the retouched photos, she didn’t recognize her own body. Not knowing whether people would notice, Madison decided that she wanted to put the unretouched photos on her website in hopes that shoppers would more easily relate to a body that isn’t Photoshopped.