Photoshopping banned for Aerie



With its new campaign Aerie has now stopped airbrushing their models, which includes tattoos, birthmarks, lines and dimples.

As you flip through magazines, you are always given pictures of beautiful, stick-thin models. Recently Elle Magazine was criticized for cutting Mindy Kaling’s full body shot to a head shot because of her size. This is nothing new. Celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Katy Perry have been photoshopped on magazine covers despite their thin figure and outcry from the public. But this standard is slowly diminishing.
In 2012, Seventeen Magazine promised to no longer photoshop their models after an eighth grader’s campaign against photoshopping magazine covers.
And now, Aerie, the lingerie sister brand of American Eagle, has announced they will no longer be photoshopping their models. In addition to this, they will now show models in all bra sizes, so girls of all shapes and sizes can see how the bras will fit on their body type.
I love and hate this.
I love this because it shows us that girls don’t have to be photoshopped to be beautiful. One of the Aerie models even has a tattoo that was never seen before because it has always been photoshopped out. Why do magazines feel the need to hide art on the skin? Probably because anything besides perfectly clear, tan skin doesn’t exist and they know girls can’t relate to that, right?
The Real campaign allows girls to realize that yes, even paid models have a little belly flab. They aren’t as perfect as photoshop makes them seem like. It’s how it should be. Prepubescent and teenage girls shouldn’t be subjected to almost unhealthy slim girls, when in reality, those girls aren’t even that size. They should be shown that yes, even if you’re skinny, it’s okay to not have a flat stomach. It’s natural. It’s how our bodies were created.
Imagine a girl who is a size 8. To her, she feels huge because she isn’t stick thin like the girls in magazines she always sees, but in reality she isn’t large at all. The average U.S. women wears a size 14 in jeans. That is 3 sizes bigger than a size eight, but to most girls, anything over a size 4 is considered large.
I hate this because it has to be a huge statement for a company to make. Since when was it a big deal to say “Hey look at me – I’m a real person!” Companies so heavily photoshop their models it is now not even a question as to if they do – it’s a question as to how much.
Companies shouldn’t have to make a large scale announcement like Aerie did, focusing a whole publicity stunt around it, and recording things such as “Girls should accept themselves for who they are, even if they have a weird ear or something they’re uncomfortable with,” to play inside American Eagle and Aerie stores.
When Seventeen announced that they would no longer photoshop girls they took up two pages to make the announcement. Shouldn’t it just be assumed that they didn’t photoshop the model?
Hopefully more companies will soon be coming to the realization that non-photoshopped models is what the public actually wants and what the public actually looks like. In the near future I would like to hope that this will just be a distant memory. Hopefully, history will remember this era as “the photoshop era” and photoshopping anyone would be shunned. If anything, it should be used for its initial purpose – to fix pictures, not to fix a beautiful person.