Image courtesy Aerie
Along with 10 other women, they’re this year’s #AerieReal Role Models.
In 2014, a time when the term “body positivity” wasn’t quite a part of our lexicon the way it is now, Aerie debuted its #AerieREAL campaign, a revolutionary project that subverted how typical lingerie campaigns are photographed and presented. Shifting away from the airbrushed images that tend to dominate lingerie ads, Aerie decided to eschew retouching and airbrushing in favour of “real” photos of “real” women. Understandably, the campaign received widespread positive feedback, with women taking to social media to share how empowered and confident it made them feel in their own skin.
In the years since, an array of inspiring women across various industries—film, sports, media, fashion and more—have been brought on as the brand’s #AerieREAL Role Models, who embody the spirit of inclusivity, self-love and empowerment that the brand stands for. Previous years’ Role Models include Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, Canadian YouTuber Molly Burke (both of whom are back this year), as well as actors Jameela Jamil, Yara Shahidi and Samira Wiley.
For 2020, yet another impressive cast of women has joined the Aerie crew, including actress (and former FASHION cover star) Beanie Feldstein; actress/model Hari Nef; actress Lana Condor (the breakout star of Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before); Tony Award-winning actress and social activist Ali Stroker; sustainability activist Manuela Barón; wellness advocate Tiff McFierce; scientist and CEO Keiana Cave; and Dre Thomas, founder of nonprofit Smile on Me.
Condor, who works with The Asia Foundation to help put young Vietnamese women through four years of high school, is looking forward to working with Aerie on some sort of partnership that allows the foundation to extend this support to more girls.
“I really wanted to be able to help in any way that I could and use my voice on their platform, particularly about education, but also just being body positive, which is all about what being a Role Model is,” she tells Fashionista.
For Feldstein, Aerie’s size-inclusive ethos is one of the things that has long drawn her to the brand.
“I’m most excited about standing amongst really incredible women and being a part of a story that is a story of bodies and the story of voices that is inclusive and diverse and honest and real and looks like everyone that you see around you day-to-day walking on the street,” she says.
Catch the full campaign and interviews with each of the Role Models here.