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Real is radiant

hm-lion-babe-5As time goes on, it gets more and more stressful to try to fit the ever-stiffening social idea of perfection–and that’s exactly why fashion’s beloved brands are using their prominence to destroy the idea of standardized beauty.

Aerie, American Eagle’s lingerie brand, recently launched its “Share Your Spark” campaign, founded on the phrase that “the real you is sexy.” The campaign gathered 40 women of varying shapes and sizes to model garments unapologetically, as a reminder to consumers that confidence isn’t reserved exclusively for size twos. Aerie’s pledge to stop retouching their model’s bodies reassures those who feel pressured to adjust to social ideals that their bodies are perfect the way they are.

Nike also published a noteworthy ad in which sports bras were modeled on larger sized women. Rather than using the models for the sake of boasting to be a body-inclusive label, the brand instead chose to use the models to show how the bra should be fitted to people of different sizes. Nike’s casualness in its body diversity promotes the idea that there need not be a special “plus-size” section for every collection, but rather that garments for size 20s should be as embraced as those designed for size twos.

H&M’s recent advertisement for its autumn collection has been the most triumphant in its inclusion of a wide variety of models. Set to Lion Babe’s song “She’s a Lady”, the brand made sure to feature anyone but the conventional image of a woman. The ad encourages nonconformity by including both slender and curvy models, LGBT women, and models that have no hair on their heads but tenaciously love their body hair, all of whom are unapologetically ladylike by their own definition.

Whether it’s their recognition that cellulite isn’t a feature meant to be edited out, or promotion of defining beauty in your own way, such landmark campaigns can only make a positive impact by spreading the idea that there is no right way to be you.

About Johanne Milios

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