It is no secret that the modeling industry has always had an unrealistic idea of beauty. Photoshop has become more important than the photo shoot, giving the industry the ability to make any “flaws”, such as stretch marks or birth marks, disappear. Is it OK to photoshop already beautiful models, giving young girls who are battling low self-esteem and eating disorders a further distorted image of what beauty is?
Aerie, American Eagle’s lingerie line, has decided to ditch the photo editing in their latest ads in order to promote loving your flaws. Is this their way of taking a stand against the beauty industry or a marketing scheme to sell more bras? There is always the possibility of it being the latter, but I applaud them anyway. Last month I received a coupon in the mail and was very surprised when I read they ditched the editing. I saw women modeling bras who had tattoos, birth marks, and a little extra skin around their stomachs. And guess what? They were still beautiful.
I have read on social media and news stories’ comment sections people complaining that the company is still using models so what’s the point? I do not believe any company would take normal girls off the street for their advertisements when there are women who dedicate themselves to the industry as a way of making a living. You would not ask an average Joe to take the place of a surgeon, would you?
This is a step in the right direction for the company and hopefully for the industry as a whole. If other companies decide to ditch the edits, maybe girls everywhere would stop criticizing themselves in the mirror on a daily basis. But the responsibility can not rest on the modeling industry alone. Every citizen needs to take their part and stop insulting each other (especially through cyber-bullying) and learn to love the things that set people apart. Although the saying may be “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” it is far from the truth.