Aerie’s newest images feature a model in a wheelchair, one using arm crutches and another with an ostomy pouch. Also among the models in the campaign is Chelsea Werner, a U.S. Special Olympics champion gymnast with down syndrome and Evelyn Robin Ann from Toronto, who has Type 1 Diabetes and was photographed with her insulin pump.
The new images were released on their online catalogue and immediately garnered reactions on social media, with many praising the brand for making the effort to reflect all types of bodies.
— abby sams ? (@abby__sams) July 10, 2018
YES American Eagle/Aerie with this campaign that features women of different illnesses, conditions, and disabilities. The rest of y’all better catch up!!! pic.twitter.com/431SJSVND6
— claire (@bramflake) July 11, 2018
Yessssss ?? I am crying happy tears to see this beautiful @Aerie model wearing her CGM and insulin pump! This is OUR normal living with type 1 diabetes and it’s so nice to see brands normalize it too ? #T1D pic.twitter.com/AFBnhSoSBS
— Amanda Di Lella (@amandadilella) July 10, 2018
THIS!!! Thank you @Aerie for bringing light and awareness to so many illnesses, disabilities and various conditions people live with each and every day!! This girl has a ostomy bag which is sometimes surgically needed for those with Crohn’s & Colitis! ??? pic.twitter.com/ZjB93jZ8at
— Alexis Cable (@acable08) July 11, 2018
Using models that reflect the realities of consumers has been part of the important efforts to increase diversity and representation in the industry.
“There’s been a broader moment in fashion and beauty in general about really just being real about your body,” says Lauren Bitar, lingerie expert and consultant at California-based retail-strategy firm RetailNext. “It’s about saying, ‘This is who I am.’”
This isn’t the first time Aerie has been heralded for its commitment to body positivity and inclusivity. The brand stopped retouching their photos with the launch of their #AerieREAL campaign four years ago.
The latest campaign featured Yara Shahidi, Aly Raisman, Rachel Platten and Iskra Lawrence as #AerieREAL role models to advocate for self-love and empowerment.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.