Aerie is upping its inclusivity game again.
The lingerie and intimate apparel brand for American Eagle quietly added photos of women who use wheelchairs and arm crutches, as well as those affected by diabetes and vitiligo, to its product pages on its website this week.
Abby Sams says modeling with so many other women with disabilities and various conditions was “like a freaking powerhouse!”
In 2014, the brand’s sales skyrocketed with its #AerieReal campaign, in which models in its ads were not airbrushed, challenging “supermodel standards.”
A model with vitiligo is photographed in an Aerie bra.
One of the models in the company’s latest endeavor, Abby Sams, told HuffPost that modeling with so many other women with disabilities and various conditions was “like a freaking powerhouse!”
“These gals are amazing!” she said “As we’ve all got to know each other, it’s crazy how much we have in common. … Our paths of life are so different, but the ambition and love that just poured out of everyone there was overwhelming in the best way.”
A lingerie model with an ostomy pouch.
The 20-year-old student from Athens, Georgia, told HuffPost that she got the gig by entering a contest for Aerie’s fall campaign in which she had to describe what #AerieReal meant to her.
A woman with Type 1 diabetes models a bralette while using an insulin pump.
“I sent them a video saying how, as someone who’s never seen disability or chronic illness represented in media, Aerie Real should mean that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities and abilities.”
Sams, who is a wheelchair user and has been diagnosed with numerous disabilities, posted her photo on the site to Twitter on Tuesday.
@Aerie just sneakily released some of my photos! Look at this disability representation people!!! Also look at me because I cant believe it’s actually me so yeah pic.twitter.com/nfhaBrKqHX— abby sams 🦈 (@abby__sams) July 10, 2018
The response to her photo and Aerie’s campaign was overwhelmingly positive. Many people mentioned that it was the first time they saw themselves being represented.
I am about to cry. I NEVER see people with ostomies. pic.twitter.com/7A2UOgBEWz— peebs1701 (@peebs1701) July 10, 2018
I literally cried when I saw this today. Thank you @Aerie for making my daughter a little less self conscious about her diabetes #realpeople #tidlookslikeme pic.twitter.com/rPKr4nNFoY— Jennifer Smith (@Mizz_j_smith) July 11, 2018
Seeing this from the @Aerie website means so much to me. This model not only is beautiful, but has the same type of disease as me. I love seeing diverse representation pic.twitter.com/jb6dbRr3lQ— madelynn ♡ ☆ (@_madelynn101) July 11, 2018
Sams says she’s “in love with the final results.”
“They really bring back all the fun memories we made on set and give me a lot of confidence that I didn’t have before,” she said.
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