There have been a number of sea changes in modeling, advertisements, and the way women and models are depicted in the media lately. Fashion shows have started to ban models with Body Mass Indexes that are under 18. Retailers like J. Crew are using regular people in photo shoots instead of models and even some stores that employ models have committed to no longer dramatically retouch photos. Even magazines are taking the pledge to stop airbrushing models. But, surprisingly enough, it’s lingerie companies that are being the most bold in the shift in how they depict women’s bodies, going from unattainable to ordinary-and-awesome.
First up: Forever Yours Lingerie, a company based in Vancouver, CA. The company offers intimates for women of all sizes: bras start at a B cup size and go up through K. And, while the company has always featured a models representative of their broad demographic, they recently stepped up to show support for one plus size model they adore, Elly Mayday, who is undergoing treatment for a rare form of ovarian cancer.
Here are two of Elly’s ads for the store: One pre-cancer and one during treatment. Bravo!
Then, there’s American Eagle, who’s underwear brand Aerie is still using models, but has vowed to no longer photoshop away stretch marks, wrinkles, extra skin, fat, and all of the tother things all women—even models—naturally have. Instead they’re embracing these realities and keeping them in the Aerie photos.
The company even released this video, which has one shows one of the models discussing confidence, dancing, and sex-appeal:
Finally, several small, indie store including Aristelle, in Portland, ME, and Curvy Girl in San Jose, CA, have gotten in on the act and are promoting photos of real women in their wares. We’re loving this trend and hope it stays! Long live lingerie for all women!