The fashion world usually selects tall stick figures to walk runways across the world, and ads feature women and men who have been airbrushed beyond recognition so that anything perceived as a flaw is erased in print. A rigid criteria of beauty is used especially for undergarments, lingerie and swimwear, but recent events have shown a disregard for the way the beauty industry usually operates. Some designers, models and companies that produce and wear women’s undergarments have gone against the status quo to make positive and empowering changes that show all bodies are beautiful and deserve recognition.
No More Illusions
In an effort to capture the real bodies of women, American Eagle has stopped digitally editing their lingerie ads. The company no longer airbrushes models and instead chose to show tattoos, freckles, birthmarks in their ads for Aerie. The company aims to send more realistic images to young customers, and their bold choice resonated with their target audience. Sales for Aerie lingerie rose 9% in the first quarter the company stopped airbrushing.
Countering Old Ideals
Before the lingerie Goliath that is Victoria’s Secret changed the tagline for its Body bra, many people expressed concern over “the perfect body” ad that showed slim, airbrushed women. Critics thought the campaign for the new brassiere implied that tall, skinny women had the perfect bodies, and this excluded those with different body types while giving girls a negative message about what true beauty entails. The underwear line named Dear Kate made a counter ad that showed women of different ethnicities, heights, weights and ages and also used the tagline “the perfect body” to show that there is no one standard of perfection.
Activist and Beauty Queen
Carmen Carrera is a model with a message as this gorgeous rising star and transgender woman frequently discusses gender issues and gives unfamiliar audiences a chance to learn about the life of a trans woman. While she originally appeared as a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Carrera is now a popular model and has been on magazine covers and signed by Elite modeling agency. Thousands of fans even signed a petition in the hopes that Carrera could be the first transgender model to appear in a runway show for Victoria’s Secret.
Anyone Can Model
Many women that are not typically selected to grace the runways gathered to show off their bodies and undergarments at Lingerie Fashion Week. The founder of the event, Lauren Rich, said lingerie and the people who wear it on and off the runway should not be “one size fits all.” Plus sized models, pregnant women, burlesque artists and others proudly showed off their bodies, and some of the designers included female skateboarders, those who enjoy BDSM and gender neutral individuals. This fashion show truly encompasses the diversity and passions of those who wear and create lingerie, and some proceeds from the week even went to a good cause. Women with breast cancer or women in remission took the stage on the final day and strutted their stuff while a portion of the proceeds went to the PinkChoseMe Foundation.