Are we really redefining beautiful?
When I heard about Aerie's "non-retouched photo" campaign, I loved the idea. In a world where every pore is airbrushed and every thigh is retouched, isn't it about time? In this new mindset, the company is using models of all shapes and sizes. From lean to curvy, their Instagram feed is full of them all.
As I began to scroll through, I noticed that the photos of curvy women were receiving comments like:
"Yes! A real human." and "This is the new definition of beauty."
While photos of thin and fit women got:
"I thought you were going to be posting REAL women?!" and "No one actually looks like this..."
Interesting, right? That we are so in love with the idea of plus-size models that 'typical' ones are berated. As if thin models are 'less human' than models who weigh more. Do I think beauty should be defined by Victoria's Secret models on strict diets? No. Do I think curvy women should be portrayed as the 'new definition of beauty?' Also no.
By redefining beautiful as 'curvy,' we have accomplished nothing because we are still defining beauty as a certain body type.
We talk about having body-positivity yet shame thin women when they do. Now, instead of a large woman feeling inadequate because she is not thin, a thin women is feeling inadequate because she doesn't have curves. Why can't they both feel beautiful?
Newsflash: Fit women are real. Thin women are real. Tall women are real. Chubby women are real. Short women are real. Curvy women are real. Lean women are real. Women with acne and women without, women with cellulite and women without: they are all real.
Until we stop shaming body types that are different than our own, we can not celebrate the true redefinition of beauty.
True beauty comes from within. Keep rocking it Aerie.
XOX to you & your fabulous body
P.S. Meghan Trainer, you can't call yourself an advocate for all women and yet blatantly degrade "size 2" women as "stick figure Barbie dolls" in your songs. In doing this, there is an entire group of women who are the opposite of empowered by you.
P.S.S. Why do wee feel we can make weight-oriented comments to a thin women yet would never think about doing the same to a curvy woman? If a women is happy and healthy in the skin that she is in, we should do nothing but celebrate that.