The Real You Is Sexy, As Long As You’re Model-Sized

I love Aerie stores. Their clothing is soft and lightweight, and their lingerie is feminine and detailed. I’ve been a fan for years. I’m even wearing a pair of their lounge pants right now.

With that said, I have mixed feelings on their new campaign. I’m thrilled that they’ve vouged to stop retouching photographs of their models, but the whole “the real you is sexy” movement would be more meaningful if they actually carried a wider range of clothing and lingerie sizes than just those which fit their leggy, busty, slender models. Sexiness comes in all shapes, after all.

Aerie wants us to love our bodies, but not having more sizes available in their stores is somewhat hypocritical, like magazines which encourage body love yet have ads of only tall, slender women and weight loss tips. I recognize that it would be unreasonable to expect Aerie to carry every humanly possible size. They’re a business, they aim to make money, and it would be financially foolish to carry sizes which might be less profitable. I get it. But, it still sucks for those of us who have a hard time expressing our self-love via their clothing.

For example, I wear a size 28C bra, which is near impossible to find in America. The next sister size up is a 30B, which Aerie carries in one or two basic styles, but not the gorgeously ornate ones. So, what gives? Aerie only offers cup sizes AA to D with bands 30 to 40. That’s not a lot of variation. The smallest band, biggest cup combo you can buy from Aerie (online only, of course, so you can’t try them on in the store) is 30B. I guess the “real me” is built differently than the real bras Aerie has to offer.

And what about clothing? Aerie’s website offers up to XXL sizes, but the largest size I’ve ever seen in-store is an XL. Are customers with hips larger than 46 inches not also invited to love and celebrate their real bodies in Aerie apparel?

Thank you, Aerie, for taking a huge step in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go. Let’s truly celebrate our natural beauty in a wider variety of sizes and shapes, not just those which fit your typical models.

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