We guess nothing should surprise us on April Fools’ Day. This morning, Aerie, the underwear and loungewear brand of American Eagle, announced that their #AerieMan campaign that debuted March 24 was actually a big joke — and TBH, we’re scratching our heads. Business Insider reports that the video, which included a diverse cast of men posing in boxers, was actually a part of a fake campaign just for attention.
“We aren’t afraid of being bold in how we engage our customers, whether through through a video that makes you think twice, or challenging the norm in how a brand markets to men,” American Eagle’s Global Brand President, Chad Kessler, said in a release. “We are an all-inclusive brand and we know our male customers respond to humor. We look forward to continuing to innovate and evolve the American Eagle Outfitters product offerings.”
On the one hand, yes, the video was funny, but on the other hand . . . is that really something we should joke about? Male body confidence, and male body issues in general, are topics that are often swept under the rug, so we were pleased to see Aerie opening up that conversation. To say it was one big joke could cause people to think that promoting male body positivity isn’t important, when it’s actually a conversation we really do need to be having.
Even though #AerieMan is an April Fools’ Day joke, Aerie will still be taking some body-positive steps. Business Insider reports that they’ve donated $25,000 to the National Eating Disorder Association and the company plans to stop airbrushing male models entirely by the 2016 holiday season. Aerie already made a commitment to remove Photoshop from their ads and their sales went way, way up, Huffington Post noted — so it seems like customers really do want honesty when they shop.
We’re a little confused by the joke but at least Aerie is taking steps to change. It’s important to remember that guys have just as many body issues as women and we hope this stunt paves the way for future body positivity movements long after April Fools’ Day.