Sammy Nickalls
August 25, 2015 8:28 am

We were so happy when we found out about a year ago that Aerie is going to stop Photoshopping their ads. And earlier this summer, it was revealed that Emma Roberts is going to be the face of the brand’s next #AerieREAL campaign, coming out this fall.

“I’ve been a fan of American Eagle and Aerie since I was a little girl, and when they approached me I thought it was so cool, because no one else is doing this,” Emma told Refinery29 back in July. “I remember walking around New York and seeing the last [Aerie Real] ads and thinking those girls look so amazing. Unlike other ads that make me feel like I need to work out more, or I need to buy this for my face — those made me feel good, not like I had to hide behind anything.”

Well, the campaign images have just been released—Emma posted two of them on her Instagram yesterday—and it’s easy to see the effect the shoot had on Emma by the expression on her face. She looks so radiant and lovely, no Photoshop needed. (Not that it’s ever needed!)

“I just love the message behind it. I thought the whole idea was so inspiring,” she told People. “Yes, I’m an actress, but I’m also a real girl. Seeing [Photoshopped] ads, you get kind of bummed. You’re like, ‘Ugh, do these people really look like that?’”   

Aerie has been leading the way in the no-Photoshop movement with their campaign, using models sans-airbrushing — thus, real models, not their digitized version created on a computer for higher sales.

But here’s the thing — after Aerie’s campaign kicked off, their sales spiked by nine percent, which led other brands to follow suit. Turns out that people want to see natural beauty — not the Photoshopped unattainable ideal. 

Photoshop’s negative effects have been insidious, creating a fictional construct of what it means to be beautiful, and we are sick and tired of it. And brands are finally listening. ModCloth was the officially the first retailer to stop airbrushing their models. Last August, the company signed an anti-Photoshopping pledge, meaning that what we see in their advertising is real life. Late last month, Italian footwear brand Woz Shoes followed in the Aerie and Modcloth’s footsteps (pun totally intended) and also got rid of all digital retouching. Girls and women, in their genuine skin, with no manipulation of any kind — that’s what we want to celebrate.

The movement is sending an empowering message both to retailers and consumers: we are who we are, and who we are is beautiful. It’s the perfect push-back to the rise in Photoshopping on social media.

“I always think of my little sister — she’s 14, and when I told her I was doing these ads, she freaked out,” Emma told Refinery29 about the Aerie shoot. “It’s important for me to be a part of this, because I see how hard it is for girls my sister’s age with social media, and feeling like they need to look a certain way. I want to promote the idea that it’s okay to look like yourself — you don’t have to Photoshop your Instagrams!”

We could not be happier about this shoot. Emma, you rock — and so do all the brands who have stepped up and given us the beautiful, natural truth in their advertising.  

(Images via Instagram)

Related:

Aerie stops Photoshopping its ads and everyone wins

The empowering reason Emma Roberts is going Photoshop-free

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