Mollie Hawkins
February 12, 2015 11:34 am

All too often, retailers we love let us down with ad campaigns that reinforce narrow standards of beauty. But every once in a while, the opposite happens: A retailer we love takes a huge step in expanding social perceptions by celebrating women of all sizes in their natural glory. And we’re psyched (and not surprised) that ModCloth is one of those retailers. The vintage-inspired online brand just released a super-body-positive swimwear campaign on their website featuring women of all backgrounds and sizes—just being their beautiful selves.

Did we mention their models are none other than their own employees? That’s right; employees, including co-founder Susan Gregg Koger, were plucked from their desks in January to don some of the company’s cutest summer swimwear, and from the looks of it, they had a really good time stepping in front of the camera.

And it gets better. Because ModCloth was the first official retailer to take the anti-Photoshop pledge last year—promising to minimize retouching on their images—the campaign is as natural as it gets.  Check out some of the images and ACTUALLY get psyched for swimsuit season.

In an interview with Brit.Co, Christen, a fellow model and ModCloth Merchandise Copy Editor, said: “We just fed off of each others’ energy and once you realize that everybody has their own struggles, big or small, with body image, you can really just. . .shed those worries, banding together helps empower each other.” Preach!

From the minimally-retouched photoshoot, the message is clear: this is what real women look like in swimsuits, and they are gorgeous. The pictures don’t just want to make us buy bathing suits, they make us want to buy bathing suits for our own bodies. The impact of seeing beautiful, diverse, natural women promoted in ad campaigns can’t be overstated. It’s a reminder to individuals, and the world, that beauty doesn’t come in one mold.

And this isn’t the first time ModCloth has earned our raves for stepping up to make a difference. A few years ago, we were stoked when they expanded their clothing sizes to XS-4X, and we already mentioned their trend-setting decision to minimize the use of retouching in their pictures. These are the kind of corporate decisions we can really get behind.

“The real hope around this [campaign] is that we are putting the idea in everyone’s heads that every size and shape and body, every single person — every woman — is just beautiful,” Cristen told Brit.Co. “And as long as she is trying to be the best version of herself, which we say a lot here at ModCloth, that’s perfect. We hope that this is eventually the regular mindset in our society: that the best version of yourself is the best version there is.”

ModCloth, you’re awesome, and yes—we’ll take one of everything. Bring on summer!

[Images via, via]

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