The Real You Is Sexy

The Real You Is Sexy

Let's praise Aerie!
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Here's to the marketing geniuses that have started promoting body positivity to the masses! I'd first like to address the idea that companies only produce body positive campaigns because it is currently profitable. If so, good for them. Good for them for making a profit on something genuinely beneficial to the world. Businesses need to make money, and it's a breath of fresh air (literally) when it's not a business making money off of polluting our planet.

Now that the sass is out of the way, I want to use this opportunity to praise one company in particular. Aerie by American Eagle has gone out of their way to tell everyone who walks through their doors, buys their products, or even visits them on social media that "the real you is sexy."

I love that they used the term "sexy." Some think that this is a mature word for a store that many girls seek out to get their first bras. However, there are two definitions of "sexy," as defined by Merriam-Webster. The first is what we most likely think of first: "sexually appealing, attractive, or exciting." However, the second definition is as follows: "having interesting or appealing qualities." This second definition is spot on. Everyone has interesting or appealing qualities. Think for a second about what you like the most about yourself. It's probably what makes you different, and that is exactly what this definition means. "Sexy" has plenty of outward meaning, but haven't you heard that smart is sexy? Funny is sexy, too! So many qualities are sexy, and their marketing shows that.

I'm obviously very passionate about this company's work. I've actually been a sales associate and bra expert at Aerie for two and a half years now. So I've gotten to catch a ride on the campaign from the launch two short years ago. I remember looking at the marketing and pointing out tattoos, stretch marks, and all different body types of models with my coworkers.

In a world of fashion shows that bring out the lowest self-esteem in all of us, it is amazing to see photos of beautiful women who represent how all of us really look. Aerie is even partnered with charities such as Bright Pink and NEDA to support the health of women all over. NEDA is an especially important partner, because this partnership shows Aerie's commitment to preventing eating disorders that are often the results of the pressure the general media puts on everyone.

My personal favorite model is Iskra Lawrence. First of all, she's gorgeous. Just check out her Instagram. Second of all, she isn't your "typical" underwear model. But she's killing it. And, last but not least, she is a dedicated advocate for positive body image. She is a NEDA ambassador and hashtags everything with #everyBODYisbeautiful.

Check out all of the awesome ladies in the campaign. Then, take a long look in the mirror at yourself and remind yourself that the real you is sexy in every sense of the word.

Cover Image Credit: Aerie

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Bailey Posted A Racist Tweet, But That Does NOT Mean She Deserves To Be Fat Shamed

As a certified racist, does she deserve to be fat shamed?
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This morning, I was scrolling though my phone, rotating between Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Snapchat again, ignoring everyone's snaps but going through all the Snapchat subscription stories before stumbling on a Daily Mail article that piqued my interest. The article was one about a teen, Bailey, who was bullied for her figure, as seen on the snap below and the text exchange between Bailey and her mother, in which she begged for a change of clothes because people were making fun of her and taking pictures.

Like all viral things, quickly after her text pictures and harassing snaps surfaced, people internet stalked her social media. But, after some digging, it was found that Bailey had tweeted some racist remark.

Now, some are saying that because Bailey was clearly racist, she is undeserving of empathy and deserves to be fat-shamed. But does she? All humans, no matter how we try, are prejudiced in one way or another. If you can honestly tell me that you treat everyone with an equal amount of respect after a brief first impression, regardless of the state of their physical hygiene or the words that come out of their mouth, either you're a liar, or you're actually God. Yes, she tweeted some racist stuff. But does that mean that all hate she receives in all aspects of her life are justified?

On the other hand, Bailey was racist. And what comes around goes around. There was one user on Twitter who pointed out that as a racist, Bailey was a bully herself. And, quite honestly, everyone loves the downfall of the bully. The moment the bullies' victims stop cowering from fear and discover that they, too, have claws is the moment when the onlookers turn the tables and start jeering the bully instead. This is the moment the bully completely and utterly breaks, feeling the pain of their victims for the first time, and for the victims, the bully's demise is satisfying to watch.

While we'd all like to believe that the ideal is somewhere in between, in a happy medium where her racism is penalized but she also gets sympathy for being fat shamed, the reality is that the ideal is to be entirely empathetic. Help her through her tough time, with no backlash.

Bullies bully to dominate and to feel powerful. If we tell her that she's undeserving of any good in life because she tweeted some racist stuff, she will feel stifled and insignificant and awful. Maybe she'll also want to make someone else to feel as awful as she did for some random physical characteristic she has. Maybe, we might dehumanize her to the point where we feel that she's undeserving of anything, and she might forget the preciousness of life. Either one of the outcomes is unpleasant and disturbing and will not promote healthy tendencies within a person.

Instead, we should make her feel supported. We all have bad traits about ourselves, but they shouldn't define us. Maybe, through this experience, she'll realize how it feels to be prejudiced against based off physical characteristics. After all, it is our lowest points, our most desperate points in life, that provide us with another perspective to use while evaluating the world and everyone in it.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter / Bailey

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Lover, I Saw You in a Dream Recently And You Came With Guests

When the fears of cheating in a relationship start showing up in your dreams, sleeping becomes unsettling.

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It was a face that I'd traced over tententen twentytwenty thirtymaybefortythreeandahalf times before. Something deliciously unsettling, I couldn't bear to turn away, ice-struck ice-killer, frozen solid into a gaze that I didn't sharpen. Did not perfect.

You always cross the street if the other sidewalk is emptier. I love dinner parties. The overly climactic human gaze at humor that spills green and inky out of purple mouths marked by red wine and something made from rhubarb and someone's husband's addiction to vampy lipstick. The respiting shoulders on load bearing, scoliosis impending, cervicalthoraciclumbarsacrumcoccyx columns that sigh into the arms of worn out couches and pool table innings. And you know how much I love the smell of it, from all the times I've asked you how you like my cologne and favorite candles. Sweaty and sarcastic and full of garlic and that one friend's income taxes burning by the candlelight. I chose Sweet Tobacco though you said you liked Moccato Cherry. Never particular about the company, usually. I wouldn't think you a fan of dinner parties, your telling affection for quietdark. But you like bread and salmon and olives on sticks and martinis and, even though this, I didn't think I'd find you at the feast. On the silver platter. Girls' fingers in your mouth like a pig with an apple, but still oinking. Deep and Breathy and Staring Me In The Eye With A Smile. I heard it down the hallway, thought you were waiting, dirtyputrid, goodtimegirlstupid, just getting the stove hot.

They say three is company but I wonder what they say about four and a fifth that accidentally sauntered through her own front door, hoping to jump some bones or watch Oprah or look for cheap clothes on eBay in her own bed. Would they say it's crashing the party? I'm sorry, lovely, I didn't bring any Caprese salad to dinner but here, in my swollenachey nailbeds is a new recipe for paralysis. They look like fun girls. Beautiful dollar store diamond bracelets (bracingyourwristsatthetopofthebed)! What a nice shade of smeared red (pinningyoudownandsuckingyourchest)! Lovely dyed blond hair (thatbobsupanddownoveryourhips)! What perfectly onion-bulbous breasts (thathityourinnerthighs)! Is there another table setting? Can I cut a slice of the ham? I don't eat meat, but if it will make you happy. If it will make you happy. If it will make you happy, if they make you happy. If they make you happy.

Guests tend to be grateful for direction, I've found. Please sit here, bring this, take off your shoes, kill the kids, sharpen the knife, crack the hooves, loosen the chains, vomit into the fire, play with the dagger, sacrifice your eyes, fold the napkins. A gentle host, that's all you were doing. Panting pantsless and begging to be cradled, innocent, childlike, by the four mothers that stream their wetness down your cavernous ingress to make sure you are hydrated and happy. Happy looks more and more like pain as you get happier. Happier. As you reach the end.

You found me seconds after I entered the room, like you'd heard me as I'd heard you, flouncing fluid-unnerved like a priest to a silent child, sickly. Eyes somehow bluer, entranced and feeling like the biggest man. Purple-red wine stains from the dinner party in blotches carnivorously smooth carving paths from your jawline down your chest. Your chest that jumps and lumps over and turns slightly in my direction as the stains beckon me over and as I turn from human to machine. Edit, undo. Edit, undo. Edit. Undo. Undoing the prim bow above her garters. Still fixed on a silly little thing, soap scum on the toilet bowl and grainy bowl of mac and cheese, was your finger in her? Was your hand guiding her, Good Host? Tugging her hair or braiding it? Telling her you loved her? Telling her you loved her. You were telling her you loved her. And you were looking at me. Your lips were bleeding.

They ate you. The silver platter clean and shiny. The guests satisfied and evaporating, droplets on my forehead and dribbles on my metallic facade. Boy Who Likes The Rain, and his abiding little guests, little women, big girls, satiated by my circuit fire that burned my bedroom tantric and in infinitum. All six of your hands anti-dividing, slithering out of my night-wired, hell-bent on snipping my thighs open, runny and the only wet spilled down my guzzle who prays for blades, dreams, and into your shirt sleeves. Miles and miles away.

Good morning. Boy Who Likes the Rain. My night was splendiferous. Yes, I know you like that word. Thank you for the good dream wishes. Good morning. I don't love you. I cross the street when there are blonds and I smell kinky jewelry. Good morning. You too. Thanks.

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