Emma Roberts' Unretouched Aerie Underwear Ads Prove Nobody Needs Photoshop to Be Beautiful

Emma Roberts' Unretouched Aerie Underwear Ads Prove Nobody Needs Photoshop to Be Beautiful
Source: aerie
Source: aerie

Aerie has taken its signature unretouched ad campaign to the next level with a celebrity spokeswoman. 

A photo posted by (@) on

Emma Roberts of Fox's Scream Queens is posing for the lingerie company, which is a younger, hipper, more Instagram-ready sister of American Eagle. Given its hipper status, Aerie has embraced a no-airbrushing, "real" stance in its #aerieREAL campaign, showcasing models in past advertisements without digital retouching, with wrinkles, folds and tattoos exposed.

Now 24-year-old Roberts has embraced the ethos, sharing her "true self – unfiltered, unphotoshopped, unretouched" in a campaign shot by photographer Ali Mitton, she told USA Today.

Source: Ali Mitton
Source: Ali Mitton
Source: Ali Mitton

"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," Roberts told Refinery29 back in July, when the campaign was announced. "I want to promote the idea that it's okay to look like yourself — you don't have to Photoshop your Instagrams!"

"I want to promote the idea that it's okay to look like yourself — you don't have to Photoshop your Instagrams!"

It's a point worth making, considering that Photoshopping your Instagrams is real. Our personal retouching goes beyond Instagram filters and careful Facebook cropping; now the power of airbrushing is in our hands via apps like Perfect365, which stars like Kim Kardashian reportedly use on their selfies. 

A photo posted by (@) on

It's never been easier to make ourselves more beautiful — or, of course, to strive to meet strict beauty standards. Critics of Aerie's original campaign pointed out that the company had selected a narrow variety of girls, most of whom possessed proportional bodies with a lone "imperfection," such as a stomach roll or tiny stretch marks. 

It's easy for a company to go airbrush-free when the model in question already has a "perfect" body. As anyone who's seen red carpet photos of Roberts knows, the actress is slender with delicate limbs and a petite build, not to mention fair skin and shiny blonde hair — all features which, by the fashion world's strict expectations, already make her a good model candidate.

But baring your body for the camera clad only in a bra and undies isn't necessarily easier the smaller you are; having a size 2 or size 4 body doesn't make you immune to body insecurities. 

As BuzzFeed put it, "While Aerie's models are gorgeous women without Photoshop, it probably sends a better message than the alternative": distorting women's bodies into figures so perfect, they can never truly be attained in real life. Knowing you're fine the way you are, sans airbrushing or dieting or Spanx, is a message worth sending to girls reading magazines and scrolling through Instagram at home.

h/t Huffington Post

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Ellie Krupnick

Ellie is Mic's editorial director of lifestyle. A former style and fashion editor for The Huffington Post, her writing has also appeared in Women's Wear Daily, HarpersBazaar.com and the Twitter feeds of British royal fans everywhere.

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