Raise your hand if you’ve ever gone to an online store to shop for clothes, but ended up having your confidence crushed by the out-of-this-world-pretty models and just closed the tab thinking you’ll never look as good in the same clothes? Yeah, us too. Fortunately, many brands are catching up with the social issues discussed all over the globe, including the importance of representation. We can only hope that other brands will follow the example and include diverse models into their campaigns as well.

Image credits: American Eagle

Last year, the clothing brand American Eagle presented a new, refreshing campaign for its sub-brand Aerie which included diverse models. Now, when you scroll through their online shop, you see all types of women wearing their apparel (wow, just like in the real world!). Each of the models is wearing pieces from the popular label, including its signature bandeaus and lace bralettes.

Image credits: American Eagle

Image credits: American Eagle

There are people who believe that brands representing diversity are just jumping on the trendy bandwagon. However, even if it’s only for the views and likes, it still serves its purpose. Some of us are 6 feet tall, some have chubby tummies, some of us are in wheelchairs, some have skin discoloration and stretch marks – and all of us are valuable customers and should be represented by the brands we buy from.

Image credits: American Eagle

Image credits: American Eagle

Psychology studies have shown that the lack of individuality in mass media influences our perception of physical appearance. Back in 2017, Psychologist Magazine reported that body image anxiety is on the rise. It might be linked to the fact that we are glued to our blue screens gazing at skinny and young models and comparing ourselves to them – usually, to our own disadvantage. In addition to this, in this age, digital post-production plays a huge part in how we present ourselves online. Celebrities and models alike are known to be constantly photoshopped in order to make them look as perfect as they can get.

Image credits: American Eagle

Image credits: American Eagle

“Now, more than ever, we want to encourage women everywhere to feel empowered to embrace their own unique qualities and beautiful real selves,” said global brand’s president, Jennifer Foyle. As soon as the brand released the new campaign, it went viral on Twitter with numerous people praising American Eagle for its forward-thinking and inclusivity.

Image credits: American Eagle

Image credits: American Eagle

Image credits: American Eagle

After the images were posted on Reddit, numerous people responded. One user, under the nickname leviOsa_, shared her heartwarming thoughts: “I’m a teenage girl, I’m 17, I’ve gone through my teens seeing only models that are either skinny or resemble Kim Kardashian-esque or Ashley Graham. And that’s not a bad thing, it’s far better than the industry even ten years ago. Still, they are models which appear to be photoshopped into oblivion, which appear to have specialized diet and exercise and feel so unattainably perfect. All of my friends won’t deny that it’s [messed] with our heads in some way, shape, or form. This is one of the first campaigns to use models that look like real people. To use people that actually look like me – stretch marks, freckles and scars included. I can’t stress how important it is that brands continue to challenge the traditional standards of beauty in women and men’s fashion alike. It helps with our confidence far more than anyone – including ourselves – would ever expect.”