You can't trust anything, especially a photograph. As someone who spends a good portion of her day in PhotoShop, I know just how true this is.
In that vein, American Eagle's sister lingerie store Aerie has launched a new marketing campaign focusing on Natural, Un-retouched beauty. The series, called Aerie Real, claims, "The Girl in the Photo has NOT been Retouched: The Real you is Sexy."
The girls pictured are beautiful, full of life, personality, and even have an actual curve or two. While I fully support this campaign (I'd never poo-poo something promoting a healthy body image), it is still clearly a planned marketing effort than a path to change the world. And it's certainly receiving a lot of attention – not bad for a brand most people have probably never hear of.
I wish that brands and magazines photographed "regular-sized" women, not as a ploy to sell more bras but because that's what people look like. What if a brand featured "average consumers" and didn't take credit for it, didn't acknowledge it and didn't point it out in exchange for their pat on the back? What if it was the natural, right thing to do?