US Brand Aerie Use Models W/ Visible Ostomy Bags & Diabetes Devices In New Shoot

“Diversity” is all the rage among brands at the moment. As we move forward culturally with an emphasis on inclusivity and celebrating our differences, brands have cottoned on and started reflecting our values in their campaigns. This isn’t a bad thing. Diverse and inclusive advertising means money going toward models and actors who in the past were marginalised. It also means we’re seeing people being celebrated for the uniqueness – celebrating stretch marks, gap teeth, freckles, blemishes – and in one of the best moves, disabilities.

Aerie – the underwear arm of US fashion giant American Eagle, just released their #AerieREAL collection, all of which has been modelled by an incredibly diverse range of women. The biggest applause is being directed at the brand for including women with disabilities.

“Now, more than ever, we want to encourage women everywhere to feel empowered to embrace their own unique qualities and beautiful real selves,” Jennifer Foyle, Aerie Global Brand President, told BusinessWire.

The models with disabilities are just some of the diverse range of women showcased on the site for the new collection, with no retouching allowing for blemishes, stretch marks and skin tone to shine through.

Abby Sams (above) posted her photos on Instagram with the following caption.

“I am PROUD to say I’ve done this. PROUD to be a part of it. PROUD to be a model representing a community of disabled and chronically ill people. PROUD to be comfortable in my own skin. Being a model in a wheelchair for a major company is kind of a big deal and I want to be transparent about it all. Confidence is hard to come by and even harder to master.”

The campaign and website’s general commitment to diversity is being praised on social media.

This isn’t the first time a brand has championed people with disabilities – ASOS is also on board, having recently designed a range of clothes with people who use wheelchairs or have limited range of movement in mind.

EXTREMELY GOOD AREAS, GUYS. Here’s hoping this will be a trend that continues and sticks around for good.