Instead of debating, speculating or being cynical about the intent of retailers with regards to the sudden rise of inclusivity in ads (especially since so many are suddenly showing female body hair, a diverse range of body types and disability), we are just going to do a little curtsy to American undies brand, Aerie.
Known for being progressive, it has nailed it this time square on the head. It has just dropped an amazing bra ad campaign featuring women of various sizes and races, but also, according to Fashionista.com the campaign includes models in wheelchairs, with body hair, insulin pumps, the skin condition vitiligo, Down Syndrome, colostomy bags, hearing aids and other illnesses and conditions.
Just this week ASOS made headlines for their wheelchair-friendly jumpsuit, and now Aerie is taking it to another level almost never before seen in advertising. Particularly, showing disability front in centre like this is so very welcome, and long overdue.
Twitter luuuuurved it:
The campaign, shot beautifully by Andrew Buda and Alex Albeck, is called "Bras Make You Feel Real Good" and the models were selected from over 2 000 people who shared videos saying why they wanted to be part of Aerie's ongoing #AerieREAL social media movement which always features women who aren't models.
Local fashion brands like Woolworths and Jet Fashion have also celebrated women of all sizes in their underwear campaigns in the last few years, encouraging women to own and love their fit.
And we have also noted the rise of representation on the runway, as models Gideon Allen, a model with the skin condition vitiligo is also suddenly everywhere! He just walked at SA Menswear Fashion Week in Cape Town:
And is now a firm-favourite with local fashion editors:
We look forward to seeing more disability representation in local fashion and lifestyle ads. That's a challenge, people!