Beauty Column – What defines beauty?

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted more than anything to live life like the princesses I saw in “Beauty and the Beast”, “Snow White” and “Aladdin.” They all possessed a sort of quality that only a princess could: beauty. As I grew older, I came to realize that animated princesses like Belle, Snow and Jasmine who possess long hair and skinny waists are not the epitome of beauty, but instead the mainstream mold that society has labeled as beauty.

In today’s culture, beauty is defined by: name brand clothing, handbags and makeup, starving-yourself figures, and next to perfect skin. What if, for the sake of every female’s self-esteem, a clothing company that plays in the big leagues, decided to do something a little out of the ordinary – as a voice for all of the “ordinaries”?

American Eagle’s sister company, Aerie, has launched an ad campaign for 2014 that “…challenges supermodel standards by featuring un-retouched models in their latest collection of bras, undies, and apparel.” Aerie’s decision to showcase their model’s in their real, unairbrushed skin makes an even stronger statement because of who its customers are (15-21 year olds).

Although I realize one ad campaign won’t solve the complicated relationship between young women’s self-esteems and ideal images of women in media, it certainly helps to see a brand like Aerie show off its cute bras and undies on bodies with real wrinkles, curves and flaws. A definition of true beauty.