#BodyPositivity

Aerie is killing it.

By rebranding and evolving into a company that accepts and loves the body for what it is, one cannot help but think of all the praise they have been receiving since they launched their new campaign. In fact, their lingerie sales shot up 9% after the release of the campaign in 2014.

Most recently, they hired size-12 model Barbie Ferreira, and it has brewed quite the storm. Ferreira has received criticism across the internet from trolls who feel as if they have the authority to define beauty. The brunette bombshell pays little attention to the negativity, though, as she is a big advocate of gender fluidity and body positivity.

With that being said, Aerie is definitely taking a step forward into a new generation of body-image awareness, and the effects that advertising has on younger generations. Some compare and contrast their ads to those of Victoria’s Secret, who is widely known for retouching, photoshopping, and using a specific type of model for their line: the Angels.

The word on the street is that #bodypositivity is in; but if that is so, how come the Angels are still a household name? Granted, the Victoria’s Secret fashion show did have a drop in viewership this time around, and their stocks do fluctuate from time to time, but Aerie’s campaign didn’t drastically hurt their sales. In fact, L Brands stocks experienced a steady increase (with occasional fluctuations) starting from January 2014 to December 2014, they dropped for a moment, and then hit a spike in February 2015 (a quick reminder that Aerie released their campaign in 2014).

So I decided to form a hypothesis.

What if, although people can relate to and respect Aerie’s campaign more than Victoria’s Secret, what if women still buy Victoria’s Secret’s clothing because of the Angels? Is it possible that Victoria’s Secret’s campaigns are effecting the way women feel when wearing their product?

So, like any strategic communications major, I took to Twitter to try out this hypothesis.

For my first Twitter poll inquest, I asked the Twitter fam: Whose ads can you better relate to? Victoria’s Secret or Aerie.

The results were as followed:

33 people voted.

23 people said that they could relate to Aerie’s better, while 10 people said that they could relate to Victoria’s Secret better.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 10.44.25 PM

For the second part of the poll, I changed things up a little bit. This time, I asked the question: Whose product do/would you feel better about yourself when wearing?

The results were quite interesting.

26 people voted in this poll.

19 people said that would feel better in Victoria’s Secret. 7 said that they would feel better in Aerie.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 10.45.00 PM.png

Not accounting for possible errors such as people voting falsely, different people voting on each poll, and different amounts of people voting on each poll, the numbers have basically flip-flopped.

Truly, the tables have turned.

For me, this is something very interesting to think about.

Although we are a society that is trying to move forward when it comes to sending positive messages to young women about their bodies, is there still a successful tactic in using ads like Victoria’s Secret?

I would say so.

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