Models With Disabilities And Illnesses Are Featured In This Awesome Fashion Campaign

"Aerie Real should mean that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities and abilities.”

When Aerie first launched its #AerieREAL campaign in 2014, the loungewear and intimates offshoot of American Eagle Outfitters positioned itself as an industry leader by refusing to digitally alter images of its models. In the last week, however, Aerie launched the latest wave of its enduring campaign by adding models with disabilities and illnesses.

Now, Aerie features women who use wheelchairs and arm crutches, as well as those affected by diabetes and vitiligo. 

Model Abby Sams also shared images of her shoot on Twitter, noting that modeling with so many other women with disabilities and various conditions was "like a freaking powerhouse!"

Sams, a 20-year-old student from Athens, Georgia, told HuffPost that she landed the modeling gig after entering a contest for Aerie's fall campaign, which required her to describe what #AerieREAL meant to her.

"I sent them a video saying how, as someone who's never seen disability or chronic illness represented in media, Aerie Real should mean that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities and abilities," she explained.

Aerie's latest additions quickly gained notice as social media users took to Twitter to praise the brand for including young women who truly represent the "real" individuals who never see themselves reflected in popular clothing campaigns.

Aerie hasn't simply created a new campaign around these young women, they've also begun to incorporate their images throughout its product pages.

"As a brand, Aerie has been a leader in empowering women and celebrating inclusivity and body positivity since our launch of #AerieREAL in 2014," Jennifer Foyle, Aerie global brand president, told Fashionista. "Our newest bra models are part of our brand's ongoing commitment to show real, authentic and unretouched women, who are at the core of everything that we do."

"These gals are amazing!" Sams added "As we've all got to know each other, it's crazy how much we have in common… Our paths of life are so different, but the ambition and love that just poured out of everyone there was overwhelming in the best way." And Sams' observations are right in line with Aerie's overarching campaign, as these images clearly highlight that, despite our differences, we all want to be seen for who we truly are.

Cover image via JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock

(H/T: The Huffington Post)

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