One of the biggest issues in our culture today is the use of Photoshop and the effect it has on young women.


Recently, a big name brand started taking steps in the direction of beauty empowerment.

The brand Aerie, a sister store of the famous brand American Eagle, started using average weight girls in their ads.

Not only that, but they’re also choosing not to Photoshop them.

They call this move the Aerie REAL campaign and their main goal is to make young women realize their beauty.

The ad slogan itself is “The real you is sexy.”

The ad series features pictures of young women modeling the underwear line, but instead of the flawless and fake models seen in most ads, these women are left untouched.

So why is this just now becoming a huge issue?

I think it’s because the women of the world are finally realizing that manufactured beauty is obnoxious.

The lengths we all go through to be a certain weight, hair color and skin tone are completely crazy.

When I look at billboards and magazine ads of perfectly airbrushed women I realize that no one woman will ever measure up to all these goals.

We all get so caught up in the trends that we lose sight of the most important thing: our sanity.

There has been an uprising lately of women who no longer want to put up with media’s unrealistic standards, thus causing more and more companies to launch campaigns against Photoshop overuse and promoting positive body image.

Dove created the “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” as a way for women to appreciate how other people see them.

Celebrities all across the board like, Keira Knightly, Lorde and “Pretty Little Liars” star Ashley Benson are refusing retouching in their photo shoots.

Knightly, who is no stranger to Photoshop overuse and abuse, modeled for a photoshoot topless to protest editors enhancing her breasts and making her curvier than her real self.

She said in an interview with, “I think women’s bodies are a battleground, and photography is partly to blame.”

Marilyn Monroe was a size 10 and is still to this day considered to be a sex symbol.

She embraced it.

I think if more women began to view themselves that way, we could start changing the world.

Eating disorders and crazed diets have been around for way too long.

Pictures of models with protruding collar bones should inspire anger instead of self-loathing.

Stores like Abercrombie & Fitch need to stop defining what’s cool and start defining what is right.

Every generation of women has it so much harder than the previous generation.

Aerie is taking a stand and making a huge difference in the lives and minds of young women.

It’s time we all start standing up for ourselves.


By Chelsie Bartley

Chelsie Bartley is the Creative Editor and a staff journalist for MBU Timeline. She majors in journalism. Chelsie is a student worker for the Office of Alumni Relations and is a Community Leader on campus. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in a non-profit doing events, marketing and design work. Apart from writing, she enjoys eating new foods, exploring St. Louis and being outdoors.