A few years back I expressed my um… irritation, with the advertising practices of the Victoria’s Secret Corporation and posted my ensuing email to them expressing this displeasure. An email which, it became quickly and abundantly clear, no one at the company bothered to read before sending me a stock, kiss-off reply. They continue their unfortunate advertising choices with the below ad, featuring women who are beautiful to begin with being photo shopped to the point where “perfect” bodies like theirs only exist in computer pixels.
Due to the understandable backlash, VS quickly revised the ad to this:
I guess it’s good that they’re capable of responding to the public’s wishes in some ways.
That being said, I have a confession. A year ago when they were having their big annual sale, I bought some of their underwear. As products go I have no complaint with it. So long as your lower half can squeeze into a size 18, you can wear their product and it feels good, is cute, fits comfortably and stays where it’s supposed to. However shopping there left a bad taste in my mouth that remains to this day. I don’t like myself much for financially supporting a company whose ideas about which bodies are allowed to be called “perfect” I so fundamentally disagree with.
So this year comes around, and once again VS is having their big annual sale. And I once again need some new underwear.
A friend of mine awhile back recommended Aerie to me. Although as a 36 DDDD bra size I stand virtually no chance any longer of being able to shop in any brick and mortar store for bras, I figured their underpants would probably fit somewhat similar to VS’s and suit my size 18-20 bum.
On top of that, I remembered Aerie for this ad campaign…
Don’t get me wrong, that is still a beautiful woman with a figure the vast majority of us can only dream of having, but I absolutely love their no-retouching advertising. “The real you is sexy”? Yes please.
So today, I checked out the store.
The sale that Aerie had going on was quite comparable to VS’s annual one, and I was able to get 8 pairs for a very reasonable $3.75 / pair. The staff was friendly and helpful, and gave me absolutely no side-eye glances whatsoever for being an obese, 40 year old woman in a store with lithe, teenaged models plastered all over the walls.
My only complaint is that they don’t carry briefs (my favored style). So I got boy shorts because they offered the most coverage. Trying them on at home, I can tell you that although the fit is perfect, the low rise of these in the back is something I’m going to have to get used to. I think they're designed that way so that your underwear can’t say, “hello!” to the world in the back when you sit down. Since I’m paranoid as heck over that happening, I can get behind the design concept, I’m just going to have to get used to the sensation.
The sales staff told me that the company is very open to consumer suggestions, so I’m going to email them requesting they start making briefs and carrying size quad-D bras too (although I don’t hold out too much hope on the second request, too niche of a market).
Still, it was an overall really positive and pleasant experience. And most importantly, I don’t feel like a traitor to my cause for having shopped there.