Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke
In the past eight months, 2016 has seen the back of a lot of things — some more positive than others — the lack of gay Disney characters (thanks Finding Dory), Colin The Caterpillar not having a gf (thanks Connie), the EU (sob - thanks 52%) AND people being happy with unrealistically skinny and ‘perfect’ models.
The most recent brand to celebrate female empowerment in a campaign is Lonely, who just launched their latest Lonely Girls campaign starring Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke, who go un-retouched for the New Zealand brand. Wearing black, blue and mint green lingerie sets, Lena and Jemima prove that bodies don't need to be re-touched to be beautiful. Just look at them!
For the Olympics, the international lingerie brand launched a campaign called #BeStrongBeBeautiful, featuring windsurfer Bryony Shaw, shooter Amber Hill and Paralympian long jumper Stefanie Reid. The backing of the Team GB stars who competed for gold in Brazil comes at an important time when half of secondary school girls drop out of sport after the age of 13. Stefanie said: ‘I hate the idea of girls not reaching their full potential in sport because they are afraid they won't be accepted, or that it somehow makes them less feminine.’ All three of the women competing spoke about being taunted for choosing sport over more 'girly' teenage interests; Bryony was told she looked like a boy, while Amber was asked: ‘Why shooting? That’s not a very sexy sport’.
The American Eagle sister brand launched an #AerieREAL campaign in 2014 and stopped featuring anything but untouched models to challenge industry standards, and to demonstrate that being natural is what's ACTUALLY sexy. Jennifer Foyle, Aerie’s Chief Merchandising Officer, said: 'We want to help empower young women to be confident in themselves and their bodies.' Body positive Brit model Iskra Lawrence, is the campaign's role model, said: 'Aerie shares my values in uplifting women, building their confidence and embracing the unique qualities that make us all beautiful […] I am honored to be the #AerieREAL Role Model and to continue representing their brand message.'
Read More: Get to know the Inbetweeners (the models in the middle of sizes), our exclusive interview with Tess Holliday and Dounia and Mina - the body positive teens who are taking over the internet...
& Other Stories
As well as being one of our actual favourite high street stores, & Other Stories continuously strive to project positive messages in their campaigns — featuring a diverse range of ages, ethnicity and personalities — especially when it comes to lingerie. They're all over the idea that there is no ideal female body, and scars, tattoos and birth marks are just part of what makes someone unique and beautiful.
The lingerie brand’s latest campaign features a hugely diverse range of women — including an Alopecia sufferer, a transgender woman, an amputee and a recovered anorexic — modelling their new Scantilly collection. #TheNewSexy challenges the media norms of ‘sexy’, representing women of all different shapes, backgrounds and sizes. Curvy Kate has always pushed body positivity, having never used traditional models but instead finding women from social media.