American Eagle’s Scary Slim Summer Campaign

To be totally honest, we’re not fans of pointing fingers and screaming ‘skinny’ every time a model walks down the runway. A lot of the time, these girls are actually just that thin (that’s why they’re models, duh) so to call them out on it just seems sort of insensitive.

Which is why we’re going to do our absolute best to reserve judgement without glossing over the obvious.

Whether it was the camera angle, the post-production retouches, or just a natural slimness, Brazilian up and stunner Aline Weber looks super thin in her latest round of American Eagle ads. Now soap box moralizing aside, what stuck us as totally frightening about the sun-drenched campaign is not just her size (after all, she is Brazilian and therefore from another planet) but the fact that she is that size, in a bathing suit in an ad for an ultra-commercial, teenager-friendly retailer.

High fashion’s homogenous, unattainable standard of beauty is one thing — not that that’s an excuse — yet here we have a mall chain (read: clothes for the rest of us) promoting the exact same standard. Moreover, their target market (like it or not) is teenagers and the idea of a 14-year old girl tearing this photo out of her Teen Vogue, posting it on the bulletin board next to her mirror and then looking at herself, well, it just seemed not okay.

Maybe this is some sort of a half-baked bid to give the khaki-clad brand a bit more ‘high fashion’ cred and compete with the likes of J.Crew, Talbots, and Ann Taylor — all of whom have recently received designer makeovers. But if all they could come up with was skin and bones on a beach, then it’s probably time to go back to the drawing board.


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