This week Aerie announced its newest spokeswomen, and every single one of them is major #girlboss status. Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, actress and activist Yara Shahidi, and singer-songwriter Rachel Platten join model Iskra Lawrence as “role models” for Aerie’s spring line, which uses unretouched photos to celebrate women’s bodies exactly as they are.
But Aerie’s been doing that since 2014. The difference this time is that the campaign is about more than body diversity—it’s about celebrating a diversity of strength as well.
Shahidi, for example, is a 17-year-old actress most famous for her starring role in Black-ish. Off-screen, she’s a full-time social activist, supporting causes ranging from the education and civic engagement of young women to diversity in STEM.
Raisman you’ve probably heard of. Aside from being an Olympic gymnast, she’s made waves recently for speaking up as a survivor of sexual assault and testifying against her abuser in court. Platten, on the other hand, is the voice behind the iconic anthem “Fight Song” (listen ASAP if you haven’t), and she’s spent years creating an impressive catalog of music about turning insecurity into courage.
All three women have something different to say, but they each promote a message of embracing vulnerability and speaking up for things that matter. Every one of us faces hardships, they say, but owning that truth and persevering anyway can lead to broader social change.
“Everyone is a survivor of something,” Raisman said, emphasizing the need for an honest conversation about tough topics like sexual assault. In the year of the #MeToo movement, this feels more urgent than ever. Women are embracing their own stories and using them to change the existing culture, and we love seeing vocal female advocates gaining an even bigger platform. Thanks to leaders like Raisman, Shahidi, and Platten, young women now have even more reason to be proud of the vulnerability that ultimately makes them strong.