The American Eagle brand revealed the photos for their new #AerieREAL line, which features many different, un-retouched women—including those who have disabilities, chronic illnesses, scars, stretch marks and are cancer survivors. One woman is seen using crutches, while another posed in her wheelchair. Women who use insulin pumps and colostomy bags are also featured.
“Now, more than ever, we want to encourage women everywhere to feel empowered to embrace their own unique qualities and beautiful real selves,” Jennifer Foyle, Aerie Global Brand President, has said.
Abby Sams, who is seen wearing a black lace bralette in her wheelchair, shared her excitement for the campaign on her Instagram.
“I am PROUD to say I’ve done this. PROUD to be a part of it. PROUD to be a model representing a community of disabled and chronically ill people. PROUD to be comfortable in my own skin,” she wrote. “Being a model in a wheelchair for a major company is kind of a big deal and I want to be transparent about it all. Confidence is hard to come by and even harder to master.”
Sams, 20, also told Health: “So many people are so excited that a major company is really going deep into representing diversity in all communities,” she says. “[People were] so happy to finally see someone like them in the media, totally unretouched and happy.”
After the campaign went viral, people shared their positive reactions on Twitter.
“They demonstrated a wonderful commit to diversity in their models and I hope that this is a theme throughout the entire company,” one user wrote. “Wow. This is beautiful.”
“Can’t believe there’s a model for American Eagle Outfitters who gets to just rep diabetes devices on the website like it’s no big deal,” another person tweeted. “I love this so stinkin’ much!”
“I’m so proud to be in this campaign and to be able to pose in bra and underwear and in swimwear because I want to and I’m in control — I can do whatever I want,” Raisman told PEOPLE.