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Redefining Beauty Standards: H&M’s Ladylike Campaign

This morning I watched H&M’s campaign video for their Fall 2016 line. The video features women of all sizes, ethnic backgrounds, hair types, and ages. The message of the campaign enourages women to be their own version of “ladylike”. One of the first frames in the video is of a plus-size girl in lingerie, and all of a sudden I felt recognition. Like I was seeing something familiar, somebody who actually looked like me – in a model campaign – and seeing something real.  

H&M isn’t the first brand to start featuring “real” girls in their campaign ads. Aerie’s #AerieREAL campaign is just one example of a brand and real girls who are celebrating the authenticity of women.

Growing up in this generation, there was definitely not enough representation in diversity of women in the media. We were raised in a society that never would have shown us that plus size could be beautiful. We didn’t know that beauty was possible outside of a size two. And maybe it’s not even “plus”, maybe it’s just real.

Finally, women like Ashley Graham, Tess Holiday, and Iskra Lawrence are representing campaigns, clothing lines, strength, and un-retouched beauty. Hopefully, girls growing up can learn that beauty has a much broader definition; that beauty is not just what society defines it as, but whatever it is to them.

Model Ashley Graham wearing one Forever 21 Plus’s spring bathing suits.


It’s about seeing the power of curves, stretch marks, and those imperfections that don’t really make anybody less beautiful. It’s about time the rest of the world caught up, so that more girls can have the same thought I did this morning. That someone who I thought was beautiful looked more like me than any model in the media, looked like my friends, and all the real-life role models I’ve ever had.

It’s things like this campaign video that will allow more girls to recognize themselves in what our society portrays as “beautiful”. Beauty is way more than skin deep and we have a lot more to offer than our appearance.  It’s important that brands like H&M and Aerie are recognizing that. Life needs to be less about numbers – the calories, the dress size – and more about fullness. Real, unabashed, un-photo shopped fullness. Beautiful means happy and healthy, beautiful means self-love and confidence, but it also means whatever you want it to be.

Beauty isn’t about size, collegiettes, it’s about love, confidence, and happiness, but most importantly – it’s about you. 



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