Real Talk with Evelyn Riddell

Evie is a history student at the University of Toronto, an active member of the type one diabetes community, and she just so happens to be fearless wearing a bra in front of a camera! Read on for more of her story and why she wanted to join our latest #AerieREAL photoshoot.

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What made you want to join this #AerieREAL bra photoshoot?

Aerie has been my favourite store for many years. I started out with wearing their clothes, and then ended up loving their message. I often looked at their photos in store and on social media, wondering if I could ever be a part of their movement, but at first I thought my Type One Diabetes would somehow disqualify me. After all, I had never seen anyone like myself represented before. I had faith, however, that if any store could change this, it would be Aerie! When I saw the contest opportunity on their Instagram, I decided to take a chance and apply. I hoped that I would be given the opportunity to not only make my dream come true, but to represent all Type One diabetics and give them a voice.

You’re on our site rocking a bra and an insulin pump, and people everywhere (us included!) are so inspired by you. How does it feel to represent the diabetic community?  

It has been absolutely surreal! When I was diagnosed, one of the first things I noticed was how incredibly supportive the Type One community is. From the very beginning I have been an active member of this community, and I am forever grateful for the lessons, friends and opportunities it has given me. It feels amazing to be giving back, and be representing Type Ones within the #AerieREAL movement. I’ve heard from countless individuals saying how this campaign is the first time they’ve seen themselves represented in the media. I have received messages from tweens, teens, adults, and parents of young children. Many individuals have even sent me photos wearing their Continuous Glucose Monitors [CGM] or insulin pumps visibly for the first time. My hope is that one day soon it won’t be a single campaign representing the community, but Type One representation will be so normalized that we’ll see devices worn confidently, and blood sugar checks done proudly everywhere… until there’s a cure!!

Have you seen representation of people with diabetes in the media before? How has it (or the lack of it) affected you?

The only time I see Type One representation in the media is when I’m actively looking for it. That’s why the type one community is so important, because it provides us with examples of individuals thriving and proudly living with Type One Diabetes. Without these, there really isn’t representation within “mainstream” media. There is a narrative of general “diabetes” within advertising, which leads to many misunderstandings about the differences between Type One and Type Two diabetes. Because of this incomplete narrative I have received many rude or ignorant comments about my personal health. I have been subjected to comments from both my peers and strangers, ranging from my eating habits to their reasons for my diagnosis, and even my body type. This was not easy to deal with as a 12 year old girl already struggling with self-confidence and body positivity. This is why representation of Type One Diabetes is so important, because it can educate people and help breakdown harmful misconceptions. I know that this campaign would have meant the world to a me at 12 years old, and I hope that it will mean just as much to everyone else.BTS2_Carousel_Bras_2_2

Tell us about your experience on the shoot!

The shoot was absolutely incredible! One of the most empowering, exciting and fulfilling days of my life! Every single person on set genuinely believes in Aerie’s message. Their first priority was making sure all the models felt comfortable and safe. Wearing just a bra and underwear can be intimidating, especially with flashing lights and cameras pointed at you. This being said, I never felt anything other than comfortable and was surprised how natural it all felt. As someone with Type One diabetes, Aerie made sure there was always food in case I went low, and were all eager to learn more about how my devices worked. I arrived beyond excited yet very nervous, and by the end of the day, left feeling like I had a new family.

What makes you #AerieREAL?

I’m not perfect, far from it, but I’m trying my best! I’m real about this, and I want people to know it! When it comes to my Type One Diabetes, I don’t want to pretend that it’s not difficult. Growing up I was always a perfectionist, but type one has helped teach me that there is no such thing as “perfect”. Having a chronic illness means learning to accept both the highs and the lows, and being content with knowing you’re trying your best. I wear my insulin pump and CGM proudly, because without it I can’t grow, mature and live the life I want to.

 

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Go behind the scenes on our latest #AerieREAL photoshoot!

We asked: Want to wear bras that make you feel real good? You said: YES!

Go behind the scenes on our latest #AerieREAL photoshoot!Our newest #AerieREAL faces came from all across the country (and Canada!) for a bra photoshoot unlike any we’ve ever done. Over 10 days of shooting, 10 groups of women came together to shine and share their stories.

Go behind the scenes on our latest #AerieREAL photoshoot!And this is what #AerieREAL is all about. YOU! In our all-new bras. Feeling real good.

Go behind the scenes on our latest #AerieREAL photoshoot!“Everywhere you have women just, it seems, tearing each other down. But this whole experience has been nothing but positive and encouraging. We can celebrate things about each other that we love and admire.” –Anna

Go behind the scenes on our latest #AerieREAL photoshoot!Every day started with some natural beauty love from Patty and Leah, our amazing hair and makeup artists. These ladies didn’t stay behind the scenes the whole time—they both joined the photoshoot!

Go behind the scenes on our latest #AerieREAL photoshoot!#AerieREAL is more of a mindset than anything. It’s feeling comfortable in your own skin and realizing that your flaws aren’t really negative things. They’re things that make you special, they’re things that make you an individual. #AerieREAL is just that mindset, just radiating through.” –Rachel (feeling real good with her sister Shannon!)

Go behind the scenes on our latest #AerieREAL photoshoot!Photographers Andrew and Alex shot each woman in multiple outfits and most importantly… bras that they feel real good in.

Go behind the scenes on our latest #AerieREAL photoshoot!You can find every single person from our photoshoot rocking Aerie bras proudly at Aerie.com, in Aerie stores and on social media.

Go behind the scenes on our latest #AerieREAL photoshoot!“For me, #AerieREAL is just completely loving yourself and finally being able to accept who you really are. Because your body loves you. And every cell in your body is working to take care of you every single day, so you need to love it back. Everything that you are, all your stretch marks, all your scars, are there for a reason.” –Grace

Go behind the scenes on our latest #AerieREAL photoshoot!This photoshoot wasn’t just about the images— each person had so much #AerieREAL love to share. Every group did their own Real Talk, sharing their advice for other women, what the experience of the shoot was like, their thoughts on change and so much more. Stay tuned for our Real Talk series on Instagram.

Go behind the scenes on our latest #AerieREAL photoshoot!A staple of the shoot—the couch of love! Each person signed it and shared their words of inspiration.

Go behind the scenes on our latest #AerieREAL photoshoot!Pretty soon, it was all filled up with LOTS of #AerieREAL inspo.

Go behind the scenes on our latest #AerieREAL photoshoot!You can see all of these amazing women at Aerie.com and in stores now! We’ll be sharing lots from our photoshoot all month long.

Go behind the scenes on our latest #AerieREAL photoshoot!

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Fall Bottoms 4 Ways: Work It Out

When motivation to hit the gym, yoga mat, or trail is lagging, sometimes the perfect pick-me-up is some cute new workout gear! Aerie fit and style expert, Jenny Altman, has some amazing tips to upgrade your workout look. Now step away from that worn out tee and get ready to be seriously fit-spired!

PS: this look also works for running errands extra-fast or even watching “Nashville” reruns. We won’t tell!

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Outta-Sight undies are our secret weapon for rocking our favorite yoga pants. Bye bye, undie lines!

Get the look:

New Balance Sneakers

Sunwashed Crew Sweatshirt

Yoga Pants

Seamless Sports Bra

Outta-Sight Undies

Xoxo,

Aerie

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What Does #AerieREAL Mean To You?

What does #AerieREAL mean to you? Since the launch of our campaign: “No supermodels. No retouching. The real you is sexy.” we’ve been listening to your answer. Whether it’s the 42,000 tweets that celebrate body confidence and what Aerie REAL means to you or the 9,000 Instagram photos where our community has shared their “no retouching” moments” we have felt the support and positive response for women everywhere to feel comfortable in their own skin…not retouched.

We feature your Aerie REAL stories and moments everyday on Aerie.com, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram! Today we are featuring 4 girls that truly wowed us with their confidence, drive, and empowering stories.

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Meet Julia, Amy, Cecilie, and Shanni!

The girls were brought to our headquarters for the ultimate Aerie experience: a tour of our lab store, a meeting with Aerie’s Chief Merchandising Offer and Director of Brand Voice, a $200 shopping spree, a private consultation with our Fit and Style Expert, Jenny Altman, and more!

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Watch the video above and read on to check our their personal style and read their stories that inspired us and that we hope inspire others.

P.S. The girls in these images below have not been retouched.

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What Does #AerieREAL Mean To You?

“Being real is accepting your flaws and all. This is something I have struggled with my whole life. Whether it being my height, hips, thunder thighs, and unruly hair. I’ve learned over the years that insecurities are not flaws, but strengths. They make you unique and tell a story. My thunder thighs help me kick butt in sports and show the hard work and early morning training I’ve pushed myself through. My height has made me stretch – literally and figuratively. (Being 5 foot, me and top shelves aren’t exactly best of friends.) It gives me enjoyment when I see the perplexed faces of people who underestimate me because of my size. My hips, that don’t like, show my heritage and make me proud of where my family came from. My unruly crazy curly hair shows me life is unpredictable and beautiful. It’s my trademark no matter how hard I try to change it. I’m better off rocking it and accepting it. No one is perfect, no matter how hard we try to mask it. Our flaws tell a story that we should embrace. It makes us unique. Embrace your flaws. Share your story and be real because imperfections are a beauty to be seen. #AerieREAL – Amy

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Shop: Three Tassel Necklace | Aerie Striped Cover Up (In Store)

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SHANNI_18971Show me someone who’s got no baggage, and I’ll show you someone who’s got no story.” This is a line by my favorite musician, George Watsky. I was always a storyteller; in elementary school I would be asked to give shorter answers with less detail. But now is time to tell my story. I am not normal. I never have been. But my differences make me shine. I am an author; when I was in high school I wrote a book about quantum physics with my father while still studying for history tests and stressing over term papers. I am a feminist; I teach my little sisters that they are equal to their male peers and talk to my friends about rape culture. I am a nerd; I hold Doctor Who marathons, have books spread all over my floor, and spend hours playing computer games. I am a fighter; I have spent the past year fighting my eating disorder and spreading awareness about mental illness. I have baggage, stretch marks, scars, stories, and my purple hair. I am a girl, a sister, a daughter, a feminist, a fighter, a nerd, an author, a storyteller. But most importantly, I am real. Aerie Real.” – Shanni

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Shop: Dolman Open Knit Sweater | Silky Pants (In Store)

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Growing up, my family members would always call me Cindy Crawford because of the birthmark I have on my face. To others, no one really understood why it was there, why it was so big, and would actually give me home remedies to get rid of the mole. I used to dream of getting it removed and would find a way to hide it in public. Once I got to college, everything changed because everyone told me how unique I looked and to embrace what gifts I’ve been given. I love me and my birthmark and we’re not going anywhere! I still get the occasional stares, double takes, and comments, but that doesn’t stop me from keeping it real. I want to show people around the world that it isn’t a bad thing to have an unusual mark on your skin. Everything about you is beautiful and shouldn’t try to hide it like I used to. Embrace it! – Cecilie


julia2JULIA_18326This is Julia, she’s my cousin, my roommate, and my friend. And on top of being all those things she’s talented, driven, and passionate about her dreams. She recently just took a trip through school to Italy for a photography excursion, which is one of her passions that I always find myself in awe after seeing what she creates because they are always so beautiful. I think she knows that she’s good at it because she is so passionate about it. But what I don’t think she ever knows enough is how beautiful she is inside and out, and that is why I am doing this (also because her whole closet is Aerie and I may or may not like to borrow her clothes from time to time. :))  But like I said, Julia is a beautiful girl and I don’t think she quite knows that or embraces that with confidence and that is why I am submitting this little story about her because she would never do it herself. Julia may not find herself to be perfect, but what I see in her is more than what she sees in herself I often think. And that is why I support your #AerieREAL campaign and its aim in promoting natural beauty rather than the unrealistic body images that too many of our girls idealize. Like this photo captures my thrilling Julia’s beauty, free spirit, and zest for life, I think it also has the ability to capture her complete confidence with herself in this moment just as #AerieREAL should do with all women. – Julia was nominated by her cousin, Katelyn

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Congrats once again girls!
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What makes YOU Aerie REAL? Tell us with #AerieREAL on Twitter or write us at social@ae.com.

xoxo,

Aerie

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