#AerieSupports NEDA—Celebrating 5 years of our partnership!

For the 5th year in a row we are proud to celebrate our partnership with NEDA, a non-profit that supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Read on below to learn more about our partnership with NEDA and how you can get involved.#AerieSupports NEDA—Celebrating 5 years of our partnership!

#AerieSupports NEDA—Celebrating 5 years of our partnership!

This year, we’re excited to bring you more styles than ever that you can shop to support NEDA! 100% of sales of our limited-edition tanks and undies benefit NEDA. 
#AerieSupports NEDA—Celebrating 5 years of our partnership!

Aerie sponsors all NEDA walks across the country that raise funds for advocacy and educational programs and provide support for local communities. To find a walk near you, head here.

#AerieSupports NEDA—Celebrating 5 years of our partnership!

Check out www.Aerie.com/AerieSupports and www.MyNEDA.org to learn more about NEDA and for additional resources. And always remember to love the REAL you!

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Love The Swim You’re In Is Back & Bigger Than Ever!

For the fourth year in a row, we want YOU to LOVE THE SWIM YOU’RE IN! Last year, you helped us raise $30K for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), making it our most successful year yet. But we’re not done.

Created by stop-motion artist @BeccaClason.

This year – we’re taking our goal to all new heights! All swim season, we’ll donate $1 (this year up to $50,000!) to NEDA for every unretouched swim photo or video you share with #AerieREAL @Aerie. Start sharing and you could also be featured on social or in our store windows!

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and start sharing using #AerieREAL @Aerie. Tell us why you love the swim you’re in, and encourage your friends to share, too. Because EVERY body is a perfect beach body.

 

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Making #RealWishes Come True

This holiday and always, it’s so important to us to give back to our communities and make #RealWishes come true. Read on to see how we’ve been doing our part, and get inspired to give back on your own. Share your story with #RealWishes @Aerie!

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Giving Tuesday

​In celebration of #GivingTuesday, we partnered with The Girls’ Circle to host a private shopping party for 25 young women from the Bronx. The Girls’ Circle provides a safe space to help young women develop their voices and tackle challenges faced during their teen years, and also creates a sisterhood with their peers. We held a special party for these amazing ladies at our Times Square Aerie store, where each girl got to hang with an Aerie designer to talk everything from shopping to career to life advice, and got a $250 gift card to treat themselves.

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IMG_2747IMG_2751We also made Giving Tuesday all about giving cozy! From 11.27 to 12.6, Aerie and AE partnered with Delivering Good to give back and donate a warm winter hat to someone in need for every winter accessory purchased online and in stores. We were so proud to donate 70,000 hats!

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One of my favorite sayings is, “Give to the world the same amount of which you receive.” With the holidays fast approaching, it’s easy to get wrapped in the festivities and material goods and forget about the real meaning behind them, forget about that saying. So in commemoration of #GivingTuesday, we had the chance to volunteer at the YWCA, an organization committed to supporting and empowering women. This day of service provided a valuable reminder to continue giving graciously—during the holiday season and beyond! To pay it forward, I’ll be giving out some free aerie goodies. Just comment below how you intend to give back! 💚🌟 * * * #AerieREAL #aerieambassador #aeriepartner #RealWishes #GiveReal

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Happy #GivingTuesday! *** Giving Tuesday is a global initiative to kickstart the charitable season with kindness and generosity. One of my favorite things about the @aerie brand is their thoughtfulness when it comes to giving back. *** Last week the Aerie babes [@ryekoch, @mariahweimar and I] were able to bring an entire shopping cart full of canned goods to @riverpantry thanks to the generosity of @mindbodybadger and you all around campus! This morning, I gave back to myself by pushing as hard as I could in my workout. Throughout the rest of the week, I’ll be giving #REALwishes to you all — follow along on my Insta story for your chances to win some adorable Aerie products (peep the scarf in my photo)! *** Most importantly, remember to practice gratitude during the holiday season, and when you have a chance to give back to yourself, your friends or your community – take it! That’s all and have a happy #GivingTuesday! ♥️♥️ *** #AerieREAL #Aeriepartner #Aerieambassador #GiveReal

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Sharing the love at school 

To spread the giving spirit at schools across the country, we asked our #AerieREAL Ambassadors to to tell us how they wanted to give back for Giving Tuesday. From volunteering at local food banks and collecting feminine product donations for homeless women to writing letters to breast cancer patients and survivors—they accepted the challenge with open minds (and hearts!).

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AEO makes #RealWishes come true 

At our home office, we were so excited to bring back our Holiday Giving Trees. This year, we partnered with several local charities—including KidsVoice, Mars Home for Youth, and Beverly’s Birthdays—that support underprivileged, at-risk youth. Home office employees picked a gift wish tag from the tree and purchased a gift for a special young person. Together, we were able to make more than 125 holiday wishes come true.

For more fun around the office, AEO held their 5th Annual Turkey Bowl on 11.20. Employee players and spectators embraced the Thanksgiving spirit and raised a record $15,000 through raffle tickets and donations for several special charities and organizations:

  • Giving Tree Wishes
  • Anti-Defamation League
  • Tree of Life Synagogue
  • AEO Helping Hands (which supported AEO associates affected by the California wildfires)
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh
  • UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Candy for our Troops

The funds raised were matched by AEO, for a total of more than $25,000 to help those in need.

Making #RealWishes Come True

Aerie stores give back (& pop up!)

Soon after Giving Tuesday, some of our store associates helped count and pack bras that YOU donated to Free the Girls. And that donation happens in every Aerie store, every day! If you want to participate, bring in a bra to your store (any brand, any style), and we’ll recycle or donate it to Free The Girls. Your donation also gets you 15% off a new bra. So far we’ve donated more than 2,000 bras, and you still have time to help out!

For the second year in a row, the Give Real Pop-Up Tour made the rounds at 4 cities, and we donated 50% of all sales at every stop to a local non-profit.

December 1st: Philadelphia – We donated 50% of all sales to Women’s Way, a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of women, girls and gender equality.

December 2nd: Baltimore – We donated 50% of all sales to Girls Empowerment Mission, a program that provides opportunities for high school girls from underserved communities and enables them to become independent, self-sufficient and confident young women.

December 8th: Atlanta – We donated 50% of all sales to I AM B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L., a non-profit dedicated to building self-esteem and leadership capability in girls and women of all ages and stages.

December 15th: Charlotte – Last stop! We’ll donate 50% of all sales to EmpowHERment, Inc., a non-profit that empowers girls and women to be leaders through mentorship, talent development and advocacy.

 

Share how you’re making real wishes come true this holiday with us @Aerie & use #RealWishes.

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Happy Giving Tuesday!

Help us make #RealWishes come true! Hear from #AerieREAL Role Model, Jenna Kutcher, about the most important part of the holiday season: giving back. Watch the video below to see how she’s giving back today and how you can too.

Starting today for Giving Tuesday and through 12.6, Aerie and AE are partnering with Delivering Good to donate a warm winter hat to someone in need for every winter accessory you purchase in stores or online. Give cozy. Give back.

 

Happy Giving Tuesday!

Share how you’re giving back this holiday with #RealWishes!

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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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Real Talk with Aysha Emmerson

Aysha Emmerson founded Self.I.E. (Self Inspiration and Empowerment) Camps to help girls in their pre-teen years. Read on to find out what inspired Aysha to become an advocate for empowerment and learn more about the camps that bring girls together at such an important time in their lives.

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What inspired you to create Self.I.E. Camps?

My fervent belief in the powerful strides girls can take when they support one another drove me to create Self.I.E Camps. I experienced this support from inspiring young women double my age when I was hospitalized with anorexia as an eight-year-old. I battled with this life-threatening disorder from ages seven to twelve. The unkind words and actions that were all too common in middle school only made my struggle worse. I watched my peers’ attempts to conform, while wearing my own feelings of not being “good enough.” In high school, as I found my niche and grew a stronger voice, things began to change for me. I realized that I was not alone in my experience of insecurity and isolation. Believing that no other girl should have to hurt like I did—I heard my call to action. I could not find a pre-existing venue to help inspire and empower younger girls using the approach that I felt was needed, so I decided to create my own.

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Tell us about how your camps empower girls and young women & why that’s important to you.

I believe that our uniqueness is what makes us beautiful and I have experienced the pain that comes from struggling to change the body we are born into. I no longer want to live in a culture that perpetuates an unattainable image of beauty. I no longer want to see girls’ and boys’ true selves be degraded by their own low self-esteem, which can lead to any number of serious issues that inhibit an individual’s capacity to reach their potential. I no longer want to feel helpless to a situation that I can help improve. I want everyone to embrace themselves and each other.5 Days_Themes

Self.I.E (Self Inspiration and Empowerment) is a day-camp for girls entering grades 5 and 6. Led by high-school students, the camp includes activities and reflections designed to build a strong sense of self and skills to navigate the pre-teen world. Each day of the camp centers around one of five themes: self-care, self-acceptance, self-expression, self-defence, and self-to-others. The goal is to help participants at a vulnerable age develop a rich appreciation and understanding of themselves, allowing them to build resilience and flourish, while also enabling them to support other girls and give back to their communities. It creates a safe space where girls entering middle school can come to see the value in being themselves and can be given love and support from their peers and positive teen role models, who were in their shoes just a few years earlier. In addition, sharing and role modelling Self.I.E’s five themes helps the camp counselors to better embody these lessons in our own lives, while strengthening their confidence as leaders.

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What would you tell your ten-year-old self?

To my ten-year-old self: you deserve kindness. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself and who accept you as you are—and if you can’t find them just yet, hold on a little longer—they do exist. Treat yourself as you would treat others. Be kind, be patient, be accepting, and know that it is okay to be confident in who you are. Stop focusing on others’ opinions and focus on what you think of yourself. In the end, that’s all that matters.

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What advice do you have for someone who is struggling?

Find trust. Trust the resilience of life’s little joys. Trust that there are people who care about you and who can help you. Trust what your own body is telling you. Trust that you can and will get through this. Like when you are on the last stretch of a run and all you want to do is quit, physically override any negative thoughts with each step you take—no matter how small. Trust that you and others have crossed a finish line before and can do it again.

Final Reflection

What makes you #AerieREAL?

I am #AerieREAL because I believe our real selves are our best selves. I live each day with the intention of lifting others up and building their self-confidence. I see the world through an accepting lens, recognizing the beauty in everyone and everything. I focus on the things I do control—who I am and how I treat others—rather than the way I look or what others think of me. I recognize that I will always have my flaws and challenges but that these are an important part of the real me and the person I am becoming. By using my voice and personal story I hope to inspire and support others, while helping to bring about social change.

 

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