Follow Her Friday: Rachel Hollis

This week we’re inspired by the courageous, career-driven, body-loving blogger, Rachel Hollis! Her proud bikini photo received tons of media buzz and we couldn’t help but want to learn more about this beautiful, mother of three.

Aerie: We love your body positive message – what inspired you to share this photo with your readers?

Rachel: So many reporters asked me this and the answer is kind of silly. I theme my Instagram every month to a color and that month’s color was orange… the exact shade of my cute new bikini top. We were in Cancun and I thought it would be a cute picture and so I had hubs snap a bunch. I am no kind of model and being in a swimsuit feels especially awkward so the one I chose is the one where I’m laughing at how silly I felt. When I saw it I noticed my stretch marks right away but I figured plenty of my followers are moms and have them too so I just decided to post it anyway. I couldn’t have anticipated what would happen with that picture, it still blows my mind.

Aerie Follow Her Friday: Rachel Hollis - Body Positive message

Aerie: How did you get started with The Chic Site?

Rachel: I was an event planner for ten years in Los Angeles and initially I started The Chic Site as a virtual way to house all my ideas. At the time I thought people would want to see pictures from fancy parties but what I quickly learned was that they were much more interested in recipes and parties from my own real life. When I started to focus on my personal style (down home with a little fancy thrown in) that’s when the site really started to gain a following.

Aerie: What’s your favorite part about running a lifestyle website?

Rachel: There are a lot of things to love. I’m my own boss, which is a great feeling. And I work with an incredibly talented group of people that I got to hand pick. In the words of Confucius, “Choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Also, I truly love the idea that we’re being helpful to women who read our site. Whether it’s a recipe, a makeup tip or a tutorial on how to decorate your bedroom I want our readers to come away feeling inspired and encouraged.

Aerie: Do you have any advice you would give to girls interested in starting their own blog or business?

Rachel: Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. Seriously, there are so many businesses and blogs out there and the only way you’re going to make a splash is with a genuine message that is authentically you. Also, if you want to start a business you can’t treat it as a hobby. A lot of new bloggers decide to throw up a post here or there without structure behind it. Build an editorial calendar, collaborate with people smarter than you, take yourself seriously and others will to.

Aerie: Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?

Rachel: There is no such thing as luck, there is only preparation meeting opportunity at a moment in time.

Aerie: What’s your favorite Aerie product?

Rachel: I love a great t-shirt but I am such a sucker for a summer sweater! Haha, only in LA would someone consider the term summer sweater but it’s a real thing! You know the kind with a loose weave or the ones that are so light it’s like wearing cotton? I love them! It’s a way to feel cozy even if the weather is warm.

Follow Her Friday: Rachel Hollis

Aerie: What does being #AerieREAL mean to you?

Rachel: #AerieREAL is the idea of not just being comfortable with but grateful for who you are today. I love the idea of wanting to better your self, to become a better person inside and out. But that doesn’t mean that who you are right now (at this exact weight, with that exact hair, with your nose and your smile) isn’t awesome. Celebrate where you are, the real you because the real you is fabulous!

 Thank you, Rachel! Be sure to check out The Chic Site and follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!



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How do you get a perfect bikini body? Put a bikini on your body! To celebrate body positivity and our #AerieREAL initiative to #LoveYourRealSelfie, we brought more than 1,500 Aerie girls together to take the world’s largest unretouched selfie in South Beach, Miami!

#LoveYourRealSelfie - World's Largest Selfie

Bikini beauties were joined by actress and The Duff star Mae Whitman, DJ Hannah Bronfman, Aerie girls Iskra and Eli and Fashion Blogger Sincerely Jules! To top it off and get that AERIE-al shot, acclaimed aerial photographer Gray Malin captured the event from a helicopter, high above the Mondrian South Beach Pool.

#LoveYourRealSelfie - World's Largest Selfie #LoveYourRealSelfie - World's Largest Selfie

“We couldn’t be more proud to further our #AerieREAL campaign and bring our ‘Love Your Real Selfie’ message to life with this memorable and exciting aerial platform,” shared Jennifer Foyle, our Brand President. “Aerie is seizing Spring Break as an opportunity to challenge beauty standards, share a brilliant swim collection designed for all Aerie girls and celebrate body positivity with the world’s largest selfie.”

Now it’s your turn! Share the body positive love on Instagram with #LoveYourRealSelfie and help us to continue to celebrate #AerieREAL!

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Follow Her Friday: Laura Porter

We’re inspired each day by the stories you share that show how you’re #AerieREAL. This week we’re sharing the story of 23-year-old Laura Porter, a student at the George Washington University, and founder of SPEAK GW. A recovering ED warrior and advocate for change and body positivity, Laura works each day to provide resources, and raise awareness and attention to the problem of eating disorders specifically on campus. Read on below to learn more about Laura and to follow her journey!

Follow Her Friday: Laura PorterAerie: Hi, Laura! Thanks for chatting with us. We love SPEAK’s mission. What inspired you to launch SPEAK GW?

Laura: I wanted to create a space and a community where people weren’t afraid to speak up about eating disorders.  I am inspired by the community Proud2BMe and NEDA have built online, and I love being able to bring that community to men and women in college, because that’s what I needed when I was struggling. Organizations like SPEAK and Proud2BMe give young people the opportunities to use their voices and silence stigma, which really changes lives.

Aerie: Do you have a role model? If so who is he/ she and why does he/ she inspire you?

Laura: My role models are the men and women who share their stories so bravely with others and those warriors who fought internal battles with addiction, eating disorders and other illnesses, and won.  There are so many people I have met in treatment who I now see doing amazing things and successfully and bravely taking on life’s challenges one day at a time.  Those are my role models.

Follow Her Friday: Laura Porter

Laura and her best friend and former VP of SPEAK, Katie Duman.

Follow Her Friday: Laura Porter

Laura and Brian Cuban, an Eating Disorder and Addiction Recovery Advocate at a SPEAK GW event.

Aerie: After graduation, what is your ultimate dream job?

Laura: It’s my dream to speak to young men and women around the country and share my story of recovery from alcoholism and an eating disorder. I want people to never feel alone and to know that there is always hope.

Aerie: Do you have a favorite quote or mantra? 

Laura: My mantra is “speaking up saves lives.” It’s so true because when we share our stories and use our voices, we can reach people in ways that can change a life.

Follow Her Friday: Laura Porter

Laura and her sister, Abby. ❤

Aerie: What does being #AerieREAL mean to you?

Laura: It means showing my true self to others,  knowing that I am worthy of love and letting go of perfection. It’s about being me—unapologetically.

Follow Her Friday: Laura Porter

Laura sharing the #AerieREAL love! Show us your selfie with #LoveYouRealSelfie.

Aerie: What’s your favorite Aerie bra fit?

Laura: The Softest Lace Racerback Bralette.  It’s perfect to add extra color to my typically neutral wardrobe.

Aerie: Do you have a secret skill or talent? Spill!

Laura: I can do impressions really well, especially accents. I’m from Houston, Texas and have family from Mississippi, so I’ve nailed the southern twang.

Thank you, Laura! Be sure to follow Laura on Instagram and her organization SPEAK.

For more information and resources, visit Tell us your story at!



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