Real Talk with Sadie Strong 

She’s a veteran, she’s a mom, and she’s #AerieREAL! Sadie Strong has learned to embrace her body through all of its stages. Read on below to see how Sadie tries to pay it forward while keeping it #AerieREAL in her everyday life.

Real Talk with Sadie Strong Has being a mom affected how you feel about your body?

When I was pregnant I embraced my baby bump. I wore a bikini, showed it off with crop tops and everything. I thought it was the best body I had ever had. Honestly, in the back of my mind I was worried about what others were going to think of me and my post pregnancy body. “Was I going to bounce back?” “ What if I didn’t?” Now, being almost a year post birth I put all of those questions to bed. The body I have, my son loves to cuddle with and take naps on. If anything, being a mom has made me more comfortable with the appearance of my body because I know the amazing things it’s capable of doing.

What’s your advice for someone who seeks balance in their life?

I believe balance is like an internal scale, weighing the options on how you live your life.

When you put outside world opinions on one side of the scale instead of your own thoughts, opinions and needs, you have to try a lot harder to balance your scale. I believe you need to truly put your own happiness first to have balance in your life. It’s a lot easier to balance yourself and be happy when you are not trying to please strangers as well. Real Talk with Sadie Strong 

Big or small, how do you pay it forward?

I truly try and pay it forward as often as I can. Usually in small cute ways whether it’s for my loved ones or strangers. This is silly but often when I get coffee in a drive through I pay the persons behind me also just because I know it will make them smile. For my kids I like to leave surprise notes around their rooms, or in their backpacks at school to remind them how smart and amazing they are or send them little jokes. I love to give people a small moment of happiness because life isn’t always easy, but I believe a smile goes a long way and can get you through a day.

What makes you #AerieREAL?

I’m #AerieREAL because I  am my TRUE self and I choose to be me. Every curve, scar, smile, and feeling! I am enough just the way I am. I am a mom and disabled veteran, and being able to accept my body and myself  for who I am, allows me to live my best life and be Role Model for positivity and self love.

Want to learn more about our latest #AerieREAL photo shoot? Read about it here!

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You Got It From Your Mama!

Here’s to our role models! This Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating MOM—your original role model. To get ready, we brought our #AerieREAL Role Models and their moms together for an extra-special shoot. Find out what Iskra, Yara and Aly got from their mamas and share your story! Tell us what you got from your mama or what you hope to pass on to your kids with us @Aerie #AerieREAL.

See behind-the-scenes fun from the shoot and read our #AerieREAL Role Models’ stories below!

Iskra Lawrence with her mom, Wilma

Iskra: “Her gift is that she’s grateful and excited for each and every single thing in life. That’s really really wonderful and so happy and positive to be around. You show me what unconditional love truly means.”

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SHOP THE LOOK: Aerie Cross-Strap High Neck Bikini Top | Aerie Muscle Tank

Wilma: “I think for moms out there, it’s really important to always be positive, to bring a positive vibe each day, to tell your children how much you love them, how much you do appreciate them. Just be happy.”

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SHOP THE LOOK: Aerie Cut Out One Piece

Yara Shahidi with her mom, Keri

Yara: My mom is one of the biggest influences in my life. Part of it is just watching her maneuver through the world. Being able to be in your presence, I’ve watched you maneuver through the world without compromising. You’ve always been very honest and open with me.Even being able to see the times in which you’ve struggled has made it so I embrace myself and I embrace the moments when I don’t feel my best. And rather than glossing over those, you’ve taught me to really live in those moments and figure out how to grow from those moments rather than feeling as though I have to attain some random idea of perfection.”

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SHOP THE LOOK: Aerie Strapless Ruffle Jumpsuit

Keri: “I feel like one of my jobs before I had her, before my husband and I manifested this creature, was to know that we were depositing goodness. And for her to reflect back and say ‘geez thank you’ without me whispering in her ear “name me a role model” is honestly more than I could ever ask. So I’m honored.”

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SHOP THE LOOK: Distressed Cable Sweater | Lace-Up Easy Short | Long Sleeve Striped Shirt | Cut Out One Piece | Denim Fringe Short

Aly Raisman with her mom, Lynn

Aly: “No matter what I do, no matter how crazy everything gets, I always look forward to coming home & just being grounded & having that balance. Family is the best place for me, so I feel very lucky.”

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SHOP THE LOOK: Smocked One Piece Swimsuit | Long Sleeve Striped Shirt | Triangle Bikini Top | Bikini Bottom | Striped Kimono

Lynn: “Be confident, be supportive and kind, and just really love yourself.”

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SHOP THE LOOK: Triangle Bikini Top | Macrame Scoop One Piece Swimsuit | Macrame Top

Share your story! Tell us what you got from your mama or what you hope to pass on to your kids with us @Aerie #AerieREAL.

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Mother’s Day Series: #AerieREAL Girls & Mamas

We hosted an #AerieREAL Mother’s Day brunch for our team & their mamas and asked each “how does your mom inspire & empower you?” Watch their responses and share your own story by commenting below.

Mother's Day Series: #AerieREAL Girls & Mamas

#AerieREAL Role Model, Iskra Lawrence and our Vice President of Aerie Marketing, Stacey McCormick, spoke with the mother/ daughter duos about what it means to be #AerieREAL and what an important role women play in our lives every day.

Wilma, Iskra’s Mother, talks about Iskra’s inspiring message to #AerieREAL girls all over the world and how much it means to be able to share in that message with her while Iskra aspires to be the woman her mother is. Watch below!

Mother's Day Series: #AerieREAL Girls & Mamas

Jill Maurer, our Store Ops Communication Lead, shared the day with her mom Sue. Between their shared sense of humor and knack for storytelling – two of them discussed how proud they are of each other and their own personal accomplishments!

Mother's Day Series: #AerieREAL Girls & Mamas

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