Culture Jam Parts 3 & 4 – The Jammed Ad and Analysis

the real you 2


Impossible Standards

Here you can see my Jammed version of the original ad, in which I have highlighted the deceptive use of bold claims juxtaposed with direct contradictions to those claims by using what Mark Dery calls “Subvertising”. Aerie claims they’re not using supermodels – well then why does the model still have a supermodel body? They claim they haven’t retouched her – does she seriously not have a single freckle, mole or scar on her? They claim “the real you is sexy” – but still use a model who adheres to our culture’s impossible standards of beauty. She’s white, she’s perfect, and she’s without a voice.

By projecting that their motives have changed and removing the model’s face, she has become an object used to sell underwear. When in fact, this is just another marketing strategy used to exploit young girls into buying their product. Note that they’re not claiming that “the real you is more than enough”, they’re claiming “the real you is sexy”. This still sends the problematic message that sex appeal is paramount to a girl’s image.

The issue here is that society (and aerie) may claim to be moving towards loving every body type regardless of size, ethnicity or gender, but it is ads like these which hinder the process rather than help it. By claiming to be a part of the body positive movement without actually being a part of it, they confuse and control the “consumer’s” actions. Despite advances made in feminism over the past century, women are still subjected to being sexualized and criticized for their looks. Being a woman is more than having a perky rear end. “The real you” is the sum of all the things which make you, you: mind, body and soul.


Works Cited

Dery, Mark. “Culture Jamming: Hacking, Slashing, and Sniping in the Empire of Signs”. Mark Dery. 24 June 2016. Web.

Urbano, John. aerie Real. American Eagle. Web. 24 June 2016.


Culture Jam Parts 1 & 2 – The Original Ad and Analysis

the real you


American Eagle – Aerie Underwear Ad

In the recent wave of body-positive movements (think Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty and Demi Lovato’s social media posts), it’s no wonder that corporations are jumping on the band-wagon in a effort to distance themselves from the so-called “body-shamers”. The aim of Aerie’s ad is to emphasize the fact that they are one of the good guys – their images are real, the women in them are real, and the clothes they are wearing look just like they will on you. The issue here is, while it’s great that they are attempting to promote positive body image for girls, why did they have to cut this model down to just her bum? By removing her identity – her voice, her intellect, her thoughts and feelings -they make her into an object. An object that can sell underwear because even though they’re promoting body positivity, let’s not forget that sex sells. Their slogan reminds us of that: “the real you is sexy”.

If the real her is sexy, why can’t we see the rest of her? Exploiting the body-positive movement by objectifying women and using it to sell underwear is deplorable. The other issue presented here is that while they claim “the real you is sexy” etc, the woman chosen here still upholds those same standards of beauty that people in the body positive movement are striving to dispel. The model is white, has flawless skin, is thin, and perky. Where are the women of color? Where are the women above a size small? Where are the women with faces? Here it is clear that the brand is capitalizing on a trend to sell their underwear, perpetuating a culture where the consumer is more important than the individual.


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