Emma Roberts And American Eagle Take A Stand Against Photoshop

August 25th 2015

Laura Donovan

"Scream Queens" actress Emma Roberts debuted Instagram photos Monday of some of her modeling looks for American Eagle's #AerieReal campaign, which features non-airbrushed images of models.

The 24-year-old, who announced her plans to pose for Aerie last month, announced in a press release that this campaign means a lot to her as a woman who works in a field that demands physical perfection.

Roberts is among many women in Hollywood who have spoken up, including Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence, who's known for her megahit films, including the "Hunger Games" franchise and "Silver Linings Playbook," famously discussed unrealistic body image expectations of women in their line of work as well. She talked about facing food and body shaming in her own career and spoke about how at Comic-Con, she was stunned after a woman rudely urged her not to have some French fries.

In response to this type of harsh criticism, Roberts joined Aerie's campaign to bring attention to the pressures Roberts and many other women inside and outside her field face.

“Partnering with Aerie was a natural fit for me because #AerieREAL is a message I personally identify with, particularly being in an industry that is quick to judge flaws,” Roberts said. “I feel so honored to be part of a movement that reassures women that real doesn’t mean flawed - real is sexy, real is cool.”


A photo posted by Emma Roberts (@emmaroberts) on


A photo posted by Emma Roberts (@emmaroberts) on

In an email to USA Today, she wrote that she is thrilled to embrace her “true self – unfiltered, unphotoshopped, unretouched [in the ads]. It’s refreshing to step out of the screen and celebrate what makes you, you."

Speaking to Refinery 29 in July, Roberts said she has always liked #AerieReal ads because they are realistic and don't make her feel bad about herself. Here's what she told the publication:

"I remember walking around New York and seeing the last [Aerie Real] ads and thinking those girls look so amazing. Unlike other ads that make me feel like I need to work out more, or I need to buy this for my face — those made me feel good, not like I had to hide behind anything ... I always think of my little sister — she's 14, and when I told her I was doing these ads, she freaked out. It's important for me to be a part of this, because I see how hard it is for girls my sister's age with social media, and feeling like they need to look a certain way. I want to promote the idea that it's okay to look like yourself — you don't have to Photoshop your Instagrams!"

Over the summer, she teased some posts on Instagram of her Aerie photoshoot:


A photo posted by Emma Roberts (@emmaroberts) on


A video posted by Emma Roberts (@emmaroberts) on


A photo posted by Emma Roberts (@emmaroberts) on

The success of #AerieReal

Aerie's decision not to Photoshop models has been a smash success with fans. A conference call last year revealed that sales went up nearly 10 percent following Aerie's decision to stop using retouched images in ads:


It's time to get REAL. #AerieREAL

Posted by Aerie on Friday, January 17, 2014


"The purpose of 'aerie Real' is to communicate there is no need to retouch beauty, and to give young women of all shapes and sizes the chance to discover amazing styles that work best for them," Aerie's Chief Merchandising Officer Jennifer Foyle said in a statement last year. "We want to help empower young women to be confident in themselves and their bodies."


A glimpse at Aerie's Instagram account shows the brand is keeping its word to celebrate women as they are:


A video posted by aerie (@aerie) on


A photo posted by aerie (@aerie) on


A photo posted by aerie (@aerie) on


A photo posted by aerie (@aerie) on


A photo posted by aerie (@aerie) on


A photo posted by aerie (@aerie) on


A photo posted by aerie (@aerie) on

In March, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) gave #AerieReal its first NEDA Inspires "Seal of Approval" accolade.

"The fashion industry has always been a huge part of the portrayal of unrealistic beauty ideals in our society," the release states. "Many companies photoshop their models to extremely unrealistic “perfect” bodies, which influences many people to believe they are not good enough."

Aerie Chief Merchandising Officer Jennifer Foyle said in a statement at the time, "Aerie is committed to challenging super model standards to spark a conversation with the fashion industry and champion consumers with the true meaning of real and unretouched beauty. We are proud of our partnership with NEDA and hope others will join us in creating authentic advertising and marketing."