A few weeks ago, the ridiculous #AerieMan campaign was launched and the world went wild with faux excitement. We made fun of it, and you guys lost your Goddamn minds. I get it, body acceptance is a very important issue, but this still just seemed…off. It just seemed too over the top. Not to mention, men seem pretty confident in themselves no matter how they look, so…?
As it turned out, we were right. The whole thing was an April Fool’s joke and we had something new to laugh about — the actual hell Aerie’s PR team is in right now. While personally, I respected these guys for acknowledging that their bodies weren’t perfect, yet not demanding people tell them they are, many people saw this as an attack on body acceptance. Unfortunately, it was an attack on more than that.
American Eagle allegedly never told Kelvin, one of their models that the campaign was a joke. Um, what the fuck? Did the marketing team watch any bad teen movie ever during which the mean, popular girls trick the nerdy, shy girl into thinking she’ll be prom queen and then publicly humiliate her, and think “This would be perfect for April Fools!” This is not funny. This is cruel.
Kelvin Davis, told Buzzfeed, “My part and contribution to the project was 100% authentic and real.” Could you imagine? Thinking that you really are the face of a new campaign that will bring out body positivity just to discover that it was a joke? And to make it worse, Davis said that he has been getting some of the backlash, from the campaign after people thought he was the one making the joke. It’s hard to know what the marketing team for American Eagle thought this would play out, but they seem to just be digging themselves a bigger hole..