Growing up as a petite Asian girl, I often felt excluded as companies primarily used tall, white models to show off their products. When it came time to actually purchase products, I always had to settle. Never was I able to feel like I completely fit into a pair of jeans, or that a foundation color perfectly matched my skin. However, recently, I am starting to see more inclusive representation from brands. For people like me who have not been represented by companies and have struggled to find products that fit them well, I have curated the following round-up to show some brands that give me hope for the future of inclusivity.
Aerie by American Eagle has always been very inclusive. Their bras range from size 30A to 38DD, and their nude bras actually reflect what “nude” means to different skin colors. Aerie truly sets the precedent as a brand that is mainstream. As it is located in many malls and offers prices on the affordable side, Aerie is accessible to a lot of customers, allowing more people to find bras, bralettes, and underwear suitable for their body type and skin color. Rather than going out of their way, people can find Aerie products in their local mall.
While scrolling through Aerie’s e-commerce website, I was immediately drawn to the diverse range of models represented. People of all ages, races, and sizes are being displayed on the product’s thumbnail. This is a beautiful contrast from the skinny, size-zero models that I see while scrolling through most lingerie websites. While Aerie is well-known for its inclusive campaign, #AerieREAL, which launched in 2014, its recent campaign stood out to me the most. The campaign features women with disabilities and chronic illnesses such as vitiligo, Down syndrome, and diabetes. Many people have responded saying that this is their first time seeing themselves represented by a model. As a large-scale company with a lot of influence, Aerie is truly taking the initiative for change.
Third Love is a lingerie brand that strives to have everyone fit in their undergarments. The website has a great feature called the Fit Finder Quiz that allows you to assess your bra size. You can choose your bra size from an impressive array of options that extends even beyond Aerie’s sizing, with a band range of 28-48 and a cup range of AA-I. After determining your perfect fit, Third Love will suggest the correctly sized bras for you.
To celebrate Pride Month, Milk Makeup partnered with The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center of NYC to create a limited edition Pride collection of makeup. 50% of proceeds from purchases made in June were donated to The Center. The collection’s tagline is “Glitter = ____,” with glitter representative of individuality and self-expression. Milk made sure to embody those values through their campaign. Rather than use only cisgender female models for their makeup products, Milk hired gender nonconforming models. Featured in the campaign are individuals who represent different races and identities, all of whom use makeup to tell their unique stories, creating a beautiful and inspiring campaign.
Fenty Beauty is at the vanguard of beauty brands. Offering forty shades of foundation, many people have been able to find colors that perfectly match their skin tone for the first time. The campaign and product shots feature women of all colors, making it easier for customers to picture themselves wearing a product. Fenty Beauty is often quickly sold out, displaying the need for such diverse products that the world still lacks. The company has truly helped fill the gap in the market, giving many people the opportunity to feel comfortable and represented in their own skin.
Recently, Target has been incorporating more inclusive brands into its fashion section, which is a very good sign, as Target is such a household name and accessible store. Two brands in particular are not only affordable and fashionable, but also carry clothes in a size range that goes from 0 to 26W: Original Use is for men, and Wild Fable is for women. Both of these lines carry casual styles and are targeted towards teens and young adults. These clothes are all under $40.
With each of these brands expanding the range of what they offer and choosing more diverse models, I am so glad to have found belonging in the world of consumerism. Having products such as foundations that match my skin tone, I no longer feel obliged to fit into products created for someone else’s identity; now, I can see myself reflected in different campaigns and finally use products to enhance my identity.