Aerie is the self-proclaimed body-positive clothing brand that's been known for standing on the grounds of inclusivity. Jameela Jamil is an outspoken actress and activist who's been known for her stance on the acceptance of women of any size. So it was only right that the two paired up for the brand's most recent campaign, starring a slew of other celebrities. 

The campaign is a poster of diversity women of all sexual orientations, races, and abilities. However, there's one clear demographic missing, and an obvious one at that: plus-size women. People are beginning to question if Aerie is really body positive at all, as they have been for years, and Jamil is now at the forefront of the criticism. 

Yesterday, Jameela Jamil revealed the newest campaign for loungewear brand Aerie. 

"So excited to announce that I am joining @Aerie as an #aerierolemodel and got to stand next to so many women I love and admire at our shoot. No retouching and inclusive of everyone."

She praised Aerie for often caring about demographics that are forgotten — or intentionally left out — by most clothing brands. 

"This is a campaign about inclusion of plus size, disability, race, sexuality, and activism, but also check out their sizing which is moving in the right direction that most brands don’t care about."

And she emphasized the diversity of the group of women curated by the brand.

"A plus size model, a Paralympian, a south Asian, a black woman, a gay woman, a blind woman, activists, game changers, and women who use their platform to fight for others. I’ve never seen a campaign like this before that represents so many minorities, and I’m proud to be in it."

She said the outcry of excluded women everywhere was what made the campaign possible. 

"Keep speaking up. Keep speaking out. It helps the change happen."

In addition to the minorities included, many of the women in the campaign also revealed that they are survivors of sexual assault. 

"Also sexual assault survivors. Some of the women in this picture have publicly told our stories of sexual assault and we have been celebrated as powerful AF by @Aerie." 

However, many women didn't think that the brand, which prides itself on being "body positive," included the exact minority it claims to serve: plus-size women.

Jamil began to catch heat, as there was visibly a lack of plus-size women featured in the campaign. She urged those who felt left out to speak on it. 

She also assured women that Aerie would be making bigger steps toward size inclusivity. 

"Just sat down with some of the bosses at @aerie who assured me they are already working on becoming more and more inclusive in sizing. But please don’t lose sight of the fact that it’s also so cool to have blind, disabled, black, Asian, gay, and sexual assault survivors repped too."

However, it was Jamil's use of the word "everyone" that left her catching the most heat. 

"Nope. Shouldn’t have said everyone. I want to delete this tweet so much, but I would rather take the beating and have people learn from the mistake of the problematic use of the word, so we can all learn to be more careful. I hope all fashion serves us *all* better in the future."

Jamil let everyone know that she appreciated being called out and urged the critics to continue doing so.

"It’s not dogpiling! it’s much needed criticism that I’m so down to hear and help push forward. We can all do this together and your noise helps my noise. And noise makes change. So don’t stop making noise. Without all of you there would be no progress at all."

But she stood firm in her stance that the campaign was in fact inclusive, especially for South Asian women. 

"Hope it’s ok to say as a South Asian who never got to see us in fashion campaigns, tv and films, unless we were being openly ridiculed/playing degrading stereotypes/terrorists, that it’s really cool to be involved in a global campaign and hope Indian/Pakistani girls like it." 

And she made it clear that she can be excited about the presence of Indian and Pakistani girls in the campaign while also criticizing the fact that it excluded plus-size women.

"My culture is so erased that I think people don’t even realize that it’s a huge deal when we are represented. This also goes for people with disabilities, who rarely get much support when they are erased. I was once the south Asian disabled kid who needed this representation."

Many responded to Jamil by saying that she's not a body-positivity activist at all, something she surprisingly agreed with. 

"I agree. I’m not a bopo activist. I’m a life positive activist who just fights all shame, be that detox teas, diet products, photoshop, ethnic erasure, gay erasure, disability erasure AND fat phobia. I stand with you not in front of you." 

Jamil is urging all of those who felt left out by the campaign to speak up and continue to make her and brands like Aerie aware of their mistakes. 

"Join me as we listen to those who have been so ignored by society. Don’t be defensive. Don’t be angry. Just shut up, listen and do better. If we all do better, we will *all* be happier in the end. Ignorance isn’t evil, and it is easy to remedy with tolerance and self-education."

And while there's no denying that the campaign is in fact inclusive, it's hard to understand how Aerie could miss such an obviously isolated demographic. 

As their Instagram bio reads, "Body positivity. Retouching free since 2014," there's no excuse for missing the mark on this one. Plus-sized women were blatantly overlooked, and it's unacceptable. 


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