Aerie's New 2020 Role Models Have Big Plans For A Better World

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Aerie is a brand not known for shying away from change. Always ahead of the curve, the lingerie lifestyle brand began its no airbrushing, "Aerie Real" campaign in 2014, and in 2020, plans on taking things even further. On Jan. 23, Aerie introduced eight new role model ambassadors as part of its spring 2020 #AerieREAL campaign to help influence change on the world. The list includes actors, scientists, activists, and more to join its impressive current role model roster, which includes Iskra Lawerence, Cleo Wade, and Aly Raisman. With so many paths for young people to take, Aerie is using its spring campaign to shine a light on all of the different ways young people can do their part to make this world a better place — and nothing makes that more evident that the brand's wide-ranging role model selections.

No matter what field you are looking for a role model in, Aerie's got you covered. Film actors Lana Condor — of To All the Boys I've Loved Before fame — and Beanie Feldstein, who played Molly in Booksmart, have both advocated for the importance of diversity in race, sexuality, and body shape in Hollywood and head up the #AerieREAL list. Hari Nef and Ali Stoker are both firsts in their own rights — Nef was the first transgender model and actress to be signed to IMG Worldwide, whereas Stoker made headlines in 2019 for being the first wheel-chair user to win a Tony — and are featured in the 2020 campaign.

For those more inclined to traditional activism, scientist and CEO Keiana Cavé, who was named to Forbes' "30 under 30" list, developed a toxin-detecting molecule for oil spills and works an advancing technology to improve women's health also made Aerie's list, as did Dre Thomas, who founded Smile On Me, an organization focused on providing inner-city girls with a safe space to receive sex and health education. Manuela Barón, a climate change activist focused on teaching sustainability through small changes, and DJ and curator Tiff McFierce — who demonstrates mindfulness through music, movement, and meditation — round out Aerie's 2020 ambassadors.

As a part of its 2020 campaign, the brand plans to invest $400,000 to support customers "who are leading change in their own communities." A press release announcing the role model ambassadors from Aerie reads, "As part of the initiative, the brand will award 20 real-life changemakers with $20,000 to help them on their journey in making the world a better place," and details on how to apply can be found online through the American Eagle website. Aerie will also hold its first-ever empowerment summit — the #AeriaREAL Change Summit — in cities throughout the U.S. There, the 2020 ambassadors will lead open conversations about activism, empowerment, and change for Aerie customers.

It's exciting to see a brand take so many steps forward toward inclusion by using its platform to better the world. The changemakers joining Aerie's 2020 campaign are the kind of people you want to look up to and imitate, and I am excited to see the innovators they raise up.