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Influencer and brand partnerships are not a new concept to anyone, especially with social media influencers becoming the new generation of celebrities. However, many brands are beginning to make conscious decisions about who they partner with based on their shared values and mission. Recently, body positivity and self-love movements have been on the rise within fashion brands and personal care companies, as insecurity and discomfort with one’s own body are becoming more of a burning issue than ever before.
Curve model and TikTok influencer, Remi Bader, has been on a mission since September 2020 to change this reality. In this blog, Hollywood Branded looks at Remi Bader and Aerie’s partnership as they aim to promote self-love and body positivity while also being honest about insecurities and the mental health struggles that many face as a result of toxic beauty standards.
Remi Bader rose to fame through her “Realistic Clothing Hauls” that she posts on her TikTok account @remibader where she shows her followers what clothes look like on a curvy, plus-sized model instead of what they look like on the brand’s website. She has done clothing hauls from many popular brands including Free People, Zara, FashionNova, Revolve, H&M, Birkenstock, and Youswim. Remi buys clothes from a variety of retailers so that they are accessible to her followers but also align with her personal values. She is honest in her content and calls out brands for their sizing discrepancies but also gives credit when credit is due. She has even stated outright that she only works with brands that she believes in so her followers know that what they are watching is real and honest content. Even when trying on clothes that don’t fit or look a little odd, Bader doesn’t allow insecurity to take over and posts it for her fans so that they can see that everyone experiences these sorts of dilemmas when buying new clothes.
Bader started her TikTok page in late 2020 with recreations of celebrity looks on her own size 16 body to show that you don’t have to be thin to be fashionable. Since then she has amassed a large following of 1.3 million fans on TikTok and 126k on Instagram. From the beginning, she has been using her platform to spread body positivity and bring others on her journey of learning to be comfortable in her own skin, and now she is partnering with Aerie to bring this mission even further.
Image credit: Stylecaster
At the beginning of Remi Bader’s TikTok career, she put together a list of all the companies and brands she wanted to work with in the future. Aerie’s focus on self-love and body positivity put them at the top of the list. Bader talks candidly in many of her videos about the insecurities she has experienced around her body and how that has affected her mental health, especially during quarantine. In an interview that PEOPLE conducted with Bader, she tells them that Aerie “aligns with everything” she wants her personal brand to represent and adds that “it’s almost weird how much sense this partnership makes”.
Now that summer is quickly approaching, many of Remi’s TikTok videos feature her trying on bathing suits from a variety of brands in a variety of styles. In the first few videos she posted in bathing suits, she pointed out that it has taken her a long time to become comfortable showing her body on camera. It is something she still struggles with but she wants to represent and help her fans who experience the same kinds of insecurities. This transparency and honesty are what make her page so unique and what draws so many people to her. It is also what makes her the perfect addition to the Aerie team. Remi’s openness about her struggles with body confidence is refreshing for young people struggling to learn self-love.
Intimate apparel and lifestyle retailer Aerie is no stranger to promoting body positivity and inclusion through their campaigns and models. The brand was launched in 2014 with the mission to market towards all women and reimagine beauty standards by encouraging girls and women to love their bodies. Their approach is simple, hire models of all shapes, sizes, and colors without airbrushing away “flaws” like stretch marks or cellulite. Aerie’s most recent campaign, #AerieREAL, has enlisted social media influencers (Remi Bader and Sienna Gomez) and celebrities (Keke Palmer and Lana Condor) to promote authenticity and self-love to their fans and followers.
Image Credit: Forbes
In addition to showing models with bodies that represent all women, Aerie has dedicated themselves to making sure that their models’ personal values and missions align with their own. This ensures that girls and women see themselves being represented, physically, and have positive role models to look up to. As part of their most recent addition to the #AerieREAL campaign, TikTok influencers like Bader and Gomez are motivating users to create their own content that represents the mission of this movement. For every unretouched post that is made on Instagram or TikTok with the Aerie hashtag and handle, they are donating $1 to The National Eating Disorders Association. Through this initiative, they have already successfully donated over $185,518 and do not plan to stop any time soon.
Aerie is not a new name in fashion by any means but that doesn’t mean that Remi Bader’s involvement with them doesn’t benefit their business as well. Through the use of Bader’s own social media platforms, she can bring awareness about Aerie’s campaign to her own followers and encourage them to support a brand that embraces inclusivity and self-love. Anyone who follows Remi and keeps up with her realistic clothing hauls has become educated in all of the clothing brands she typically shops and supports. Because of that, it is no surprise that sales for certain brands/items go up when Remi gives a positive review. For example, Bader posted a recent TikTok where she raved about a Zara dress she was wearing to dinner. Afterward, the comments were full of requests for the item link or asking for the name of the dress so that people with a similar body type could also buy it.
That being said, not only does the Aerie Real campaign have a positive impact on the way young people are learning to view their own bodies, but it also encourages other brands to expand their clothing sizes and jump on the body positivity train. Since Remi has begun making her realistic clothing hauls on TikTok, many of the brands that she called out for their limited sizing or sizing discrepancies have increased their size range. Free People, a brand that she frequently reviews in her TikToks, has recently put out a curve denim line to cater more to plus-size and curvy women that are interested in their popular denim styles.
Image Credit: Free People
Even though Aerie is paving the way for body positivity in the fashion industry, they aren’t the only company that has taken this stance. Other brands have launched their own campaigns to embrace natural and real beauty among men and women. Dove launched their Real Beauty campaign with an advertisement featuring eight women of different shapes, sizes, skin colors, and ages to break the rules of what is considered “beautiful” and what is marketed by companies. Nike has also recently introduced a plus-sized collection to their athletic wear, a place in the fashion industry that we don’t often see bodies of different shapes and sizes being celebrated.
Image Credit: Buzzfeed
Similarly, to Aerie and Dove, clothing retailers ASOS and Missguided changed their strategy to include stretch marks and natural skin on the bodies and faces of models in every photo, making their shoppers feel all the more comfortable and confident when wearing their clothes. Even though there are more and more clothing stores establishing themselves as specifically being made for plus-size and curvy women, it is incredibly refreshing to see well-known brands and companies making the effort to change their image so that every person feels they are represented. The work these brands are doing to normalize all body types and features that society often tells us are “flaws” is never-ending and will hopefully continue to increase until brands that are not following in their footsteps become the outlier.
As brands continue to find ways to change their models and their image to encompass all people, there is hope that the idea of having a single fixed standard of beauty will fall away. With influential companies like Aerie, Nike, and Dove paving the way for the body positivity movement in the media, it is not hard to imagine that many other companies will follow in their footsteps and prioritize representation within their brand. Celebrities are the main influencers of unhealthy and unrealistic beauty standards through social media, so if we continue to normalize being “imperfect”, we have the potential to change that narrative so that no one ever has to log into Instagram and feel bad about themselves again.
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Interested in hiring influencers like Remi Bader to represent you and your brand? Read our guide below to see all the steps that will make you an asset to social influencers.