With the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, women’s voices are loud and proud right now—and some big brands are taking notice. In an effort to highlight women that are making moves in their industry, speaking out against injustice or just generally breaking barriers that should’ve never been there in the first place, companies like Nike, Aerie and Glossier have each taken a similar approach and used real-life role models in recent campaigns. And we are loving it.
Here is the run down on each brand’s campaign and the amazing women featured in each.
Nike’s “Force Is Female” Campaign
It’s the 35th anniversary for the iconic Air Force 1s and to celebrate, Nike released multiple versions of the iconic sneaker for women, including a dusty-pink suede version. But before you snub the idea of a campaign that went pink to market for women, know that Nike didn’t just switch up the colour for this campaign—it also put the focus on regional “female forces” who are truly paving the way in their industries, and serving up a whole lot of #careerinspo in the process.
We celebrate a new generation. A generation born with realness. A braveness. A FORCE. – Celebrating Toronto women who pave their own way, demand respect on and off the field, shape culture, and inspire communities. – The Force is Female collection drops on 1.12 at the Nordstrom X Nike Boutique at the Eaton Centre. #ForceisFemale #af1
DJ and graphic designer Karla Moy (above)—one of Nike’s Toronto ‘Forces’ along with track and field Olympian Alysha Newman, stylist Janet Han and lingerie designer Mary Young—says one of the strengths of the campaign is how relatable these women are. “I love how the women that are picked in this campaign are very much like your friends,” she says. Moy goes by the DJ name hustleGRL and seriously lives up to that title. She began charging for her graphic design work at the ripe old age of 12 and now at 25, her client list includes Universal Music Canada, Drake and Lil Wayne.
“For me, hustle is all about pushing your boundaries and creating and sharing your best work,” says Moy. “People toss the word hustle around so much, but you can’t toss it around without living it—it’s a lifestyle.”
“Lifting women should be a way of life,” she continues, pointing to the brand’s longtime celebration of female athletes. “Nike has been doing that for years, it didn’t have to wait for the whole female empowerment thing to become a trend in order for them to implement it into their campaign and their brand.”
#AerieReal Role Models
Aerie has been keeping it real for a long time now. Back in 2014, it ditched Photoshopping in all its campaigns and four years later, American Eagle’s underwear brand continues to be a strong proponent for showcasing women of all shapes and sizes. Their latest campaign, #AerieReal Role Models, features four women you may recognize—not just because they’re famous, but because they’re famously making a difference for women.
The biggest name among the role models is Black-ish and Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi, who is a vocal member of the Time’s Up movement. But she’s not the only one who’s been in the news lately. Standing alongside her is three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, who recently testified as one of the hundreds of young women who was abused by sexual predator Larry Nasser. Iskra Lawrence is a longtime Aerie ambassador and the only one in the campaign who is a model by trade, and she has made it her mission to help diversify the representation of women in advertising. In 2016, she was featured in the All Woman Project, which celebrated models of all shapes, colour sand sizes.
“I couldn’t be more excited for the #AerieREAL Role Model community to grow because we need voices,” Lawrence told Glamour. “We need diversity. I want every girl to feel like she has someone to look up to.” Rounding out this dream team is singer Rachel Platten, whose “Fight Song” became the unofficial anthem to Hillary Clinton‘s presidential campaign and has since become an advocate for women and girls around the world.
Glossier’s Body Hero models
One of our fave beauty brands released its line of must-have body products in September, and took it as an opportunity to promote beautiful bods in a variety of forms. The Body Hero ad campaign features five women, each a total boss in her industry and each photographed completely in the buff.
“We wanted to come up with an overarching theme for body that would encourage positivity and fun,” says Glossier founder Emily Weiss. “We think every body is great and everyone can be her own body hero. There isn’t one ideal body type and there isn’t one ideal body hero.”
The photos feature Olympic basketball star Swin Cash Canal, who was photographed when she was pregnant (and freaking radiant), plus-size model and influencer Paloma Elsesser, who has also modelled for Fenty Beauty, Outdoor Voices clothing brand founder and CEO Tyler Haney and creative director Lara Pia Arrobio. I mean, come on, this is #SquadGoals.