In a bold Instagram post on Monday, the Canadian body positivity advocate took aim at the apparel brand for their latest swimwear campaign. Brenna, known for her candid discussions on inclusivity and body diversity, highlighted the absence of plus-size women in Aerie's "inclusive" lineup.
The post featured Aerie's beachside advertisement with models of varying heights and sizes. Brenna took aim at the brand, criticizing the campaign for not including enough plus size models.
Brenna's on-screen commentary didn't mince words: "Pretends to be shocked," she began.
In a carousel of images, Brenna shared her opinions on the brand's "superficial" inclusivity.
"There are always brands who market their products as inclusive when they’re not,” Brenna wrote. “This is a great example of this. This has been going on with this company for almost 10 years.”
"Don't try to be inclusive when you don't really care. Own that you don't care," she said.
"You don't need the guise of being 'diverse,'" she added. "If your diversity doesn't include plus size bodies, it's not diversity."
“Just because we’re used to not being thought about doesn’t mean we don’t care,” she wrote. “Plus size people make up a significant part of our population. Hate it or love it, w’ere here. The average sized American woman is a size 16.”
The influencer's powerful message was met with supportive messages from fans.
"Superficial inclusivity. Performative activism. They don't care about plus size people whatsoever, they care about saving face and seeming like they are ethical," an Instagram user commented on the post. "Thank you for speaking out."
"I saw this ad and thought the same thing," someone else wrote.
"Tell 'em!" one person added.
"This needed to be said," a fan commented.
"I don’t put money in the pockets of brands that are embarrassed by bigger bodies," a follower told Brenna.
Yahoo Canada reached out to Aerie for comment, but has not received a response.
The critique of Aerie's campaign extends beyond Brenna's comments. On Aerie's official Instagram account, where the campaign photos were initially posted, several influencers echoed similar concerns about the lack of diversity and inclusivity.
"The plus size community has been asking you for years to be more inclusive," Brenna wrote on Aerie's post. "Every year you refuse to inch anywhere closer to having plus size representation. It’s really sad, especially since this has been going on for nearly a decade."
Notably, model and self-love advocate Tess Holliday also chimed in writing, "I’m definitely sexy and I don’t see a body like mine in this photo. Would love to see more body diversity, abilities, skin tones and textures, etc."
"If sexy isn’t a body type, then why are there only ‘acceptable curves’ here?"content creator Stephanie Yeboah wrote.
"Dear straight sized commenters defending [Aerie] in the comments: Instead of arguing for companies who don’t know you and don’t care if you defend them, why don’t you try following fat people. Listening to fat people. Elevating the perspectives of fat people," another influencer, Megan Ixim, said.
She paired the snaps with a caption assuring her followers that "weight gain is not the end of the world."
"You're allowed to give your body compassion and acceptance for existing however it exists," Brenna continued, adding, "Your body does not have to be a vessel for your hate. You are allowed to shift your shape. Life does not stop at a size 12."