NEW YORK, Feb. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In a trade known for promoting unrealistic airbrushed images, Aerie is taking a position as an industry leader for change by becoming a key sponsor of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).
Aerie,the intimate apparel line, has partnered with NEDA as the lead sponsor of the non-profit's ongoing national walks awareness program, NEDA Walk. Save a Life, which raises funds for advocacy and educational programs, spreads awareness about the seriousness of eating disorders and provides support for the local community. NEDA holds more than 65 walks each year in cities across the nation.
Aerie has already made a corporate commitment to body-positivity in its advertising and marketing materials by pledging to no longer retouch models in any way. The brand recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of its #aerieREAL campaign.
"We applaud Aerie for taking the lead in healthy body image through its #aerieREAL and #LoveYourRealSelfie campaigns," commented Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of NEDA. "This can be a significant game changer for the fashion and advertising industries. We know that over-the-top ads promoting extreme thinness and non-stop diet promises send a message to teens and young adults suggesting that they are not good enough – translation: not thin enough – and sadly fuels the fire of low self-esteem. Research has shown that low self- esteem is a serious precursor to unhealthy eating behaviors and eating disorders."
"Aerie has already shown a commitment to change," she continued, "with ad campaigns that highlight a range of body types. Their approach was not only socially responsible, but also resonated with the public and was profitable. We hope others will learn by their great example."
"We're thrilled to be the first national retailer to support the National Eating Disorders Association," said Jennifer Foyle, chief merchandising officer of the Aerie brand. "This partnership is a perfect fit for our brand. We look forward to joining thousands of young women in supporting NEDA at walks across the country and to sharing resources and information with our customers to help reduce the stigma often associated with eating disorders."
The Facts …
In the U.S., 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life – including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder – with anorexia having highest fatality rate of any mental illness.
Of American elementary school girls who read magazines, 69 percent say that the pictures influence their concept of the ideal body shape and 47 percent say the pictures make them want to lose weight.
It is estimated that, in the U.S., 19 percent of adults and three percent of children are on a diet on any given day. Forty-two percent of first-through-third-grade girls want to be thinner and 81 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat. More than half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting and taking laxatives. Even among clearly non-overweight girls, over one-third report dieting.
Dieting causes such side effects as stress, anxiety, depression, irritability and low self-esteem—and dieters often gain back the weight they lose. Thirty-five percent of "normal dieters" progress to pathological dieting. Of those, 20 to 25 percent progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders.
About American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE: AEO) is a leading global specialty retailer offering high-quality, on-trend clothing, accessories and personal care products at affordable prices under its American Eagle Outfitters® and Aerie® brands. The company operates more than 1,000 stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, and ships to 81 countries worldwide through its websites. American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie merchandise also is available at 100 licensed international franchise stores in 16 countries. For more information, please visit www.ae.com.
Aerie is bras, undies and more for every girl. Designed in sizes 30A to 40DD, Aerie is committed to making bras for girls of all sizes feel good about themselves, inside and out… because we believe the real you is sexy. No supermodels. No retouching. #aerieREAL. For more information, please visit www.aerie.com.
About the National Eating Disorders Association
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), headquartered in New York City, is the leading U.S. non-profit organization supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. NEDA serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Each year, NEDA helps millions of people across the country find information and appropriate treatment resources through its toll-free, live helpline, its many outreach programs and website. NEDA advocates for advancements in the field and envisions a world without eating disorders. For more information, visit www.MyNEDA.org
For Treatment Referrals, Visit www.MyNEDA.org
Or Contact NEDA's Live Helpline: 800-931-2237
Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (EST)
Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (EST)