Bethany Hamilton is #AerieREAL
Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic where I spent a majority of the year in quarantine, I pretty much live in lounge wear, and have a newfound deep resentment of having to wear real pants. This being said, Aerie, a woman’s intimate apparel and lifestyle retailer, has quickly become my favorite brand, as they offer a wide array of comfy clothes. Using social media influencers as a way to promote one’s brand has become increasingly popular in the past few years, and has become a phenomenon in modern advertising. Bethany Hamilton, known as the professional surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack, whom the movie Soul Surfer was based off of, would be a fantastic sponsor for Aerie because she’s a great representation of the idea behind the #AerieReal campaign, which promotes authentic body posivity that’s inclusive to all abilities.
Bethany Hamilton is in her early thirties, resides in Hawaii with her growing family, and currently has 2.1 million followers on her Instagram account. She has been a role model for women, body positivity, and overcoming hardship since a young age. Aerie has a goal to make women feel beautiful in their own skin, and Bethany found fit right in with their campaign goals. “Six years ago, American Eagle’s loungewear and lingerie line, Aerie launched its #AerieREAL campaign, a bold commitment to stop photo-editing pictures of its models. The mission of #AerieREAL is to promote body positivity and diversity and to encourage their competitors to do the same. To represent the brand and its message, Aerie selects a group of Role Models who represent “real” women igniting change in the world through diverse careers and philanthropic efforts” (Kim, 2020).
The main, obvious reason that Bethany would be a great influencer sponsor and even Aerie Role Model is because she is not afraid to show off the fact that she is still beautiful and successful despite only having one arm. She represents the core value of #AerieREAL- every body is beautiful, worthy, and capable. She regularly posts authentic photos on her Instagram, and sponsoring Aerie would fit very naturally into her regular posts…it wouldn’t feel forced, as some sponsorships sometimes do.
Her being a great representation of body positivity and ability awareness isn’t the only reason that she would be a great fit for an Aerie influencer. Another fairly basic reason is because of her reach ability. 2.1 million followers is a lot, so her sponsored posts would be very successful in reaching a lot of new people. Another huge reason she would fit Aerie sponsorship so well is because of her Hawaii lifestyle and professional career. According to her pictures, Bethany lives a laid-back, beachy lifestyle- this lifestyle aligns well with Aerie’s branding as a loungewear brand. Aerie’s clothing is perfect for trips to the beach, smoothie shops, and, of course, surf sessions. Aerie offers tons of swimsuit options, and Bethany practically lives in swimwear as a professional surfer. Bethany consistently posting in loungewear and swimsuits would come naturally, because that is her style and everyday look already. Overall, Bethany’s bright, beachy Instagram would be a great fit for showing off Aerie’s comfortable, adorable, and authentic products!