Branding “real” in the “aerie Real” campaign: the commodification of women’s issues in Postfeminist advertising
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This study examines the main messages presented in the “aerie Real” campaign as a case study in the uses of postfeminism to commodify the idea behind the term “real.” The textual analysis of the campaign explores the uses of postfeminist discourse with a focus on the campaign’s contributions to the sexualization of culture and its emphasis on individualism, choice, and empowerment of the girls and young women. Developed on a foundation of existing literature that addresses and problematizes the contemporary postfeminist media culture, this analysis implements grounded theory to look at the branding texts released through aerie’s social media platforms during the initial launch of “aerie Real.” Ultimately, it comments on the ways in which the campaign only serves to perpetuate the sexualization of women in underwear advertising rather than eliminate it.