Sexy isn't photoshopped: Lonely Lingerie campaign celebrates diversity and body positivity

  • Advertising
  • October 12, 2016
  • Elly Strang
Sexy isn't photoshopped: Lonely Lingerie campaign celebrates diversity and body positivity

Skinny. Seductive. Photoshopped. These three elements have over years become the mandatory approach for the vast majority of lingerie advertising. But inclusive lingerie brands, looking to target women who have grown tired of being reminded of their imperfections are making a stand against this approach.    

Among those challenging the standard approach is New Zealand label Lonely, which recently released a beautiful body positive campaign for its latest collection.

The campaign was shot by June Canedo and styled by Zara Mirkin. 

It features a variety of women of all shapes, sizes and careers within it: model Paloma Elsesser, ballerina Anna Collins, Art Hoe Collective founder Gabrielle Richardson, transgender model Aurel Haize Odogbo, fashion stylist Marcela Jacobina, sex and relationship columnist Karley Scortino, artist Ajani Lucid, model and designer Georgia Pratt and Canedo's mum Rogeria.

Mirkin is a Kiwi stylist based in New York who regularly collaborates with Lonely on all of its campaigns. She helped founder and director Helene Morris and Canedo to source friends and acquaintances who could inspire women from all walks of life.

“We shot nine women ranging from the incredibly talented writer Karley Scortino to June’s amazing mother – to me, all women equal; all beautiful, inspiring women that should all be celebrated,” Mirkin said.

“I just want women to accept who they are and appreciate what they bring to this world and very importantly be proud of what they look like – any size or skin color.”

What's particularly noticeable about the images is none have been retouched or altered in any way, which is one of Lonely campaigns' trademarks.

Unlike the airbrushed, fantasy lingerie campaigns often strewn across mainstream media, such as Victoria's Secret, Lonely casts models against raw, natural backdrops in relaxed poses.

Elsesser, one of the models featured, told Refinery29 the campaign wasn't just about showing plus size and skinny models, it was about showing all of the blemishes women have as well, such as scars, stretch marks and lopsided breasts.

But she also said saying this type of advertising is revolutionary is silly.

"It’s so funny when people are like, ‘It’s so real, it’s so raw.’ It’s crazy that it’s so groundbreaking, because it’s normal," she said. 

Lonely's Morris said the campaign celebrates the individual strengths of a variety of women.

"Through intimate portraits of nine inspiring women, we celebrate our differences, our different ages, our different bodies, our different stories [and] the differences that make us who we are... with Zara, June and these nine women, we hope to inspire a community of like-minded individuals – independent women who can collectively say they are proud to be themselves," she says.

Although a New Zealand born brand, Lonely is increasingly going global with its focus. Most recently, it collaborated with Girls stars Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke for its Lonely Girls project.

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