Getting Real With Jana Jeffery

When my oldest daughter was 10 years old, she turned to me one day and while pinching her little tummy she says, “Mom, I need to lose weight. I’m getting fat.” I stopped mid-stride and said to her, “You are not fat. Not at all. Why do you think that?” Her reasons were shocking and simple: most everyone she sees in ads and on TV, her idols, they don’t look like her. At least she doesn’t think so.

When I took her in to get her fitted for a bra, she stared at the lingerie models at the entrance of the store and actually said, “I’ll never look like that.” It’s such a devastation to see your daughter critique and doubt herself. It’s as if all the years spent building up her self-confidence and making sure she knew she was beautiful from the inside out went up in smoke, in less than 30 seconds.

A few years after Dove launched their Real Beauty campaign, we watched the videos and talked about how the women she aspired to be like weren’t what she thought they were; that they were marvels of modern technology via the steady hand and crafty photoshopping skills of another human being. She was intrigued by the process and began looking at the ads in magazines, on billboards, and websites a little differently. Dove started the conversation for millions of women, and my baby girl was listening.

So, when Aerie, American Eagle Outfitters lingerie and underwear brand, took to the airwaves, TV, broadcast and social with their #AerieReal campaign, we dived back into the conversation. She loves how she can see moles, blemishes, acne, and not-so-perfect tummies. And I do too, because “the real you is sexy.” Not that she needs to be thinking about sexy at age 12, but you know what I mean.

It’s time, as moms, as women, as human beings that we get real and show our preference for reality over Photoshop with our buying power. As E! News Anchor, Giuliana Rancic says, “We have to see more of that!”