Lingerie line debuts a new athletic wear collection designed by a sexual abuse survivor.

‌Back in 2014, American Eagle’s lingerie line, Aerie, stopped retouching, airbrushing, and Photoshopping the models in its ads. The fashion line also quit hiring girls with supermodel bodies in favor of those with natural-looking figures.

While some saw the move as a risk, a year later it announced a 10% uptick in sales after the change in direction.

“The purpose of ‘Aerie Real’ is to communicate there is no need to retouch beauty, and to give young women of all shapes and sizes the chance to discover amazing styles that work best for them,” Aerie’s Chief Merchandising Officer, Jennifer Foyle, said in a statement. “We want to help empower young women to be confident in themselves and their bodies.”


Since, the brand has continued its commitment to inclusion by introducing a clothing line that embraces natural-looking men. It has also launched campaigns showcasing women with physical and mental disabilities, visible scars, and a multitude of chronic illnesses.

Now, Aerie is reimagining the idea of celebrity fashion collaborations by launching a line of active wear co-created by gymnast Alexandra “Aly” Raisman.

At the 2012 Olympics, Raisman won gold medals in the team and floor competitions, as well as the bronze medal on the balance beam, making her the most decorated American gymnast at the Games.

At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, she won a gold medal in the team event as well as silver medals in the individual all-around and for floor exercise.

In 2017, Raisman bravely spoke out about USA gymnastics doctor Lassy Nassar admitting she was sexually abused by him. She also called for sweeping changes in leadership at USA Gymnastics in light of the scandal.

Nassar was later sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography charges and 40 to 175 years in Michigan state prison after pleading guilty to seven counts of sexual harassment to minors.

Aerie’s decision to partner with Raisman on the Aerie x Aly Raisman collection is powerful because the company is elevating a woman not just because of her athletic accomplishments, but her courage to speak out about sexual abuse.

The new clothing line features positive affirmations for women such as “Unapologetically Me” and “Unstoppable.” Fifteen percent of the proceeds from the collection will go to help fight child sexual abuse through Flip the Switch, Raisman’s nonprofit.

“Two summers ago, I met with @Aerie for the first time, and we instantly connected,” Raisman wrote on Instagram. “We’ve become family, and they continue to go above and beyond in supporting me. To be able to work with Aerie and launch the Aerie x Aly Raisman collection is a dream come true.”

via Texas State Senate and The ACLU

There has been a tidal wave of anti-trans legislation proposed over the past few months in the U.S. At least 17 states are now considering restricting anyone under the age of 18 from transition-related care.

Texas is currently debating two anti-trans bills. Once would criminalize parents for allowing their children to receive gender-affirming treatments. Another would criminalize healthcare professionals who administer them.

For a state that prides itself on promoting personal freedom, these bills go out of their way to punish medical professionals and parents for making deeply personal choices. Shouldn't doctors and parents have the right to make medical decisions for children without the state's involvement?

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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