Underwear and the female body in 2015

Thanks to OZ's Vanessa Herman for sharing this article about the PR struggles of Victoria’s Secret, and the corresponding rise of a competitor brand called Aerie (a spinoff of American Eagle).

Vanessa said this discussion reminds her of the messages imparted by Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty.”  While Victoria’s Secret requires that its models conform to an almost impossible physical ideal, Aerie’s advertising features models of various shapes and sizes, and they have made it known that they no longer airbrush the images of their models in ads.

As a company spokesperson puts it, "We left beauty marks; we left tattoos — what you see is really what you get with our campaign.” Aerie’s sales leaped 9% last year and they reportedly enjoyed a strong first quarter in 2015 as well.

Aerie seems to have tapped into to a cultural undercurrent.  This New York Times article suggests that “granny panties” are now cool – not just with grannies, but also with Milllennials.

What do you think is happening in American culture today that is driving these trends?