'This is what girl power is all about': Company praised for showing off models' stretch marks

Image via Boohoo

Online shoppers are praising retailers for refusing to airbrush body “imperfections” from their models.

U.K. retailer Boohoo is being applauded by its female consumers for featuring a model wearing a swimsuit with visible stretch marks.

In a Facebook post that has since been shared upwards of 69,000 times, user Cheryl Adele writes, “I find this so amazing! That even on a massive clothing brand like Boohoo they haven’t photoshopped away the models stretch marks! This is what girl power is all about! And every woman has imperfections. It shouldn’t be photoshopped away to give unrealistic expectations! It’s what makes us who we are. Its reality [sic].”

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By normalizing body “flaws,” the brand is not only appearing more accessible to its audience, but is helping to create strides in the fashion industry that has long sold an unattainable, Photoshopped idea of beauty to consumers.

Image via Boohoo

Boohoo consumers have taken note and have expressed their support for the brand en mass.

“Omg…I have this too,” one person wrote. “I’m not body conscious about these things at all but it’s so refreshing to know that women have this too.”

“I want to live in a society where body imperfections no longer need to be ‘celebrated’ as that will mean they are truly accepted…” another shared. “But until then, let’s continue to have models displaying the imperfections that make them beautiful and real.”

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The decision not to airbrush their model’s stretch marks is part of a growing trend by retailers to break tradition, and use ‘normal’ looking women to market their clothes.

Other major retailers such as Target, Modcloth and Aerie have all refused to photoshop their models.

“We stopped retouching to send an empowering message, and it’s been an added bonus that the campaign has had a positive impact on sales as well,” Aerie’s global brand president, Jennifer Foyle said in 2014.

Aerie’s un-retouched photos feature body positive models, such as Iskra. Image via Instagram.

Since then, Aerie has reported a steady growth in sales, and has leveraged their pledge to not re-touch photos into an online social media campaign, #Aeriereal, and a “Love the Swim You’re In” campaign to raise money for the National Eating Disorders Association.

With more and more companies hopping on the no-retouching bandwagon, it feels as though real progress is being made. While there’s still a long way to go before women’s bodies can be fully embraced in all streams of media and all levels of fashion, we’re slowly making headway.

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