It’s the ad campaign that had to happen. Sooner or later, someone would step up, and admit what everyone already knew says 5WPR CEO and Founder Ronn Torossian. The young women who populate clothing ads, particularly for undergarments, are pretty enough without Photoshop. That time has come.

It may have been that creepy “make her an alien” video that is floating around the internet, in which a model is transformed into a cartoonish figure in a couple of minutes using editing software. But it may have also been that one ad company had to be the first, and the time has never been more right.

Its great that the Aerie ad is a hit. The timing of the Aerie “no touch ups” advertising campaign is perfect. Not only is public opinion going sour on airbrushed “perfection,” the ideas of what “perfection” really is are changing.

Perception really is reality, and any advertiser that attempts to inform that reality – or to challenge or create it – must first understand that their market’s perception will define their success.

In this case, the perception Aerie is hoping to generate is that they are “real girl” friendly. That their garments don’t make you look “perfect,” but they enhance, and illustrate your natural beauty. This idea gets to the heart of the marketing behind all lingerie. The women and girls wearing these outfits want to feel good in them. They want to feel their best, not actually superhuman, just a beautiful version of themselves.

That message carries with it no unattainable standard, no unfair mean with which to judge “beauty.” At least, that’s the attitude Aerie is hoping to connect with. Will this ad, like the Dove ads that preceded it, signal a sea change in advertising to women? Tough to say at this point, but tastes, and trends are always in flux.  But, at the end of the day – as with everything else in our market, consumer response will drive the trend.