Evie is a history student at the University of Toronto, an active member of the type one diabetes community, and she just so happens to be fearless wearing a bra in front of a camera! Read on for more of her story and why she wanted to join our latest #AerieREAL photoshoot. EvelynRidell What made you want to join this #AerieREAL bra photoshoot? Aerie has been my favourite store for many years. I started out with wearing their clothes, and then ended up loving their message. I often looked at their photos in store and on social media, wondering if I could ever be a part of their movement, but at first I thought my Type One Diabetes would somehow disqualify me. After all, I had never seen anyone like myself represented before. I had faith, however, that if any store could change this, it would be Aerie! When I saw the contest opportunity on their Instagram, I decided to take a chance and apply. I hoped that I would be given the opportunity to not only make my dream come true, but to represent all Type One diabetics and give them a voice. You’re on our site rocking a bra and an insulin pump, and people everywhere (us included!) are so inspired by you. How does it feel to represent the diabetic community?   It has been absolutely surreal! When I was diagnosed, one of the first things I noticed was how incredibly supportive the Type One community is. From the very beginning I have been an active member of this community, and I am forever grateful for the lessons, friends and opportunities it has given me. It feels amazing to be giving back, and be representing Type Ones within the #AerieREAL movement. I’ve heard from countless individuals saying how this campaign is the first time they’ve seen themselves represented in the media. I have received messages from tweens, teens, adults, and parents of young children. Many individuals have even sent me photos wearing their Continuous Glucose Monitors [CGM] or insulin pumps visibly for the first time. My hope is that one day soon it won’t be a single campaign representing the community, but Type One representation will be so normalized that we’ll see devices worn confidently, and blood sugar checks done proudly everywhere… until there’s a cure!! Have you seen representation of people with diabetes in the media before? How has it (or the lack of it) affected you? The only time I see Type One representation in the media is when I’m actively looking for it. That’s why the type one community is so important, because it provides us with examples of individuals thriving and proudly living with Type One Diabetes. Without these, there really isn’t representation within “mainstream” media. There is a narrative of general “diabetes” within advertising, which leads to many misunderstandings about the differences between Type One and Type Two diabetes. Because of this incomplete narrative I have received many rude or ignorant comments about my personal health. I have been subjected to comments from both my peers and strangers, ranging from my eating habits to their reasons for my diagnosis, and even my body type. This was not easy to deal with as a 12 year old girl already struggling with self-confidence and body positivity. This is why representation of Type One Diabetes is so important, because it can educate people and help breakdown harmful misconceptions. I know that this campaign would have meant the world to a me at 12 years old, and I hope that it will mean just as much to everyone else.BTS2_Carousel_Bras_2_2 Tell us about your experience on the shoot! The shoot was absolutely incredible! One of the most empowering, exciting and fulfilling days of my life! Every single person on set genuinely believes in Aerie’s message. Their first priority was making sure all the models felt comfortable and safe. Wearing just a bra and underwear can be intimidating, especially with flashing lights and cameras pointed at you. This being said, I never felt anything other than comfortable and was surprised how natural it all felt. As someone with Type One diabetes, Aerie made sure there was always food in case I went low, and were all eager to learn more about how my devices worked. I arrived beyond excited yet very nervous, and by the end of the day, left feeling like I had a new family. What makes you #AerieREAL? I’m not perfect, far from it, but I’m trying my best! I’m real about this, and I want people to know it! When it comes to my Type One Diabetes, I don’t want to pretend that it’s not difficult. Growing up I was always a perfectionist, but type one has helped teach me that there is no such thing as “perfect”. Having a chronic illness means learning to accept both the highs and the lows, and being content with knowing you’re trying your best. I wear my insulin pump and CGM proudly, because without it I can’t grow, mature and live the life I want to.  

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Comments

  1. Sadie Strong

    Evelyn! You’re such a natural beautiful human. Your words are passionate and you so motivated to help others grow. You truly are An inspiration to all who are in your presence. I hope we all get to meet one day. I’m a fan 💕

  2. Adrienne Warden

    This campaign means the world to me, not only as a type one diabetic, but as a girl who knows how much body image means to everyone these days. I am incredibly happy to see a diabetic represented and only wish I could do the same as her and make a difference! It is very hard to show these pumps and sensors to people and I often try to keep them hidden. Some people never even know I had it! I am so proud to be aerie real 🙂

  3. Allison

    I am so inspired by you. As a T1D and also a pumper & Dex wearer I broke down and cried at your pictures. I am 43 & this truly gave me hope. I have worn Aerie for years, this just made me a lifer for what they stand for. Thank you for entering the contest and being a mainstream face for us 💞

  4. Annalise

    Thank you so much aerie and Evelyn for representing me in the media, and adressing the struggles that an uneducated society places on me and others as a woman and a type one diabetic. THANK YOU ❤️

  5. Paula Litwin

    Thank you so much, again, Evie . I’m super impressed with your courage & strength, & your very inspirational representation of the T1D community. It means a lot to my daughter & me . She’s 15, & was diagnosed one year ago in June . It’s been a tough year, but things are getting better now. People like you make a world of difference . Keep up th great work! We love to follow you on Instagram & Facebook .

    Paula Litwin. Factoryville, Pa

  6. Tamra

    Thank you for being brave enough to be in the photo shoot! We have a very little one with Type One and I am scared for her future and her now. Seeing you out there gives me hope more people get out with Type One and wear it proudly so we can teach eachother we are all beautiful, strong and important. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  7. Alyssa Way

    As I was shopping on aerie online I stumbled on a picture of Evie with an insulin pump and was completely shocked! Seeing an insulin pump on another person in public is a very rare occasion, but seeing it on someone in the fashion universe is unheard of. As a girl who also lives with type one, I started to cry happy tears. Thank you Aerie for being so awesome and showing who people really are. Because of the aerie real campaign I will always support the company and will take pride in your clothing.

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