Why do the women in Target’s new swimsuit ads look so real? No Photoshop

Model and activist Denise Bidot stars in Target’s new swimsuit campaign.
Model and activist Denise Bidot stars in Target’s new swimsuit campaign. Target

Target is scoring big points with its new swimsuit campaign that features women unadulterated by the magic of Photoshop.

The women in the bikinis and one-piece suits look just like they would if you met them at the pool or beach — stretch marks, curves, round thighs, cellulite and all.

The company tapped four women known for their social media activity, activism and athleticism, according to Babble.

It’s a group of diverse body shapes and interests — models Denise Bidot and Kamie Crawford, pro skateboarder Lizzie Armanto and YouTube personality Megan Batoon — but they have one thing in common.

No airbrushing.

“We loved working with these women because they embody confidence and inspire women to embrace and be proud of who they are, regardless of their size or shape,” Target said in a statement about the #TargetSwim campaign.

“It was important to us to use photography that represented their true beauty without filters.”

The company’s website says the swimwear styles are “for every beach body under the sun.”

“It’s about time!” one woman posted on Target’s website. “Guess who I will be buying my suit from? Lovely models!”

In recent days, the four women have posted photos — and pep talks — to their personal Instagrams.

Bidot appears in a bikini. She gained scores of fans earlier this year when her unretouched ad for plus-size retailer Lane Bryant was featured in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. She posed in a marine-themed bikini with the stretch marks on her stomach front and center.

“Never be afraid to look into the mirror and give yourself a pep talk before heading out to the beach,” Bidot writes on her Instagram alongside a photo of herself in one of the Target swimsuits.

“It might just be the confidence boost that changes the day. ... This bikini says ‘I’ve got this!’ 

In a promotional video for the campaign, Crawford, a former Miss Teen USA who stars on the BET reality series “F in Fabulous,” says her “swimsuit style is anything that holds the girls up and together.”

Katrin Alyss, who writes for a website aimed at teenagers, praised the new ads.

“Women shouldn’t have to feel pressured to get ‘bikini ready’ with the latest fad diet out there. Also, women shouldn’t feel ashamed when they step out into the sun to have some fun,” she writes on Proud2BMe.

“I believe that this is a step in the right direction for Target and I am hoping that other retail chains catch on, in a positive chain reaction.”

As a self-described “curvy girl,” Rachel Garlinghouse, a parenting author and writer for Babble, said she appreciated Target’s effort to represent all shapes and sizes, especially when it comes to swimwear.

“Every summer, I struggle to find a swimsuit that gives me coverage without compromising my confidence,” she wrote. “I don’t want a ‘mom suit,’ but I also don’t want one created for a 18-year-old spring-breaker.

“You know the kind — the neon-pink, teeny-tiny triangle top that’s paired with a bikini bottom that has fringe hanging off in all the wrong places.”

Lisa Gutierrez: 816-234-4987, @kcstargazing