Monday, February 1, 2010
Everything That Is Wrong About Us
I'll admit it, I shop at American Apparel. They have great basics and the concept of plain block colored clothing is a great one. However, often when I'm forking over cash in that store I find myself cringing. Yes, they're over-priced and cheaply made, but more than that I find their oversexed marketing to be a turn off.
The two models pictured above are professional (in fact I believe one is a porn star). If you'd like to see an example of America Apparel ads that are nearly soft-core porn, there are plenty of those too (NSFW). These ads I don't like, but if some aspiring model/actress wants to get naked for a brand, it's her business. To me there's a difference between having a professional model signing a contract and American Apparel's amateur ad campaigns. A model is in the business, chooses to wear next to nothing, be plastered all over the US, and (most importantly) he or she gets paid and a clear stipulation of how the image will be used. On the other hand, American Apparel now encourages young women to submit their own mostly-nude photos on their own time for free. Maybe I sound like a prude but there's something about an underage girl buying see-through mesh booty shorts, then going home to photograph her nearly naked ass and hopefully submitting those photos to a company to put all over the Internet, for free, that seems exploitative. Not to mention all the allegations of sexual harassment going on at American Apparel head quarters (apparently the boss likes to get handsy with his employees).
The latest American Apparel gimmick is a "search for the best bottom in the world" where users (pretty much all female, as far as I can tell, no naked male butts to ogle) can submit photos of their ass in some form of American Apparel clothing and vote on which are the best butts. Most of the women are next to naked and seem pretty young. There's just something so sad about these women's eagerness to be pure sex objects and to have their looks degraded online. People vote on these photos, like an all ass version of "Hot or Not". I seriously doubt the girls who submit photos spend a lot of time considering what it will feel like to have strangers call their butts ugly. One could argue that American Apparel is doing a good and anti-elitist thing, allowing normal girls to get a chance at modeling. I did a little checking up on this and I have to say after surfing the site, I did not see a single heavy girl, or less than attractive, or even remotely normal looking person. All the amateur models are very thin, pretty, and have nice racks. No diversity here.
Obviously I have some pretty strong feelings about this latest ad campaign, but maybe I'm totally off the mark. Are these girls taking ownership of their bodies or allowing themselves to be used? Is it a sexy ad or just trashy? Would this stop you from buying American Apparel?
Apparently others are pissed with American Apparel too