Friday, May 28, 2010

Apparently, American?

We've all seen the ads.
A waif -like woman sprawled on a bed, or on top of a table, with a look of confusion on her face.
Covered in something shear, if covered at all.
No, I'm no talking about an ad warning you of the creepy male night stalkers that haunt women at night.
I'm talking about American Apparel.

American Apparel got it's start in 1998 by Dov Charney.
A simple clothing company, providing basics in a sweat shop-free atmosphere.
Clothing for the young and "modern metropolitan adult".
Whatever that means.

As awesome as the idea of a sweat shop-free atmosphere that focuses on organic materials and supports the legalization of gay marriage is, it's kind of hard to focus on the positivity when every billboard of theirs capitalizes on SEX SELLS.

I get it, women are hot. Women are sexy.
I know this.
I'm just kind of over the whole prostitution thing.
Using a nice ass close up to get consumers to buy.
Showing a woman mid orgasm, for profit, while she's wearing a shirt made of basic fabric that's way too overpriced anyways.
Over it.
On top of that, Don Charny recently caused some ruckus with the whole "must be pretty" rule.
Now, photos must be taken of all employees and approved by Don Charny.
As in..."yeah she's hot enough".
What does that even mean? Who is he to say who is attractive enough?

Let it be known that I'm not dismissing the reality that women have sex.
I'm not blind to that fact.
But I am also not blind to the fact that there a women everywhere being exploited because of their sex.
And that's exactly what I feel the advertising campaign of American Apparel is doing to women.
We have sex.
Get over it.

Can't say I'm innocent of everything though.
I'm not much of an American Apparel girl, but I do have few of their basics.
(It's just so damn hard to find a pair of neon, golden legging just anywhere!!!)
But I've made it a personal point, to try my best to stray away from these stores.

Reacting to Dov's claims that he only uses "real women" in his ad campaigns, Canadian based Photographer, Holly Norris, came up with American Able.

In her words;
"Women with disabilities go unrepresented, not only in American Apparel advertising, but also in most of popular culture. Rarely, if ever, are women with disabilities portrayed in anything other than an asexual manner, for ‘disabled’ bodies are largely perceived as ‘undesirable.’ In a society where sexuality is created and performed over and over within popular culture, the invisibility of women with disabilities in many ways denies them the right to sexuality, particularly within a public context."

Holly's project, to me, is a stand against the exploitation of women's sex lives and an open door into a world that is shunned because of appearance.

Touchy subject. But someone has to do it.
Here Here, Holly.

* Photos via,,, iamsuperwoman


  1. It looks like American Apparel does not respect women. What happen to privacy what happen to self respect. Designers and clothing corporations do not care, they just want to make a fool of women and make money! The sad thing is that young girls believe this is how they should behave because it is a fashion magazine so it must be right. Wrong! Wake up girls you are being used.

  2. I love this.

    Our effin society becoming so susceptible to these images. They have so little to do with the clothes its kind of ridiculous. Looks like something i would have hid from mommy to save for later.

    And about ol dude Don Charné Asada. How much you want to bet attractive women ignored him his whole life and now he trying to over compensate?

  3. Is he not gay and thinks that domestic violence is caused by women? So won't be he ignores women?