Ah, American Apparel. The brand never fails to piss me off with it’s voyeuristic, highly sexualised and degrading take on advertising. The company itself states that ‘American Apparel’s ads have always been easily identifiable, standing out amongst our peers and luxury brands alike’ – well sure, but I wouldn’t be bragging about that if I were you, AA. They stand out because people across the world look at them with their hands over their mouth, wide eyed in shock that any muppet would give them the green light. I often wonder who they hell they employ in their marketing team – a bunch of horny freshers by the looks of it
This kind of imagery is so sexist, so over done and makes me feel so angry. I hate to get my knickers in a twist but what kind of message is this advert even selling? It sure as hell doesn’t make me think of gym socks. It just shows us a girl in a compromising position – a young girl in a compromising position. Are we glorifying sexual dominance here?
American Apparel seem to make their advertising choices based solely on how many people they can annoy with each one. The clothes are rarely the focus; it is normally a woman bent over in some way or writhing around, fingers in mouth simulating sex. Then again, what is to be expected of a company that encourages people to upload pictures of their bums so people can vote on which is most attractive? Or that has to dodge lawsuits from high profile directors who object to their images being used in a ‘sleazy and infantile’ way?
The founder of AA, Dov Charney, is no stranger to controversy. He has been involved in various lawsuits for inappropriate sexual behaviour and harrassing female workers but much more than that – to me he seems to really have something against us? His images are so creepy – they showcase really young, impressionable girls who all look in some kind of zombie, passive state whilst you get the feeling that they have been shot by some perv with one hand on the camera and the other down his trousers. They all have a seedy, cheap motel feel about them and make me really worry about the girls in question. It is so much more than just posing for a grainy, soft porn shot – these girls are sending out signals that as women, this is what we are good for.
Their newest ad campaign doesn’t do much to help the situation
American Apparel seem proud of the fact that they use ‘normal’ girls in their ads but this makes me feel worse; the suggestion that girls are up for it all the time, sending out these signals of availablity – it is so warped and damaging in terms of the expectations of sex it sells. At least with ‘real’ models you know that they are paid to do a job, there to get it done and so you can separate the shot from the girl in some way; using normal girls from the street as apparently AA do in some of their ads sends out some kind of warped message that all girls do is lounge around in a pair of knee socks waiting for the next available man to climb on top.
My main gripe however is the fact that the ads have nothing to do with AA clothing most of the time. Their clothing is boring, it isn’t amazing quality and if they didn’t have some misogynistic, sexist and frankly terrifying images to hide behind they would probably go bust. As they struggle with massive debts and losses from the last financial year it is hard to feel sorry for them. Whilst stories of grooming, selective hiring based on an applicants appearance and the fact that Dov the dick Charney is in and out of court rooms trying to refute evidence that is a massive perv, AA are always in the news but people need to talk with their feet and go buy their over priced hoodies elsewhere.