Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

[NSFW?] Why does American Apparel not get kudos for bucking the fashion model trend?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (20331 points ) December 5th, 2011

[NSFW?] Is it the fact that the US is so vast that no matter how the model industry is viewed Yankees just can’t get it? It always comes up that the modeling industry puts up unhealthy, unreal expectations to young girls and women. Then you have a company like American Apparel, and it is a US company, has models that have fresh scabs, pimples, stretch marks , curves, under arm stubble, some who would be considered chubby in Europe, and they go unnoticed. They are as close to the ”girl next door” as you can get. They are not photoshopped, airbrushed, or anything of the sort. The only thing I have heard about American Apparel models are that they were too hoochie, or the ads too sexy or raunchy, when the better ads are in Japan, France, Latin America, and other parts of Europe anyhow.

For having models that look like ”ordinary” women, American Apparel should have people tipping their hats for them. Still many are not happy, and focus on the ads and not the women. What stops Yankees from getting it? Too bony, we grip, Too ordinary, we grip. Do the US public expect models to look like made up Kardashians, or Hiltons?

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19 Answers

Pele's avatar

sold American apparel and printed on their merchandise. I am also friends with the owner and they just kept it real. I know half the models and they are good peeps. It’s a good company that treats everyone well. I never worked with a better company.so there. Everyone gets paid well and the product is good.

they keep it real

FutureMemory's avatar

@Pele High five, girl!

Pele's avatar

Thanks

Luiveton's avatar

They should, they should.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Uh, AA is a far cry from inclusive of all body types or being representative of “real” women. “Not anorexic” is not the same as “curvy” or “chubby” (and by European standards… first, Europe is not a monolith on this issue, and second, have you seen them? Yeah, no, not a continent full of stick thin people). They got a ton of bad press for having a plus size model contest, in which they decided to boldly hire a plus sized model. And by plus sized, I mean the middle range of what’s considered normal women’s sizes; their XL was what is normally a women’s 12.

Also, they have tried to build a reputation of having really ethical business practices (like having stuff made in America, lack of animal cruelty, being green, etc), only to repeatedly be discovered hypocrites. In fact, 30 Rock parodied them in an episode called Brooklyn Without Limits. A timeline of AA controversy.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Pele Where are American Apparel products made? Is anything made in USA?
Does it all arrive in a shipping container from China or are there some options?

vine's avatar

@worriedguy – American Apparel products are made in the US, viz. a factory in Los Angeles. The company doesn’t outsource.

bkcunningham's avatar

The company’s founder, Dov Charney, is pretty controversial in his own right.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dov_Charney

dappled_leaves's avatar

@bkcunningham beat me to it. I remember my friends boycotting American Apparel when that news broke. Also, I cringe whenever I see their t-shirts being sold at concerts, because they all seem to be designed for 12-year olds, whatever their models may look like.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Aethelflaed I will have to go with AA on that one. Can’t say that is an image I would want my daughter to think normal. Bread stick woman is one thing, oink oink is another.

Former IT support worker Roberto Hernandez files a suit against American Apparel, claiming Charney asked him to pad inventory numbers to mislead potential investors.

Oscar-winning director Woody Allen sues American Apparel for $10 million dollars for unauthorized use of an image from his film Annie Hall on billboards in Los Angeles and New York, and on a website.

Two former American Apparel employees file lawsuits against the company, claiming CEO Dov Charney, a Canadian who founded the Los Angeles-based company in 1997, used “crude language and gestures” in the office, hired women in whom he had sexual interest….

Then you have to wonder about that thread the other day about hating lawyers. Seems enough people want to use them that they are not going away any time soon.

marinelife's avatar

So, we are supposed to applaud the fact that they are using ordinary women (girls really) as sex objects to sell clothes? I don’t think so. It’s supposed to be about the clothes not boobs and nipples and crotches.

wundayatta's avatar

The company sounds pretty sleazy to me, at least in terms of how it is operated. It’s advertising campaign is somewhat contumacious, prurient and provocative. All in all, it’s not exactly nice.

I think it’s the kind of campaign only advertising execs could love. They know that it will get attention, and that any kind of attention is better than none at all. This may not be liked, but men will look at it. Women will, too, especially those who want to attract male attention.

But I don’t see why it should get kudos. It’s just inflammatory visuals. There no positive social message there, unless we want our daughters to look like girls who would run around have sex with anyone who wants to with no concern for health.

sinscriven's avatar

I think it’s somewhat debatable that they focus on using ordinary women as their models. They’ve hired pornstars like Faye Reagan to model for them too. You may not see these models on a runway on fashion week, but they are certainly picked for a certain sexy indie nature that’s just as insincere.

The ads are too hypersexualized to be good at selling anything, when I see these ads the last thing i’m wondering is what item of clothing she’s wearing and where can I get it.

zenvelo's avatar

Dov Charney the CEO is a well-known sleazeball, and pretty much expects at least oral sex from every female model, if not more. His skeezy antics are all over the web, just google his name.

Pele's avatar

@worriedguy it’s all made in America.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@marinelife So, we are supposed to applaud the fact that they are using ordinary women (girls really) as sex objects to sell clothes? I don’t think so. Really, ”girls”? I have never seen girls like that when I was in Jr. high, or high school, maybe some in my senior year.

Does the sex object angle you believe is because you think the women are under 18yr, which is more of a US hang up than the World? I am sure you know, everything in the US about drips in sex. They use it to sell everything from scents, to burgers, glasses, and gum. –Maybe if they were war painted like a Kardashian, you can feel better because they look like over done unattractive near 30somthings—?

@sinscriven Hollywood and other media has used ex-porn stars, ex-felons, actresses with sex tapes, and actors caught with hookers, AA is hardly alone.
The ads are too hypersexualized to be good at selling anything, when I see these ads the last thing i’m wondering is what item of clothing she’s wearing and where can I get it. That was one of the first things I thought, was if they still made it, or something equal, and if I could buy it. If it made those ordinary gals look hot, it can make almost any gall, less the grenade with the chicken bucket, look good, sexy, and smoke’n. Even ED medication tried to use sex appeal to hawk their pills.

@wundayatta But I don’t see why it should get kudos. Really, you see nothing? blank stare They make it ALL ON US SOIL, how many other companies that sell here does that? They don’t outsource, but I guess to avoid seeing some good-look ordinary girls you would buy from overseas? They top management don’t treat the workers like serfs and peons when it comes to pay. How many other companies have a greater social agenda more than profit? What company would you pat on the back, and are they all American?

… unless we want our daughters to look like girls who would run around have sex with anyone who wants to with no concern for health. That is so different than what most girls are subliminally taught now via TV, music, and cable? If you ain’t getting any sex, you are some troll, or disgusting dork no one wants to even touch you. You will be clowned like the Steve Corell character in the ”40 Year Old Virgin”.

wundayatta's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Sorry. What with all the pictures in the details, I thought we were talking about the ads.

Actually, I’m not concerned about where the clothes are made. They pay well? Hmm. What is “well?” What exactly is their social agenda and more importantly, how does that compare to other firms? All American does not impress me. I much prefer citizens of the world, who treat all people honorably, not just Americans.

And the message that if you aren’t sex than you are a troll is anathema to me. Pardon me if I don’t kowtow to this company and lick its toesies the way you seem to want me to.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@wundayatta What with all the pictures in the details, I thought we were talking about the ads. There is a reason for that, one is that it seem hard for people to focus and stay on point, when they do not know what you are referring to. Second, the models, make the ad, as with any seen in Elaine Bryant, Gap, VS, or any of the trade mags like Covergirl, Elle, Cosmo, Glamour, etc. The ones that usually have the stick women who are all glammed up, that Yankee women hate because they were like the model with the bucket of chicken. AA went against that trend of Treblinka-like models. The photos were there as poof so no one can distract the issue by saying they can’t imagine or haven’t seen it.

Actually, I’m not concerned about where the clothes are made. That might be another question. If many were like you I guess I would not have to hear them bitch because their Levis were made in Dubai, their Polo shirt made in China, and their Air Jordans were made in Korea. I would also not have to here them bitch that Wal-Mart gets their stuff so cheap because they use sweatshop labor from overseas. If the clothes are damn cheap, American up and wear them, don’t even think it might be made with 12yr old hands stuck in a factory 12 hours a day.

Pardon me if I don’t kowtow to this company and lick its toesies the way you seem to want me to. I don’t. There are only three companies worthy of getting their tootsies licked, and that is Smith & Wesson, VS, and Lamborghini.

Next time one of the whinny 99 complains about outsourcing or jobs going overseas just tell them, you don’t care. Longs as your clothes are cheap they can all live in a tent and whine until the year after next. ;-P

ETpro's avatar

They do from me. I’ll buy!

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