This Guest Post is by Snezna.
I loathe to give this fashion label anymore publicity than they are obviously craving and by doing so am probably buying right into their play of controversy to spark attention, but their kiddy pornography disguised as advertising or indeed art, as some, creative types would deem it, makes American Apparel simply appalling.
I came across a recent advertising campaign of theirs promoting this season’s high-waisted pants. Said campaign featured two headless, topless girls thrusting their breasts sky high in an ad with the headline – Nice Pleats. Now, last time I checked, the core demographic of an American Apparel shopper would be…. teens?
The ad jolted me onto searching for American Apparel advertising. Certainly not because I wanted more of this teen titillation but because I was intrigued to see if this was a one off or standard for this well known and loved US retailer.
I could give you pages of advertising visuals of this ilk belonging to this brand. In fact, just check into their website and under the proud banners of photographs and advertising you can take a peek at their veritable peep show of young girls, scantily clad, in poses of semi-nakedness with lewd innuendo and sexual suggestion. Nah, strike that. There is nothing suggestive about their advertising. It is 100% blatant about shoving young looking girls at you in sexually charged contexts.
Seems the retailer’s owner, Dov Charney, uses employees…young girls who work in his stores rather than models in shots that he himself takes.
Like the current shot on the site of a girl who appears as if she is 12 and is lying suggestively on her back with 6 or so belts wrapped around her exposed torso, with just a little boob showing and her hand covering the rest in what appears to be a caress. Oh yes, and this shot is to advertise belts that are sold by the retailer.
Then there’s the shot of a young girl on a bed, with her legs spread wide open, obviously naked from waist down, with a caption just covering her bits with the company’s logo.
Or, the sock ad. A young girl wearing only her socks and shorts in the main image, her hair just covering her breasts, beside which sit a series of photographs suggestive of her masturbating with the tag line: Safe to Say She Loves Her Socks. Hysterical..ha ha!
Then the series of Meet and Greet pages of young girls in semi-naked with a little bit bio to accompany. Not to mention the countless shots of girls breasts, butts …it is a veritable smorgasbord of sexually charged imagery of young girls. And, yes, I’ve read that these girls are 18+ but they look 12 or 13. Since when did making pre-pubescent girls look sexy become OK??????
And then this interesting side bar. Mr Charney has 2 lawsuits against him from former employees…yes girls who appeared in these real girl ads and shots. One of the suits also has 3 other women co-filing. The charges – sexual assault. And, omg, surprise, surprise, the assaults took place on one of these said shoots and in the workplace.
Interesting, if you choose to work at AA then you have to sign a confidentiality agreement. Now, I’ve worked in retail. I’ve worked as a waitress. I’ve worked as a journalist. I’ve worked in PR. I now own my own skin care company. I don’t recall in any of my jobs have to sign a CA? Nor do I make any of my employees. Why on earth are you required to sign a CA, working on the floor of a fashion store???? Does that sound above board???
In life, if there’s mud it generally sticks. We’ll see how the legal dramas play out.
In the mean time, I know I am absolutely never stepping foot inside one of their stores. I am banning this retailer! I will not support in any way shape or form a company that takes such a blatantly disrespectful and exploitive approach to girls and women. It’s just sick. Young girls go to this site. What kind of message are they getting about their self worth or what it means to be a girl??? As a mom, I am not going to support someone’s desire to get their rocks off in the name of advertising and sales. Not doing it. I hope you join me!
—Note from mamaV: What goes around comes around Donny Boy, bankruptcy is calling your name.