Many love the eclectic mix and match clothes at American Apparel (myself included), but I think a lot of us are officially OVER those demeaning advertisements where women are reduced to sexual objects by showcasing their body parts, often without their faces.
Take this ad, an example of American Apparel’s provocative and objectifying ads — a woman bent over in front of a computer with her butt exposed. Some are targeted by region. This promo ran in Silicon Valley. Do they really think techies will start wearing 80′s g-string work out gear to work?
In Manhattan, there’s a prominent billboard on Houston near Broadway close to trendy bars and shops, where the clothing company often features a woman who looks post-coital, or just finished with dance rehearsal…half naked. Obviously, the promos get a lot of attention, but it’s not always the kind the company wants.
In 2007, someone tagged “Gee, I wonder why women get raped?” on a billboard (shown right) which featured an image of a woman bending over in American Apparel tights without a shirt. The defaced ad was immediately replaced, according to a report by Jezebel, where they also asked New Yorkers if the ads were “Sexy or Sexist?” You can view the video here.
This year, About Face, an organization dedicated to combating negative images of women, will protest American Apparel’s advertising campaign this Saturday, May 1, 2010 at the Haight Street location in San Francisco tomorrow.
Join fellow protesters for an activist afternoon, where About Face will address the founder of American Apparel, Dov Charney, directly. Since Mr. Charney has come under hot water for many reasons, including the sexual harassment charges by his employees, indecent exposure to reporters and strange, demeaning photo shoots for the company — I hope the event will be nothing short of a roast.
They’re calling it:
“American Apparel is famous for its t-shirts and its vertically integrated labor. What it’s more famous for, though, is its advertising: pseudo-candid images of young women, legs splayed open, breasts exposed, butts zoomed in on, all in the name of selling tights and tube socks. We’re sick of seeing these images.
We’re sick of seeing women reduced to their body parts. We’re sick of seeing female sexuality being exploited to sell clothing. And we’re especially sick of how American Apparel attempts to dress up their particular brand of exploitation in a shroud of hipness, edge, or irony — after all, we’d like to think of ourselves as hip and edgy and we certainly aren’t down with these images. American Apparel’s ads contribute to a culture where women are valued for their bodies over their minds, and we’re working to eliminate that kind of thinking.”
To learn more about the event in San Francisco and the mobile protest, check out AboutFace.org for more info. If you don’t believe that American Apparel objectifies women, look at this blog, then tell me what you think.