Nice Try American Apparel, But We’re #NotBuyingIt

AdvertisingBeauty 5 Comments

On Thursday, an American Apparel store based in lower Manhattan traded its regular mannequins for female forms donning a full bush along with predominant, erect nipples.

This is not the company’s first go at trying to appeal to women who embrace a more natural body image. You may remember the controversy that ensued, this past fall, around their attempt at bringing female sexuality into mainstream fashion with the Power Period t-shirt. Being that the shirts are still available on the company website, we assume the success of the shirt was more of a crash and burn than a runaway hit.

We’re all for choice when it comes to body hair, and we love an open discussion around the topic, but an “au naturale” campaign executed by American Apparel, a company known for unapologetically sexualizing women and young girls in its advertising, feels way more like a disingenuous publicity stunt than a true commitment to promoting a positive body image. Look… it worked… we wrote about it.

We’re just #NotBuyingIt

Source and photo via The Gothamist
  • Marge

    Totally unacceptable!! Is nothing sacred anymore? I would be appalled to go into a store that had these mannequins in the windows.

  • Kate Hutchinson

    I understand the idea behind these mannequins, but the execution is entirely backward. Like the granny glasses on the model, the nipples and pubic hair are an accessory, not a part of the model. They don’t look real at all–they look more like they are part of the underwear on display as a flip trompe l’oeil.

    I wonder if the idea is salvageable. What if American Apparel visited a biologist to design realistic models? Or an artist who works from the human form to create a mannequin in a pose that someone might actually strike when looking at herself in the mirror.

    The half-assed effort here isn’t unexpected at all, particularly from a company run by a man who sexually assaults his employees and uses underage girls to model half naked. We are still seeing the classic American Apparel vision of what a woman is: a piece of meat on a plate, with varying types of garnish.

  • As a dude, I like attractive women as much as the next guy. But American Apparel always seemed like they were one ad away from being uncovered as participants in a human trafficking ring.


  • Karl

    It is funny that no-one complains when muscular, fit men are sexualized, which happens just as frequently as (and more less apologetically than) sexualization of women.

    • Karl

      *and less apologetically than