Monday, August 5, 2013

American Apparel: Selling Teen Sex in Ugly Clothing

I can’t stand it anymore. I must speak out against the atrocity this company is committing. This “apparel manufacturer” has been a fashion train wreck for years and I cannot stand idly by any longer.  

I’m not even able to turn a blind eye to them because their ugly ads have been stubbornly cropping up on the dating sites I visit and in the borders of various other sites I frequent.

I remember the first time I saw their unkempt teenage model striking an odd pose wearing something I mistook for part of a Halloween costume.

Upon realizing that they were in fact advertising every-day clothing, I shook my head in disgust certain such terrible styles couldn’t take hold in an industry with dozens of televised and internet supported programs giving people (some who appear to be wearing American Apparel) desperately needed make overs.  

And yet the company seems to be obstinately scratching out a name for themselves, and it’s not one I’d be proud of.

The badly photographed, awkwardly posed models wear some of the ugliest clothing (rather, parts of clothing) that have been cranked out of a factory since the 1970’s.

While I applaud their manufacturing clothes in America using American workers (at least, I am assuming they are) they seem to be entirely designed to manufacture crappy scraps for barely legal girls to prostrate themselves in front of the camera.

                                        What is with all the soft porn photos with prison bait?

So they’re not using sweatshops with underpaid overseas labor. That doesn’t mean they need to exchange one crime for another.

It’s like the photographers are getting their kicks off having teenage girls pose in the most provocative poses they can think of, while somehow still managing to make them look like bad auditions for armature porn.

Seriously. The photography is terrible. A mentally disabled person with a disposable camera could take better pictures while sleep walking.  

The camera flash shows up in some photos, many of the angles are whack. And in some cases portions of the photographers also are featured in the pictures.

They look like more creepy Myspace shots which catch pedophile uncles taking indecent photos of their underage nieces while the rest of the family is away.  

As for the fit, cut and fabric choices of their (dare we call them?) designers, they're grossly conceived. It’s almost like someone decided to create a line of clothing that violates every last “What Not To Wear” suggestion. And then some.  

The clothing is not even flattering on the models, most of which are very young and slim females. How on earth could any of this clothing be flattering to a larger person or a less proportioned one, if it’s doesn’t even look good on the models??

American Apparel seems to be intent on having everyone dress in the most ugly, tight and unflattering clothing known to man.

Honestly, who in their right mind would wear any of this???

None of their models seems to own a bra. Or pants for that matter. At least, not at the same time.
Who needs Playboy or Hustler around when you have American Apparel you can browse through and see all the elicit photos you used to need a paid membership to view?

Last time I checked, clothing is supposed to cover your body. And hopefully in flattering and functional ways. American Apparel does neither.

The clothes tug in the wrong places, fail to cover in other areas and likewise fail to make the wearer seem anything but trampy, cheap and immature.

 If the models happen to be wearing something high-waisted and creeping up their crotch that might be called “shorts” or skin tight, high-waisted and vaguely resembling pants, they absolutely forgot their shirt. And the only time the girls wear underwear, is when they are missing pants and their shirts are unbuttoned. It’s so confusing.

They wear bras and panties in the swimming pool and swim suits in the shower.

What’s more, the designers are obsessed with body suits, leotards, gymnastic inspired suits, mom jeans, thigh high socks and striped cable knit sweaters. Yuck! Those are always a bad idea!

Nothing matches. Nothing fits. Nothing looks good. Just more repeat renditions of the same late 1980’s rejected styles and a few early 1990’s attempts that were quickly (and very sensibly) overruled.

Their models don’t seem to know how to apply make-up or tweezer their eyebrows. But then they really can’t be blamed became most of them don’t seem to be out of Middle School yet.

But surely someone would think (eventually?) to hire a hair and makeup stylist. Or perhaps, the only way the company can afford to pay their employees minimum wage is to skimp on their advertising budget.

But with an operating income of $19.03 million dollars (as of 2010) you think they could manage to look more professional than a bunch of pre-teens taking Myspace pictures. 

If they’re making all this money, why is it they can’t hire a photographer who’s ever taken a photography class? And why can’t they afford to find a set that doesn’t include exposed outlet wires, cheesy backgrounds and cheap props?

 If they are trying to look ordinary and assessable to the “average” person, they missed their mark horribly.

They seem to have this check off list for their ads: 1. Awkward poses? Check! 2. Gratuitous partial nudity of what appear to be minors? Check! 3. Crotch in your face? Check! 

4. Clothing that no one with any self-respect would wear? Check! 5. Bad angles and poor lighting? Check! 6. Overtly sexual and suggestive content? Check! 7. Shock factor? Check!

8. Exploiting parts of the body formerly considered “private”? Check! 9. Violation of
everything pure and wholesome? Check!

The company claims to be all about “ethical manufacturing”, and yet their clothing violates at least a dozen good fashion rules. I’ve determined that their goal is to recycle all the unwanted fabrics America sold foreign countries back in the 80’s and early 90’s.

I cannot decide what is more disturbing. The photographs themselves or the hideous clothing on the models who don’t EVER seem to have natural poses.

Crotches and butts. Bottoms and boobs.

 More bottoms and crotches. They’re not even showing clothing at this point.

And I am far from the first person to point it out.

American Apparel Ads Banned in the UK

American Apparel seems to have absolutely no concept of what is inappropriate, what is fashionable, or when they have crossed lines that should NEVER be crossed when selling anything that minors shop for. (be careful with this link…when I clicked on something on my page, my browser exploded with explicit page, after page, of noisy, creepy virus laden crap. And now I need to get some computer STD help, much like the shoppers of American Apparel probably need on a regular basis.

I am normally an advocate of free speech. I even support the use of some porn. But I have to admit that this company takes it into dangerously uncomfortable territory.

If cigarettes, pot and alcohol are considered “gateway drugs” I would suggest that American Apparel sells “gateway lewdness” to minors. 

Their target consumers, (as with most new “trendy” and inexpensive clothing manufacturers) are between the ages of 13 and 25. American Apparel is promoting with their ads: irresponsible sexuality, sexualizing obesity, sexualizing minors, promoting sloppy tacky personal style and glorifying exhibitionism and promiscuity. I won’t even go near the blatant homosexuality aspect.   

For once, I’m going to suggest that the Conservative Christian community (or anyone who still has a shred of morals and family values) needs to be unleashed to do some much needed damage control on this segment of the fashion industry.
Young, hormonal American teens have already got sex on their minds way too much. And American Apparel is one black transparent mesh bodysuit away from openly promoting pre-teen sex, teenage pregnancy and rape.   

And that's definitely something no one should ever turn a blind eye to.  

(Note: All photographs in this article were collected either off American Apparel's own website or through a Goggle search for American Apparel Ads.)

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