American Apparel Ad or Porn?
by Mermaid on February 20, 2016 - 4:33pm
American Apparel is a company created in Montreal Canada that is notorious for their branding and usage of pornographic-style images to sell their clothes. What seems to set them apart from the rest of the commercials we are conditioned to seeing is the lack of extravagance; no makeup, body shimmer or touch ups. These girls photographed half naked become uneasy on the eye just because of how realistic they are set out to be, with every stretch mark, uneven skin tone and glimpse of oil on their faces.
The specific advertisement I came across shows a young woman in a swim suit style bodysuit with her legs wide, beside her the words “Now Open”, as if her body is a well conditioned store that allows consumers to come in and out. As mentioned in “Constructed Bodies, Deconstructing Ads: Sexism in Advertising.”, “the sexual objectification of women requires that they remain silent. Moreover, while the masculine gender role is valued, the feminine counterpart is disregarded or devalued” (58). The issue with this advertisement is the sense of extreme promiscuity of this young woman, the image is taken from a questionable angle, unforgiving and inviting for the male eye as ultimately submissive.
One gendered message largely depicted in this advertisement is that “women are primarily depicted as sexual objects or sexual agents” (57). This ad does so well with the over-sexualization of the model’s body that the article of clothing becomes almost non existent for it’s lack of anything special but the body that wears it. From a selling value stand point, this image contains lots of shock value that says nothing about the article(s) of clothing offered but more of the implied promiscuity that comes with it. This ad is particularly concerning for what exactly is implied, as young girls will see it and perhaps assume how they should think and dress or even act while wearing American Apparel’s clothing.
American Apparel is known for their thong bodysuits, lace lingerie, revealing dresses and see-through materials. To make a commercial for just a bodysuit seems unflattering and useless as the only way to properly function socially with a bodysuit on is to wear it with a skirt or jeans on top. If I were to fix this commercial, I would create a real outfit that shows how the average woman/teen could use the piece in their wardrobe. I would also take the photo from a different angle, one that better showcased the clothing in a less promiscuous pose.
Cortese, Anthony Joseph Paul. "Constructed Bodies, Deconstructing Ads: Sexism in Advertising." Provocateur: Images of Women and Minorities in Advertising. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008. N. pag. Print.