Is American Apparel Using 70s Style Feminism For Good PR?
American Apparel caused a stir last week with their Valentines’ Day themed storefront in Manhattan: mannequins in gauzy white underwear showcased full grown pubic hair, which could be seen peeking out of the sides of the pants.
"American Apparel is a company that celebrates natural beauty, and the Lower East Side Valentine's Day window continues that celebration," American Apparel said in a statement to Elle.com. "We created it to invite passerbys to explore the idea of what is 'sexy' and consider their comfort with the natural female form. This is the same idea behind our advertisements which avoid many of the photoshopped and airbrushed standards of the fashion industry. So far we have received positive feedback from those that have commented and we're looking forward to hearing more points of view."
The cynics amongst you might suspect American Apparel’s newfound love for feminism might have more to do with good PR than pushing a woman’s right to not wax her lady-hair should she be that way inclined. While American Apparel is big on workers’ rights, it’s had a pretty troubled history when it comes to women’s rights…
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane.
- They say a picture's worth a thousand words. Ads like this leave women everywhere speechless:
- By 2012, 5 American Apparel employees have filed lawsuits accusing CEO Dov Charney of sexual harassment. While none were successful, reporter Claudine Ko had written an article 7 years previously that recorded Dov Charney's habit of masturbating in front of female employees - a claim that Dov has never challenged.
Over to you, gang - do you think American Apparel is turning over a new leaf? Or are merkins on mannequins just the predictable next step for a company that markets hyper-sexualisation as right-on feminism?