Huff Post recently released the following (condensed) article addressing a public outcry to a clothing image campaign. There has been a lot of controversy over this campaign that is said to be degrading to women. Perhaps I’m not very current however when I visited this site, the model scroll above Women’s clothing was unabashedly provocative. I would like your feedback.
“ American Apparel is embroiled in yet another controversy. This time, it’s the Swedes that have taken issue with the brand’s so-called “sexualization” of women.
The Local, a Swedish news site in English, spoke to blogger Emelie Eriksson about a post she wrote http://www.thelocal.se/47906/20130515/#.UZTtGis6U5i. When a male model is used, the garment is styled innocently, she argues, while the female models in the very same piece are made to “look like they’ve just had sex.”
“I think it’s totally sickening how American Apparel markets its clothes,” she said. “It shows they have a very degrading view toward women and I’m surprised they’ve been able to do this without facing any strong criticism.”
Of course, American Apparel has received quite a bit of backlash for their graphic advertisements. Just this year, the Advertising Standards Authority in Britain banned two of the company’s ads for being “overtly sexual.” Before that, American Apparel was under fire from the ASA for sexualizing models under the age of 16.
“They want to be seen and they know sex sells, but they don’t think about how degrading these pictures are for women,” Eriksson said.
The Huffington Post reached out to American Apparel for comment. A representative explains:
“As a company, American Apparel is very sensitive to gender and sexual issues, just as we have been to issues like immigration and gay marriage. In this case, the actual product model photo for this unisex item is fully clothed for women, just as it is for men. Unfortunately, some bloggers have confused an artistic photoshoot which accompany the pages with a product shot and a controversy erupted as a result.
American Apparel is well known for its provocative imagery, artistic photographs and its stance on free expression within the fashion industry. . . .We don’t think there is anything in these photos out of synch with our standards and . . . [they] are not even the slightest bit discriminatory. Clearly we’d never seek to upset anyone and we’re sorry to anyone who is upset.”
Questions: Do you think American Apparel’s portrayal of women is as harmful as the Swedish protestors think it is? Is it finally time for the brand to change its aesthetic? ”