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American Apparel Makes Ass of Itself With “Best Bottom” Contest

American Apparel Makes Ass of Itself With “Best Bottom” Contest

More asinine than clever, clothing store American Apparel is having an online contest to locate the “best bottom in the world.“ 

We’re looking for a brand new bum (the best in the world!) to be the new “face” for our always expanding intimates and briefs lines. The winners will be flown to LA, photographed and featured online. Send in a close-up photo of your backside wearing American Apparel panties, bodysuits or briefs for consideration and vote for your personal favorites.

At this point over 900 entries, mostly female, involve much skin, many thongs, and a number of naked torsos and higher as well in an attempt to stand out from the crowd.  And, for those who don’t want to submit their offerings, you can “start scoring” (get it?) and vote up the pictures you like the best.

Needless to say, there are no faces involved.  It’s anonymous, faceless, and the online attempt at a quickie.  They couldn’t have screamed “booty call” any louder if they tried.

Hardy Girls Healthy Women, who have started a “girlcott” campaign of the retailer over the contest, says American Apparel has a history of this sort of sexism in their martketing, and people need to stop buying in.

The sexualization of women and porn-inspired media have infiltrated the everyday culture of the youngest girls. According to the 2007 APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls in Media, the negative impact on girls and women is indisputable: the sexualization and objectification of girls and women in media wreak havoc on our psychological, emotional, cognitive and relational lives.

Your recent campaign is a perfect example of the insidious ways marketers and media promote sexualization and body obsession as “girl power.” American Apparel is directly and unconscionably undermining girls’ healthy development by equating confidence with looking sexy, winning with being judged on their appearance, and personal value with 15 seconds of fame. The objectification of girls’ and women’s bodies is a real concern in a country where 1 in 4 women is a victim of violence, and sexual harassment is rampant. This ad campaign invites girls to self-objectify, inviting girls to post pictures of just one body part, and inviting others to comment and rate it is demeaning and dangerous.

By launching this campaign at a time when sexting is in the headline news, American Apparel is literally placing girls in jeopardy of prosecution by inviting them to post highly sexualized images of themselves online.

Don’t insult us with the usual defense: this is not real girl power; this is not just girls feeling good, making choices or feeling confident in their bodies. American Apparel is selling girls for parts, and we’re not buying.

Want to take a bigger action?  AntiPorn Activist Network has a better idea: fight asses with asses.

Eventually, American Apparel will learn that objectifying women isn’t “cheeky” after all.

Read more: , , ,

Photo is part of AntiPorn Activists's American Apparel campaign.

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127 comments

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1:07PM PDT on Sep 14, 2010

I'm a 23 year old woman living in Toronto who would like to shed light on an advertisement currently running in the TTC subways for Bic razors.

This poster depicts a 1950s pinup style cartoon of long-legged woman bending over in the grocery store, her mini skirt riding higher in the back, with a confident smile thrown in the direction of the viewer. "For legs that beckon." is the slogan written across the bottom.

CHECK OUT AND SIGN MY PETITION IF YOU FEEL THE SAME WAY!

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Women-Arent-Objects/

3:16AM PDT on Sep 6, 2010

Having gone back and read other comments, I still won't be shopping AA, but then again, I skip most of the stores and brands I see for as good or better reasons than a stupid ad campaign. So what if they are a green company? Yes, I support green, but these folks seem to be thinking another sort of 'green' and they are using 'bottoms' to pad their 'bottom line'. I don't shop any store or brand that seems to think all women are bimbos hell bent on showing off what they have to any and all viewers.

Having gone back and read other comments, I still won't be shopping AA, but then again, I skip most of the stores and brands I see for as good or better reasons than a stupid ad campaign. So what if they are a green company? Yes, I support green, but these folks seem to be thinking another sort of 'green' and they are using 'bottoms' to pad their 'bottom line'. I don't shop any store or brand that seems to think all women are bimbos hell bent on showing off what they have to any and all viewers.

Celebrities Nude

10:40AM PDT on Jun 17, 2010

The boycott isn't going to change a thing.

From the Wiki page "Their print campaigns are widely considered to be some of the best in the industry. The sexually charged advertising has been criticized, but has also been lauded for honesty and lack of airbrushing. American Apparel images often display subjects with their blemishes, imperfections and asymmetrical features highlighted and attached with brief, personal descriptions."

Almost all clothing ads have skinny models. Would you rather see thin girls who aren't airbrushed or skinny girls who don't even look like humans since they are photo-shopped to oblivion?

10:25AM PDT on Jun 17, 2010

There is such a wide gap between a healthy "whole" view of sex and sexuality and sexism/sexploitation and American Apparel doesn't seem to understand at all. I don't shop "trendy" shops or stores and probably wouldn't be buying at this shop anyway but appreciate and support the "girlcott" and hope that it makes this company reconsider its marketing and approach to its customers and the world. Women need to start to view themselves as whole people not just body parts to be used for other people's purposes, and this message really needs to reach our children and adolescents who are so vulnerable and who are daily subjected to a world seemingly run for the sole purpose of marketing.

7:36AM PDT on Jun 16, 2010

Oh it's so terrible that AA comes to everyone's house and makes them put a picture of their ass online!

I am a pro-sex feminist and think this is cheeky fun. It is voluntary. It is for trying to get a modeling job. If you anti-porn feminists have such a problem with this, why aren't you shutting down modeling agencies, fashion magazines, runway shows, magazines, etc.

Hanes underwear has has women in their underwear on tv commercials. I guess that wasn't offensive because you wear Hanes.

Humans are sexy. Get the hell over it.

6:34PM PDT on Apr 9, 2010

A sad and pathetic reflection of our times. Rome is burning and most people simply want to get a better view of the flames. Please keep up the good work of calling our these toads.

3:41PM PST on Feb 15, 2010

Stupid, degrading and disgusting...

2:49PM PST on Feb 15, 2010

As a bellydancer, yoga instructor and massage therapist, I see my share of "asses" daily! We are in a culture that tries to market everything with sexual content, e.g. reading is sexy, a national campaign by libraries to get people to read more. Although the attempts by mainstream media to reach out to younger and youngest consumers with underlying prurient messages is greater than it has ever been, the only way to minimize this is NOT TO BUY in. The power of the dollar....Shop at "wholesome" venues.

10:58PM PST on Feb 12, 2010

Alright Maybe I am the ass tonight! I had no clue that AA is marketing to young girls, and i agree that if so they should be ommiting any sexual poses from their website. I am a mother and it is not okay to use sex to sell to our children. it is too bad because if they were not behaving so badly I might've tried out for their contest!

10:48PM PST on Feb 12, 2010

American Apparel is not for girls anyways it is for grown men and women. There ads that I have seen were not in any family magazine only the free weekly Reader which is also clearly for those who are grown. I don't mind the way they advertise. It is no problem with me, I think I'll go take a picture of my butt now thank you!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Colleen H. Colleen H. is an Online Campaigner with Care2 and a recent transplant to San Francisco from the East... more
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