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