You know how American Apparel does a lot of “shocking” things because they know they will get press and attention, and it’s clearly effective because I’m doing it right now? Well, they did it again! The brand announced its newest lingerie model is Jacky O’Shaughnessy, a 62-year-old stunner with silver hair.
For those of you with solid memories, you might recall Jacky from a couple years ago when she was chosen as an AA model. At the time, AA said this on its Facebook:
There was something so compelling about Jacky’s look and energy when we first spotted her in a New York restaurant this winter, we introduced ourselves and pulled up a chair. During a long discussion that touched on everything from career choices and nutrition to insights on relationships, age and beauty, we asked if she would consider being photographed by us.
We were pretty excited about the news. After all, most models have a supposed “shelf life” of, say, their mid-twenties, if that. The Heidi Klums and Carmen Dell’Orefices are rare cases, and to be honest, modeling is just not that sustainable for many people’s bodies, minds and budgets.
Yes, it is likely (i.e. for sure) that American Apparel is just doing this for the same reason they seem to do every PR stunt: in order to get people to pay attention to their brand. And it’s smart–when they recently chose to put pubic hair on window mannequins at the store near by house, a ton of blogs and Twitter users covered the intentionally-controversial decision. It is effective to get people to talk about your brand because out of every 100 people who read a story, you might have one potential customer, if not more, and this increases exponentially as the conversation surrounding the controversy grows.
While AA tends to do a lot of things I dislike, often including stunt casting, I am still happy about Jacky continuing to do modeling for AA rather than them, say, dropping her like a fly and moving on to the next big publicity-getter. And hey, I’m honestly excited every time a company uses somebody whose body is not the standard “look” models are told they need to have. Ageism is still a very deeply-rooted issue in our culture, so seeing more women like Jacky (you know, people who have grown in age like all of us have and will) can only be a good thing.