American Apparel, a brand known for its gratuitously provocative marketing schemes, has quite possibly outdone itself in terms of objectifying imagery. One of the images featured under the mini skirt section of their online store looks more like the cover of a modern reprinting of Nabokov’s Lolita than it does a photo intended to make people want to buy skirts.
Behold the photograph in question:
Now, there’s nothing wrong with an adult woman wearing a pleated skirt and exposing her white underpants and booty cheeks to the world. I take no issue with the skirt and childish panties combination–infantalizing as it may be; the problem with this is that this picture looks intentionally non-consensual. It’s predatory like one of those “creep shots” perverts take of women daring to have bodies in public. The art director behind this shoot deliberately designed the image to make the viewer feel like they were sexualizing a little girl who was tying her shoe.
I’ll be completely honest with you, I wear American Apparel clothing on the regs. Right this second, I’m wearing an American Apparel garment. Somehow their toxicity warnings and creepy advertisements with their trademark pattern of consistently objectifying women in more and more gruesome ways has not deterred me from shopping there on occasion. I’m not proud of myself. It’s their basics, man–they keep pulling me back to the store. If only I could shop on their website or in one of their many retail locations without having to feel like a predator.
H/T Jezebel//Photo: American Apparel