American Apparel has such a history of sexist ad campaigns that we’ve often wondered if their marketing team is made up of teenage boys lacking creativity and common sense. But their latest endeavor takes the cake. American Apparel is looking for the best bottom in the world to be the "face" of their new ad campaign. They're inviting girls to upload pictures of their butts to the website (wearing AA underwear or body suits, of course) and then asking people to judge the submissions with a score of 1-5 and the option to add snarky comments. It’s low budget and lowbrow. For girls, however, it’s high stakes.
Here's their invitation: "Confident about the junk in your trunk? Show us your assets! Post a photo of your booty's best side for judgment. 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."
Geez, American Apparel, try listening to girls instead of objectifying them. As Thalia, age 19, says, “You don't need to exploit us to benefit your company. Someone that is a CEO should have more common sense, don't you think?”
So, here’s our reply – grow up and get someone on your marketing team who’s got some brain cells and some principles. Sign our letter to AA’s CEO and Corporate Relations people to add your name to the protest.
Joseph Teklits and Jean Fontana, Corporate Relations
Dov Charney, CEO
747 Warehouse St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Dear American Apparel:
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.
Add your name to the letter today!
Now, consider this:
A 3-pack of underwear from American Apparel costs $24.
We're willing to bet that not only will you probably find a better deal elsewhere, but you'll sleep better having purchased your skivvies somewhere else, too. And, if you want to sleep really well:
Here's what Hardy Girls could do with that $24:
Encourage girls to see the world of options that exists for them without having to show their underwear.
Please, consider investing your $24 in girls, with a gift to Hardy Girls Healthy Women.
We promise we won't sexualize, objectify, or otherwise demean your sisters, mothers, aunts, nieces, or friends. In fact, we will work toward a better world for all, one where women are valued more for their beliefs and brains than they are their butts.
Donate $24 to Hardy Girls today and see the returns in a better world for girls.