So. Last summer, the zipper on my treasured American Apparel Dark Wash High Waist Jean Cuff Shorts broke. I blame myself – I’d yanked them down too fast on account of really having to pee. I also blame American Apparel for selling rigidly constructed 100% cotton denim shorts with ZERO give for $58.00 a pop and cheaping out on zippers. Jackholes. Where was I? Right – jean shorts.
I bought an equally overpriced replacement pair from Urban Outfitters by BDG to remedy the situation. Same dark wash. Thinner fabric. And one inch shorter.
Let’s talk about that inch.
The official moniker here, BDG Dree High Rise Cheeky Short, is all too appropriate. Cheeky. Is that supposed to endear us into thinking it’s cute and cool to wear shorts that fail to do the one thing any garment qualifying as pants is supposed to do, which is cover our ass? The butt cheeks aren’t just highlighted here – they’re fully visible.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a pair of shorts on Urban’s website that doesn’t showcase the lower region of the cheeks. It’s like the side-boob. Only with butts.
What’s going on, Urban? Did you erroneously hire a lingerie designer instead of someone capable of making real, live clothing? Is there a collab between you and Victoria’s Secret of which I’m unaware? Is the theme of your spring/summer collection ‘Crotchtacular Crotchtacular?’
Look, I’m all about body confidence, so much so that I convinced myself to buy and wear a pair of shorts like those pictured above last summer. The greater-than-usual number of catcalls thrown my way immediately upon wearing them only affirmed what I already knew. (Catcalls, FYI, are not compliments – they’re a pastime engaged in by disgusting, insecure men designed to remind women that we’re not people so much as pieces of meat.)
I felt uncomfortable and vulnerable as a direct result of my pants, or lack there-of. I was over-ass-sposed.
Does protesting against cut-offs that necessitate a Brazilian bikini wax pre-wear make me a bit of a prude? Possibly, and I’m okay with that.
I’m not as okay with spending another $58.00 on American Apparel jean shorts though, so if you have any un-cheeky alternatives, I’m all ears. :P
American Apparel’s oversexed ads have made the Side Boob the next big thing in ta-tas. Side Boob celebrity enthusiasts include but are not limited to: Lilo and Miley Cyrus.
If I had to pinpoint the precursor to the Side Boob trend, I’d probs go with something obvious, like eighties cleavage.
Apparently, my knowledge of boob trends isn’t entirely up to snuff.
Do the Side Boob, and you sacrifice support. Do the NIPPLE BRA, and you get to be slutty AND perky! The mini-erasers built into the lingerie allow you to look aroused and/or cold ALL THE TIME!
This ad’s from the seventies, which means it’s almost time for the Nipple Bra to make a comeback. Witness the Side Boob’s past and future. Oy. Effing. Vey.
Mmkay, so, where basic tees and tops are concerned, the quality and trend-factor of Alternative Apparel‘s obvs on par with American Apparel. The problemo? Some of the styles cost upwards of $50 a pop. NOT COOL.
Yes, they go on sale and yes, Buffalo Exchange usually has some old Alternative inventory priced in the fifteen dollar range, but what if you’re super impatient and you want a current style for less circa NOW???
Let’s answer that question with another question: Did you know you can snag current Alternative Apparel styles at wholesale prices? Did you know it was possible to pay wholesale cost WITHOUT buying in bulk? Me neither… until I discovered a few wholesale t-shirt sites that (a) carry current Alternative Apparel styles and (b) don’t require you to purchase en masse. Bulk Wholesale Tees and gotapparel.com are my latest discoveries, and hot diggity DAMN, am I smitten!
Observe the below Retail vs. Wholesale comparisons. Retail pics on right, Wholesale pics on left. Visually identical, with one glaring difference – the left side pics cost a fraction of what you’d normally pay.
The Burnout Tunic – Retail: $38.00; Wholesale: $10.44
The Organic A-Line V-Neck – Retail: $32.00; Wholesale: $9.67
The Debbie Tee – Retail: $32.00; Wholesale: $10.32
Sidebar: Isn’t it refreshing to see women modeling t-shirts without looking like they’re competing in a wet t-shirt contest?
Yes. Yes it is.
Because equating femininity with crotch shots and blowjob faces is, like, so last season.
After you’ve joined the Facebook Movement Against American Apparel-clad T&A, feel free to create your own versions of the propaganda below.
And, just for fun, let’s compare/contrast some dude responses to my I-AM-WOMAN roars:
In response to The Slut Jig is Up, Jordan wrote:
so marry me please. i actually can not STAND what american apparel ads do to the status of women as consumers and as human beings. please post the link to the facebook campaign when you have it up and going, i will invite ALL of my friends.
What a dollface. Do we love him? Yes we do. Onto Matthew:
first-world, middle class, 1990s feminism.
Really, dude? Your misogyny isn’t offensive so much as predictably uncreative. You can get the fuck off my blog now.
So. I’m cooking dinner the other night for me and my BF, and I’m wearing American Apparel leggings and a top that doesn’t entirely cover my bum. He notes that I’ve got a cute butt for the nine thousandth time, and I’m flattered for the nine thousandth time, and it’s all couple-y and cute and nice. It’s not like he’s some random dude on the internet ogling my goodies under the guise of a “contest” – that would be creepy and weird.
Apparently, the entrants in American Apparel’s Best Bottom Contest don’t feel the same way.
Firstly: let’s talk about the media’s treatment of a contest that reeks of female objectification (i.e. American Apparel’s other area of expertise). NBC’s The Thread‘s coverage consisted of a cutesy title (Push for Tush…eew) and a regurgitated press release. Viralogy used the competition as a Social Media Case Study. Aside from the Tennessee Guerilla Women, no one else said boo. Another instance of American Apparel’s pushing the sex-and- body-consciousness envelope is old news… isn’t it?
Sexing up the average tee or tank is a brilliant marketing tool, particularly when you’ve got ethical manufacturing practices to fall back on. Bring on the come-hither eyes, the crotch shots, the nipple flashes, the blow job faces – as long as the chicks are in sweatshop-free clothes (or lack thereof), a morally questionable portrayal of women ain’t no thang. The ads obvs don’t do much to bolster feminine self-esteem, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they denigrate it either. If you want to argue that American Apparel ads have real-life consequences – that they result in a girl’s valuing her T&A over her I (her self, her intellect – take your pick) – you need evidence.
Evidence like the one thousand, one hundred and two women who’ve slapped their almost-naked asses online in hopes of becoming America’s Next Top Butt.
The Search for the Best Bottom in America isn’t a traditional AA ad campaign – it’s worse. This isn’t the brand objectifying women. This is women choosing to objectify themselves. American Apparel’s ads are designed to make us feel prude, to make us feel like we need to loosen up, to make us think that maybe if we weren’t so modest, guys would be as turned on by us as they seem to be by the girls in the campaigns. They make us forget everything that makes us more than the sum of our superficial parts.
American Apparel ads strip women of more than their clothes – they strip them of their humanity. They make it seem okay to let your American Apparel undie-clad ass define all that you are. The ads aren’t going to change any time soon. What has to change first is our response to them: We have to stop believing what they imply.
My lust for leggings is strong, but not as strong as my desire to stop being framed as a hipster slut, which is what I’m starting to feel like every single time I don a pair from AA.
If we want to be thought of as anything other than casual sex objects, we have to stop giving this brand permission to frame us in that context. How do we take back the gender? We pull the money plug. From this day on, I will not fund any more of this nonsense.
Want to join me? Stay tuned for a link to the Facebook Campaign. (Also for brand alternatives to AA. If we’re going to quit the line cold turkey, we need to find well-priced basics elsewhere: They will be our Nicorette.)
TAKE BACK THE GENDER – BOYCOTT AA.