So, American Apparel is terribly lame. The founder has been accused of all sorts of creepy things, their clothing is ridiculously overpriced, their advertising is sexist and exploitative to the point that people are over talking about how sexist and exploitative it is, oh my god that manager’s manual?!, they disparaged overweight customers (before throwing them a bone), and now this:
In a gross PR move, American Apparel is now attempting to cater to the plus sized market by holding a plus size model contest, voted on by the public.
I couldn’t find any direct link to the contest from their home page, and I couldn’t find any press releases in which American Apparel tries to explain this new contest, except the blurb on the contest page that says “Think you’re bigger,
better and more booty-ful than the rest? Submit a recent photo of your face and physique for a chance to be our Next BIG Thing.” Pretty hip, guys.
When I checked last, there were 976 entrants to this contest, and the woman who is ranked highest has become my newest hero. Her name is Nancy Upton. Her pics submitted to be considered American Apparel’s Next Big Thing are all of herself sexually objectifying food, because that’s what big girls do, right?, and the quote on her profile is “I just can’t stop eating”.
If you go to her Tumblr, which was created in conjunction with her entering the contest, you can read why she chose to fuck the system in such a gleeful way:
I’ll clarify two things:
1. I have nothing but the utmost respect for anyone who chooses to display their body to other people, be they plus-sized, petite or anywhere in between. I believe the women who entered the American Apparel “contest” are beautiful, brave people, and my attempt here to respond to the company’s course of action is JUST that- it is in no way a comment or critique of the women who have submitted photos.
2. I don’t believe that beauty should be qualified as BECAUSE of someone’s size or IN SPITE of someone’s size. Beauty is beauty, it’s fluid, it’s objective and it doesn’t need to be justified to or by anyone.
And after the jump, you can see a few of Nancy’s photos, which prove her second point quite nicely. I beg of you, please go to Nancy’s profile at American Apparel and VOTE VOTE VOTE! She should win because she’s stunning, but she should doublewin because American Apparel deserves this gorgeous kick in the nuts.