No strangers to controversy, and the love of the female form, clothing brand American Apparel have found themselves in yet another hairy situation (sorry). Female mannequins used at their East Houston Street space in NYC were displayed in the brand’s popular sheer underwear range, with visible nipples and (here’s the kicker) a very healthy crop of ‘pubic hair’.
Expectedly, this has garnered a lot of attention with passersby and commentators because, well, let’s face it, it’s just not what we’ve been programmed to expect from mainstream fashion images. Even though that’s how we’ve been naturally programmed to look like, in real life.
Speaking to The Observer, district visual manager Dee Myles said the mannequins “bring rawness and newness to a holiday thought of as a romantic Hallmark holiday…by exploiting the lust of Valentine’s Day.”
It shouldn’t surprise you that this isn’t the first stunt involving their female models (real or otherwise) AND pubic hair, with the brand making headlines in 2011 when it featured a model, going au natural in their sheer undies, in a print ad for a fashion magazine. Granted, that little episode did occur during a period which the company was trying to claw its way back from potential bankruptcy.
Personally, I think there are probably bigger fish to fry, with AA or the media’s portrayal of women in general, than a little extra bush on some plastic models in a window, but whatever. In any case, it has certainly re-sparked the conversation about body image and society’s mostly unrealistic expectations of that, which ain’t a bad thing.
Is this is a profound statement on what today’s society views as ‘sexy’, or just another blatant publicity stunt from a brand known for their blatant publicity stunts? Either way, there’s no mistaking that American Apparel are a) very good attention seekers, b) in tune with the female body, in all its forms and c) very good attention seekers.
Take a look at the images above and join the conversation below.
Images via Gothamist.