Horror Showing

A few months ago someone wrote an on-target letter to The Santa Barbara Independent about the strange soft porn in American Apparel’s advertising. It was a throw down after week upon week of weird voyeuristic presentations. I applauded and exhaled in relief at the sudden absence of AA’s ad campaign in these pages. Slowly, stealthily, they’ve returned — and while the current full-page spread features a model fully clad in a turtleneck, the accompanying text offends, degrades, and distracts.

Admittedly, I ran into a few Playboy centerfolds as a kid in the 1970s, and this script reminds me of those self-penned descriptions: “her favorite food is avocado but her nickname is ‘Brownie’” and when not studying “she’s usually watching horror movies in bed.” TMI [too much information], as my kids say . I can’t even see what exactly she’s wearing, so once again American Apparel is selling suggestive allure, not cotton clothing, with that amateur photo ambience like it was shot in someone’s basement.

I can’t stand that we’re expected to play along that American Apparel is so organic and American and sweat-shop free — with this most entry-level objectification in our faces every week. Sure, it’s everywhere in fashion media, but not everywhere in The Independent. I loved feeling part of a pioneering rejection when you stopped running their ad campaign. Can you revert back to holding that line for our community?

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