Posted at 12:15 PM Jun 22, 2009
By Andrea Grimes
If you like looking at pictures of young women in nothing-left-to-the-imagination leggings, American Apparel has probably always had your go-to visuals. But don't look too hard at the new American Apparel kids' line, or if you're like me, you'll feel vaguely creepy. Instead of young women, it's barely pubescent girls--but hey, those skin-tight leggings are still there, along with vacant expressions that say, vaguely, "Have you seen this child?"
No, I'm not saying it's kiddie porn. But the kids' ads are shot in the same starkly-lit style as those for AA's adult clothing. And you'd be hard pressed to find an adult AA ad that isn't pretty explicitly adult. Help me out here, maybe, if I'm the only one: is anyone else totally creeped out by the visuals for the American Apparel kids' line?
Here's the problem: on a 25-year-old woman, shiny lamé pants are intentionally provocative and sexual, at least as portrayed in the AA catalog. So am I crazy for thinking that a photo of a little girl in the same gear is, well, a little bit freaky?
I don't find it quite as tacky as, say, thongs for elementary schoolers or "Juicy" pants on a 5th grader, but there's something going on here in the same realm. I feel like American Apparel has made a concentrated effort to incorporate sex and sexuality as part of their advertising--much to the chagrin of many fashion-forward feminists who like the gear but hate the message, this feminist included.
I wish they'd changed their visual M.O. for the kids' line.