American Apparel Ads: Sexy Or Sexist?

The giant billboard ad for American Apparel on Houston Street in NYC—of a woman wearing only tights, bent over, legs spread—was defaced this week when someone spray painted "Gee, I wonder why women get raped?" Initially we were all, "Misogyny!" But after further consideration, and noticing that this graffiti actually has correct punctuation and everything, we were wondering if this wasn't a social commentary. American Apparel immediately replaced the ad with a different one, featuring a model who is actually wearing a top. But no matter what A.A. puts in that space, it's always attention grabbing, and pushes the envelope. Alex Goldberg and I hung out in front of it and asked passersby what they thought of the campaign, and why they think women get raped.

Illustration for article titled American Apparel Ads: Sexy Or Sexist?



@Trampoline: I was about to say. Isn't the bulk of what's considered "sexy" also somewhat (if not often wholly) "sexist"?

Honestly, sexiness is a sort of tyranny against women. There are of course, times when one should aspire to be sexy and welcome that feeling when it comes upon them naturally, but Jesus H. Christ I do not care if I am sexy when going about my daily life in public. I care if I look put together, not if I come across as fantasy fodder or fuckable. Why should I be expected to present myself as sexually available all the time when I simply am not? Someone tell me I'm not alone in this.