We probably should have seen this coming. But despite taking a slight tack to the more conservative by forgoing models for hand-drawn images in their last round of ads, American Apparel is back doing with they do best: conflating hyper-sexualized imagery for marketable “edginess” — in this case, by showing a model’s pubic hair.
This isn’t the first time American Apparel has shown bush. Porn star and actress Sasha Grey offered a peek of her pubes in a fall 2009 campaign and the aforementioned drawn ads featured a model au naturel, if you will. While Copyranter wonders if this is the brand’s “sleaziest ad ever,” we just think it’s the least effective. Despite being quite obviously eye-catching and despite the fact that we’ve now looked at the image closely at least a dozen times, we still couldn’t tell you exactly what the model is wearing without taking a refresher glance.
And our issue isn’t with the bush. Shave it, grow it, wax it, show it — personal grooming habits are nobody’s business but their own. Our issue is, once again, with the repetitive gratuitousness of all their ads.
American Apparel is no doubt trying to up their edgy ante, but the use of pubic hair as a provocation just falls flat. While Carine Roitfeld’s use of pubes in Vogue Paris last spring felt refreshing, this image seems to be highlighting the hair for provocation alone. Ooh! Look! She’s not waxed! She must be extra sexual. I should buy those panties! Or something.
Anyway, that’s just our take. What’s yours?