American Apparel: Back to School Controversy

American Apparel as featured previously on my blog is yet again using shock tactics and sexualised images to promote their company and products. Dov Charney the founder who was dismissed previously for sexual allegations and misconduct has been re-hired as a ‘consultant’, surely the man who has various sexual harassment cases against him shouldn’t be re-associated with the company if they want to get away from the negative image which he has portrayed onto them.

American Apparel Back to School

The latest campaign which has caused outrage comes from the ‘back to school’ range and promotes a ‘School girl’ fantasy which can be linked to pornography, the image has reportedly been removed from the site now (I found it on Google) which leads you to think if it is just an innocent campaign then why remove it?

It can be assumed that the model is of the consensual age but it’s hard to tell when you cant see her face… Back to School is often aimed at under 16’s so it could be argues that this is promoting the sexualisation of children which cannot be justified. “Peter Bradley, from Kidscape, said: ‘It’s something we find abhorrent. It’s about using underage pornography to sell products and the sexualisation of children, which cannot ever be justified.”

We’ve all heard the expression ‘sex sells’ but that should never be used to promote anything to do with children or schools.

American Apparel- Schools Out
April 2014

Another advertisement taken directly from the American Apparel website was used to show that the school term had ended, the young girl in the advertisement can clearly be shown on a bed which again sexualises the image, I’m not sure what age the girl is but she looks too young to be objectified by a company trying to use sex as a promotion. If you look at the many other campaigns from the company or even of the products then you will see that the company like to use young models often wearing very little.

American Apparel- Vinyl Mini Skirt
July 2014

This image isn’t linked to the back to school campaign but again expresses the need the company feels to use young models whilst sexualising them, the product in question is of a ‘vinyl mini skirt’ which in itself could be linked to fetishism and pornography, again the girl is quite young and posing in very little. Considering the company are trying to sell a skirt why should the model be topless and have her legs spread apart?

American- Apparel Bon Appetit
April 2014

Another recent campaign from April 2014 shows a girl with her legs spread, the actual product she is supposed to be advertising is a ‘Fisherman’s jumper’ which I guess some people may not be able to tell as the large letters of ‘Bon Appetit’ and the fact she’s eating a large sandwich are quite distracting… 

The site actually sells clothes aimed at babies and young children so is it appropriate for them to sexualise clothing aimed at women? I hardly think so. If you take a look at their ad campains (link below) you will see that the male models aren’t sexualised so why should it just be women that ‘sell sex’, it just promotes objectification and misogyny and I think the company should stop listening to Dov Charney and turn their selves around before the company is run into the ground.  


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2718720/American-Apparel-resorting-porn-sell-Back-School-range.html#ixzz3AAcgOT7J

Previous Ad Campaigns: http://www.americanapparel.net/advertising/?search=1&type=0&year=0&keyword=&page=1

Advertisements

The Sun: Sexualised Media

Nicole NealThe Sun came to a shocking new low today with its ‘Under boob’ trend being modelled by Page 3 girl Nicole Neal, the trend like the ‘side boob’ sported by celebrities consists of part of the breast being exposed, in this case the curvature of the bottom of the breasts. The above look was described as being a festival inspired, personally I find it far too much and don’t see how anybody cause possibly leave the house so comfortably when showing off so much skin. As for ‘festival’ just because she has flowers in her hair doesn’t mean it’s a festival trend. also people usually go to festivals to see live music not women wearing very little.Miley CyrusIt come’s to no surprise that controversial stars such as Miley Cyrus is not shy of the side boob trend, especially considering that she wears very little on stage. But is the under boob and side boob really a trend that people should be following or is it just an excuse for females to be sexualized even more?

Gender inequality is certainly far from being solved when the media splashes images across the world of ‘side boobs’ and ‘under boobs’ like it’s a perfectly acceptable thing. Would you really want to see your children or relatives walking around like this because they’ve seen it in magazines or showcased by celebrities?

Considering The Sun is now linked to the breast cancer charity Coppafeel, you would think that’d be more respectful to the female body but obviously not, previously they held a contest against Ex Big Brother and Apprentice ‘star’ Luisa Zuissman and model Helen Flanagan to see who had better breasts. Is this really important and ‘news’ I think not but the paper is so misogynistic that it couldn’t possibly stoop any lower.

Helen FlanaganRather than showcasing women as just something that can be looked at The Sun should showcase talented women and show there is more to us than just breasts, rather than pitting two ‘celebrities’ together to see who has better breasts, fake vs natural, this is the kind of content you’d expect to find in lads mags, especially when they have their top lists to determine which female is sexier.  Page 3 is outdated yet they wont listen to the public and scrap it, instead it seems that more female bodies are showcased and very little news is actually reported so is this still a ‘family’ newspaper or just another lads mag that has articles in to deviate from the fact that often enough large images of bikini clad women take centre spread.

As young females grow up they shouldn’t feel like they are only worth what their body looks like, females should grow up not feeling like their body counts for everything and that boob fashion trends are the norm but with such sexualized content publically showcased then gender inequality is looking less likely.

*images from Google

American Apparel: Controversal Campaigns

It’s no surprise that the store fronting mannequins with full pubic hair is a store that also printed a t-shirt of a menstruating vagina just last year, the store of course is American Apparel.

Controversy is the forte of this store, with previous advertisements bordering pornographic (photos to come shorty) Women are constantly sexualised by this brand so this latest stunt to grab attention doesn’t come as a surprise with the use of female mannequins.  The mannequins are fronting full pubic hair and realistic nipples shown in see through underwear, but what is the point to this campaign? Does it make you want to go in store? It’s certainly been a good way of publicising their selves as many stop and stare at the displays as well as talking about it worldwide.  

american-apparel mannequinsThe pubic hair campaign is for a Valentines Display, I fail to see it.

An advert which features a model wearing just sports socks with hand placements to look like masturbation is another example of an extreme advertisement they have previously used and had banned. You would think a clothes shop’s primarily focus would be to sell the clothes and not to sell sex.

american-apparel-ads-2011-mainAnother shocking advert for the company which features sheer pants showing off more pubic hair, why is this company so obsessed with pubic hair and vagina’s?  Personally I don’t find the adverts to be that clever or appealing but their sales tactics appear to be sold on controversy and shock alone.

american apparel store openingThe finally shocking advertisement is the one above which is for a store opening, funny how the store details are in small print and barely noticeable. The owner Dov Charney clear has no respect for women otherwise why would he sexualise them to such an extent just to ‘sell’ clothing although very little is worn in advertisements.  Another issue I have with all this is that the models always look quite young, sexualising young women gives off such a terrible impression, it makes them look like objects rather than human beings.

*images from Google

Women Get Real: The Ideal Body Shape

Balloon chests and tiny waists are now being rejected by women for a softer curvier body shape, gone is the idealistic ‘porn’ body favoured by men, women still favouring this look are models such as Katie Price and Pamela Anderson, who we all know have had a lot of cosmetic surgery to achieve their look. 

Women now feel that model Kelly Brook has the ideal shape, a soft body with curves and no enhancements, gone is the reality that being as thin as Kate Moss is the shape that must be achieved and attained by women, personally I’ve never found her that appealing and don’t see her as a good role model for young women. Have you ever thought that being skin and bone is attractive? Well not anymore as the rise of curves is coming, move over size zero.

Kate Moss“However 92 per cent of girls  reported they felt ‘under pressure’ to keep up with the latest body shape ideals, despite many women once again embracing a more natural look” Ladies should feel comfortable no matter what their size is! Don’t follow the trends or worse the silly celebrity diets such as ‘The Maple Syrup Diet’, embrace your body and dress to accentuate it. If you constantly worry if your the right shape or size then you wont be living your life to the full.

Marilyn Monroe was a healthy size 14 and im sure she never worried about being a size 6!  So whatever your size feel comfortable in your own skin or if you wish to lose a tiny bit of weight do it in a healthy way and not starve yourselves purposely or consider surgery because you feel its a quick fix.

Although the porn body may seem like every guys fantasy do you really think they’d want to settle with someone obsessed with their looks and surgery? Barbie is a doll for a reason she can easily be manufactured differently and women shouldn’t even try to achieve that ‘perfect’ plastic look.

marilyn_monroehttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2451153/Porn-body-backlash-Jordan-pornstar-look-womens-desired-shape.html

*images from Google

Sexualised Dolls: My Little Pony

Once an innocent past time to a now sexualised toy, the transformation of My Little Pony has now reached new levels, Equestria Girls is a humanised version of the ponies, the girls are symbolised by their trademark ponytails and colourful skin but each girl has something in common, they’re all slim with short clothing on, like any of doll on the market it is providing an unnatural body image to children and the short dresses can be seen as far too sexy and inappropriate for children.

Original My Little PonyThe original My Little Pony as pictured above is long overshadowed by the new design, although the original isn’t as colourful it keeps its design simple and allows children to enjoy the simplicity of it rather than the new slim versions which have much more make up on and are slimmer.  Why have Hasbro only just decided now to humanise the ponies? It will no longer be a niche product compared to all the other dolls currently on the market such as Monster High which like the Equestrian Girl Character above has a character called Frankie Stein which also has the blue skin colour.

Frankie SteinIn a society where there is a high pressure to have the ‘perfect’ body image it doesn’t seem right for little girls who love to play with their dolls to be subjected to ones with a sexualised appearance, near enough all the dolls on the market have a similar body, always slim, make up and short clothing, it isn’t going to give off a good impression to young minds who could think that being slim and perfect is the right way to be. Could it possibly lead to subjecting choices down to beauty, If a girl starts off by wanting the prettiest doll and rejecting one because it isn’t good enough could it lead to future choices with their friendships? It could be possible that they pick their friends based on looks alone and not whether or not they are nice people to be around.

jade j'adoreWhilst researching the dolls market on the Toysrus site I came across the above doll known as Jade J’Adore from the Bratz dolls range known as Bratzillas. It states  “Jade J’Adore loves everything about love and has the power to heal a broken heart!” personally I find this doll looks far too provocative with the way it is posing, Bratz dolls are recommended for ages 8 and older, it seems odd to me that an 8 year old would know much about love and broken hearts.

If all future dolls are made to look like Jade J’Adore then I worry about the minds of those who have to grow up with them, they wont know that body image is fine in any size, they’ll just assume that you have to be stick thin to be beautiful and wear lots of make up.  I feel that the environment you grown up in contributes to the way you feel and act about certain subjects so an environment filled with pretty dolls is only going to put emphasis on vanity and body image, children should be carefree and confident, when they are older if they don’t have the perfect body or make up they could feel self conscious and the need to achieve the unrealistic vision of beauty, if they grow up with unrealistic role models and toys representing an unrealistic image then they could wonder why they aren’t so slim or why they didn’t grow up to look so perfect.barbieIm not sure as to whether or not Barbie is still as popular as she used to be but her appearance doesn’t seem as sexualised as the other dolls included in this blog post, sure she still have her perfect blonde hair and make up but her outfits are much more appropriate and don’t sexualise her body. I quite liked that with the Spa Barbie play set she has a facemask included as it has a sense of achieving her beauty rather than just having it.

Spa BarbieIt cant be predicted what future dolls will have but it is most likely that they will remain to be manufactured with the slim body, short skirts and dresses and overly done make up. Would it be so wrong for a doll to feature a curvier body or natural beauty with no make up? Introducing dolls with all sorts of body shapes, ethnicity, and sizes could cause a new shift in the body image stakes and lead a childs future to believe that they don’t have to be stick thin like dolls and models and they can be comfortable in their own skin.

*images from Google

Toddlers & Tiaras

Toddlers and Tiaras is a programme following the lives of young children who compete in beauty pageants across America. Along the way tantrums are brewed as well as the child’s need to win and to be the best, its more so about winning than having fun.

It seems it is unacceptable to be a runner up and the stakes are high when each girl is subjected to a makeover that makes them appear to be a replica of Barbie.

One little girl Kayla who is 3 years said that the other girls were ugly and another girl Desiree who was 10 years old had ordered ‘flippers’ which was a false set of teeth similar to dentures because her teeth were slightly crooked, she also made to put in contact lenses which she didn’t seem happy with, it just proves that every part of you has to be manipulated in order to look perfect.pageant+girlBeauty pageants for children are quite controversial, some see it as harmless fun and others see it as children being sexualised and forced to grow up too fast in a vanity culture. Personally I find it strange to see a child covered in fake tan, make up and with false nails as it appears to take away their innocence but as these pageants aren’t common in the UK this could be why.  Im not sure young girls should be showing off swimwear and wiggling their hips so maybe the age group should be capped for that or just left to the adult pageants maybe as it does appear to sexualise them especially when theyare pulling poses and blowing kisses.

It would be much better if it wasn’t such a strong competition with pressure added to the girls and more so as a fun competition to be apart of, when a child starts getting upset and not wanting to do something they aren’t comfortable with e.g. having false lashes put on, then it should be time to reconsider that decision.

“Tori Hensley from Lampasas County, Texas, was  seen combining Mountain Dew, Sweet Tea  and Pixie Stix and administering it to her daughter Alexa in a sippy cup.  ‘I want cup,’ the youngster  demanded. Mrs Hensley also explained that her toddler  starts out every morning with a large cup of coffee topped with powdered cream,  which has been a daily ritual since she  was just nine months old.”

It’s taking it too far when a child is given caffeine at such an early age especially when it could potentially cause diabetes when the child is older and lead to a caffeine addiction, it should be a high priority to look after children’s teeth until they are old enough to care for them theirselves, the high amount of sugar will be leading to problems early on.

pixie stix

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2337447/A-caffeine-addiction-TWO-Toddlers-Tiaras-mom-sparks-outcry-giving-child-soda-tea-Pixie-Stix-breakfast-cocktail.html

*images from Google

Is Curvy The New Size Zero?

Everyday women are exposed to images of tiny women, ‘size zero’ models sparked the thinspiration trend, sufferers of this are rejecting their natural body shape to try to achieve the fragile appearance of super models with thigh gaps, as stated in a previous blog, the eating disorder charity B-Eat have stated that if someone has a thigh gap then their body is not yet adult….

Kate MossStriving for the super skinny look is both physically and mentally challenging on the body, individuals can be made to feel guilty if they indulge in meals being told that they’ll become fat or that they are fat for enjoying food, but why should someone be told not to like their body for what it is. An extreme of gaining an eating disorder from the goal of reaching size zero can lead to a body dysmorphic disorder where the sufferer will spent large amounts of time worrying about their appearance and will often see negative points which may not even be physically there, the image below demonstrates an example.

bodyimageModels like Kelly Brook and Kate Upton embrace their size 12 bodies and don’t strive for the unhealthy overly skinny look which comes with the negative effects of eating disorders, fragile appearances and in some cases bones sticking out of the body. 

Kelly Brook herself has this to say:

“A real woman should have curves. It’s sad that so many young, impressionable  girls are faced with images of seriously thin models and think this is the  way  they should look. 

Having an hourglass figure, boobs and bum is all part of being a woman. Size zero is over. Lots of girls say they admire my figure and, to me, that’s the most important thing.

Young women should have role models who aren’t constantly on diets and  brainwashed about fitting into tiny clothes. I dress to accentuate my  curves,  like Marilyn Monroe did. She oozed glamour with her shapely  silhouette.”

Females should be comfortable with their body shapes and accentuate what they have rather than trying to lose it to an unhealthy body weight craze. H&M openly admitted that they want to get away from the image of unhealthy models and use ‘real’ women in their fashion campaigns to promote a healthy body image, recent models have included Beyoncé and Jennie Runk a size 12 model from the USA.

Jennie RunkIt shouldn’t matter if you have a natural curve to your body, embrace yourself and don’t let anybody put you down over your size, thinspiration isn’t a good trend to follow and more should be done to stop images of ‘encouragement’ being openly posted on social networking sites. 

Move over size zero your time is coming to an end…..

Kate Uptonhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2333000/H-M-admits-models-skinny-embraces-bombshell-curves-Beyonc-plus-size-beauty-Jennie-Runk.html

*images from Google

Hairy Tights: Would You Buy Them?

A bizarre trend has sparked from China, women are purchasing tights which make it appear that they haven’t shaved their legs in months, why you ask? Simply to hoard off unwanted attention from men peering at their legs.

J.Crew have a lace design (as pictured above) to give the hairy legs appearance but would you personally purchase a pair of these?.

It sounds like such a strange and unattractive product to own let alone wear…. 

Amy Jones modelled the tights in varies situations “I explain that they are tights intended to fend off men. Ollie, an engineer,  makes a helpful suggestion: “Just wear trousers. You look weird.” (Full story on The Sun link)

Ollie makes a good point, why should women go to the extremes of purchasing hairy tights just to put off unwanted male attention? Just because a female has her legs on show does not mean that it is there for the purpose of men to look at her.

Why should women constantly have to maintain theirselves in order to be considered sexy? A lot of woman feel the need to shave regularly as it’s considered abnormal not to.

Would leg hair put you off and is this trend going to take off?

Personally I feel its a waste of money unless you intend to wear it for a Halloween costume. If you don’t mind the look of hairy legs then just throw away the razor instead of throwing money at a gimmick.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/4980425/Hairy-scary.html

*image from Google

Sexualisation Of Females In The Music Industry

“In sociological terms, sexiness can be articulated on the basis of cultural values that are relatively dominant in a community at a given time and place”(2012) At present sexy in terms of cultural value is determined by the patriarchal society which sexualises women through the male
gaze.

Women, it seems, are queuing up to pander to male sexual fantasies, Levy and Walter argue, as can be seen in the case of the Girls Go Wild phenomenon, the mainstreaming of pornography as in pole-dancing classes for fitness, and the transformation of the ‘Playboy’ brand from pornography to consumer goods.  Take Britney Spears for example in her song ‘Hit me baby one more time’ she is dressed as a school girl made to look innocent with plaited hair, is this not playing directly to the male stereotype fantasy of school girls? would she have not achieved fame without playing to this fantasy?

Britney Spears“It’s the women who are driving this. It’s all changed. Once glamour modelling might have been about some fat sinister guy with a cigar tricking young girls into taking their clothes off, but now women are queuing up to do it.” (Phil Hilton, former editor of NUTS, cited in Walter, 2010: 20) Again this suggests women are empowering their selves but is glamour modelling not just playing into the hands of patriarchal society, males are clearly the audience for this.It is stated by Lady Gaga that “Every artist plays on sex. It’s just the context….I’m a free woman, so I play on sex freely” (Lester 88). It is in quite a few videos by Lady Gaga that she plays on sex, for instance in Poker Face she frequently references bisexual urges, as she states as an artist she can freely use sexually references if needed as it isn’t taboo in this culture to do so but is their need to play on sex for almost all her videos? In Bad Romance she dresses provocatively and is sexualised in a manner in front of a male audience, in Love Game she references ‘disco stick’ as a phallic symbol.

More female artists are sexualising their selves for the purpose of the male gaze, in California Girls by Katy Perry she is shown to be naked with only clouds covering her modesty, in the image below she is clearly pulling a suggestive face for the male audience, but with young teenagers that could be fans isn’t this setting a bad example as a role model? Her first hit ‘I kissed a girl and I liked it’ is again another male fantasy so why are female artists subjecting their selves too this?

katy-perry-california-gurls-03It seems that the media is subjective to sexualising females be it in films, television or music videos, is their need for so much of it to be exposed to us daily, young people could come across inappropriate music videos by accident and feel that its okay to expose yourself as it’ll either make boys like you or make you popular. young people don’t understand yet the pressures which are being thrust from the media to look good and have the perfect body image. Do we really want children to only be subjected to role models that represent sex and nudity.

In the video P.I.M.P by 50 Cent women are shown to wear next to nothing (depending on which version you see) with what appears to be dog collars around their necks which shows how much lower they are than men, this is degrading to women and gives a representation of them being just objects to men so why are so many stars playing out to the male fantasy?  

*images sourced from Google