Retailer American Apparel has once again put their proverbial foot in their mouth and made a lot of people upset. So what else is new? The blandly trendy franchise got themselves in hot water after a recent trip to an L.A. outpost by plus-size model and adult star April Flores. As a well known buxom beauty, Flores was reportedly in a meeting about a potential clothing line and had stopped by American Apparel to se how the clothes fit. Dismayed at the sizes only running up to 2XL, her camp asked the store's showroom rep if they had considered making additional sizes for prospective plus-size customers. Their response, according to Flores was "(S)he condescendingly said 'That's not our demographic'." That's not our demographic. That's the best they could come up with?!! It's actually not surprising how vacuous the company is as a whole, considering its run by famously foolish CEO Dov Charney, a man who's finagled more than his share of court dates from his blatantly ignorant behavior. But dismissing entire sect of the population? Their stuff is definitely not that cute.
The only silver lining to this vexing situation is the backlash that's come out of it, namely a superbly written blog entry by Lillian Behrendt of 'My Unacceptable Body'. Behrendt blasts the company in a tone that's so pithy and unapologetic you want to stand up and give her an ovation. In addition to the obvious size discrimination, she also calls out the company's sexist practice in stocking the men's inventory in bigger sizes than the women's. She writes:
"It’s funny that youth-centric companies like American Apparel are so
fascist about the size of the women they’ll cater to, but are much more
permissive when it comes to their male clientele. This is where I found
the loophole through which I have been supporting a company that openly
discriminates against people who look like me. I wear American Apparel
men’s briefs. Almost exclusively. I probably have about 20 pairs." She goes on to say, "What irks me more than their hard-headed stupidity, however, is this
insistence that fat people are not “part of their demographic.” What
does that even mean? That fat people can’t be hipsters? Trust me, fat
people are just as capable of being vapid, superficial and pretentious
as any thin person."
The interesting thing is that Behrendt admits to being a customer of the company, despite the fact that they're not catering to people of her proportion. And at the end, despite it all, says that she will continue to. But the efficacy in her argument is in the fact that she (very eloquently) poses the questions that need to be asked in order for any changes to actually occur. Why isn't this group of people being considered? And though she says that she will probably still give their abhorrent business money, she definitely goes down swinging, ending her post with:
people simply do not have a monopoly on feelings of sub-cultural
superiority……Your assumptions that
fat people are too poor or stupid or uncultured or uncool to be worthy
of shopping at your stores are discriminatory and unfounded. Now give
us your ridiculous pants while we’re still young enough to want them." You go, girl!
Read the Lillian Behrendt's full blog post at My Unacceptable Body
Article Source: Jezebel, My Unacceptable Body
Photo Source: Bizarre magazine