American Apparel… Controversy

Lauren Phoenix

American Apparel is almost known for its notorious advertisements, the representation of women in the media has always been exploitive. It has, throughout the years, reduced women to being nothing more than objects to be won and prizes to be shown off. It has also created a definition of beauty that women compare them self to.

In the American Apparel ad above “Lauren Phoenix” is portrayed as nothing more than a sex object, she is being sold to the male community as her “bio” that you would normally see on a dating website is inviting males in and further asking the reader to google her. Lauren Phoenix, advertised as an actress and a director but can you guess what kind of actress/director Lauren Phoenix is? I’ll give you a hint, her name is Lauren Phoenix. A Wikipedia search will reveal that she is indeed a rising Canadian porn star. 

In our culture, sex sells but where is the line drawn? The ad suggests that the model is selling herself and not the socks… This is shown through the connotations of the ad. The title of the advertisement “Safe to say she loves her socks…” Rhymes with derogatory  language. Photos also support the notion of sex sells with the three images showing sexual poses, the pictures look like they have been taken from her partner, so does this mean taking pictures during sexual acts is okay? 

“150 Lbs of magic” is the perfect example of objectification and how the mass media creates an image of an “ideal” women. They are misrepresenting women in the media as flawless beings who are constructed for the sole purpose of attracting the opposite sex. 

What is the media trying to teach adolescents reading these advertisements, that there is only one body type or that particular body image is beautiful. Statistics show that there is a rising case of depression, anorexia and bulimia because adolescents want to have that image and they are willing to do what it takes to maintain the look and ‘fit in’.

I question why does the media subject women? Why does the media only showcase the ‘ideal’ figure? These are questions I ask myself, because everyone is beautiful in their own way and thats what the media should be selling. NOT sexual objectification where ‘sex sells’. The American Apparel clothing line sell their basic but expensive clothes and they feature  young females and males as the models for their company but the images are too graphic to the point that they aren’t selling the clothing item, they are selling themselves to the public…




2 thoughts on “American Apparel… Controversy

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  1. You have selected such a conterversial topic within society and approached it in such a mature manner. Since reading this post, I have become more aware of advertisements and in particular what the aim of the advertisement is. Your continual reference to the concept “sex sells” allows readers, like myself understand the concept of your post and furthermore, understand the analysis of your example that you have used. I too agree that American Apparel have a tendency to use “notorious advertisements,” and in reference to the image that you have analysed. Your use of rhetorical question leaves readers to question their opinions on the advertisements of American Apparel, and in particular this image. From my personal analysis of this image and your post, I do strongly agree with your opinion in the sense that the advertisement is selling the model in comparison to the socks, “safe to say she loves her socks..” Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this post, and your ability to analyse an advertisement in such a well-written way!


  2. Your blog post was a very interesting read and I completely agree with what you’re saying about the blatant sexual objectification of women in the media in order for companies such as American Apparel to market and sell their products. I found some more so-called ‘advertisements’ by American Apparel and unsurprisingly there is very little variation in their layout and content from the one you discussed. Quite clearly American Apparel is a company capitalising on the notion that exists within the media that “Sex- Sells.”


    This advertisement again features a young woman in a sexually provocative pose. I’d to like to question what this advertisement is even selling. As you’ve said it appears to me that they are selling “Sophie” and not an actual product. Also likewise to the “Lauren Phoenix” advertisement it appears this shot has been taken by her partner, which as you’ve suggested seems to be implicitly implying that photographing your partner during sex is acceptable. This calls into question the notion of ‘sexting’ and with sexting becoming a “high priority issue in Australia, particularly amongst minors with over 20% of teenagers having participated in sexting” (Victoria Law Reform Sexting Inquiry 2012,pg.4) one must question as to whether advertisements such as these influence these acts, especially when American Apparel Is targeted towards the adolescent market.

    Finally, your comment resonated with me about the graphic content of the images, failing to sell the product and instead selling themselves, that is their brand to the public. In my opinion I think American Apparel keeps producing these advertisements to spark controversy, creating the “shock factor” that keeps people talking about their company, because as they say ‘any publicity is good publicity.’

    Australian blogger Jessie Power in her blog post “Why I won’t buy American Apparel” makes an interesting point in saying “ The need for the fashion industry to stop sexualising the bodies of young women… Exploitation extends beyond sweatshops to what is hidden in plain sight.” (Power 2014)

    Great post on a great topic 🙂


    American Apparel, “Meet Sophie” advertisement,image,,viewed 18th April 2015, .

    Victoria Law Reform Committee 2012,Sexting in Australia: the Social and Legal Ramifications, Victoria Law Reform Committee,Victoria.

    Power, J 2014, Why I Won’t Buy American Apparel,xxivmagazine,weblog post,2 July,viewed 18 December 2015,


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