Really?!? American Apparel Searches for “Plus Size Model”
A member of the Curvy Girls Club responds to the retailer’s tasteless search for the next “plus-sized model.”
As a proud member of the Curvy Girls Club, I can literally feel my blood pressure boiling as I’m writing this. You see, when I was less curvy and had narrower hips, I used to be a frequent shopper at American Apparel. I had a brief love affair with the retailer for about six months. Then, my scale numbers tipped from the 100’s to the low 200’s, and my beloved boy jeans had to be placed in the donation pile along with my Charlotte Russe leggings and my Aeropostale hoodies.
For years, I pined for American Apparel to follow in the fashion footsteps of other retailers and create a collection of clothes strictly for the ladies with a little extra everything. So imagine my surprise when the clothing brand did just that a few weeks ago. Excitement set in! I couldn’t wait to browse their racks again and not be depressed as I attempted to button the jeans in the fitting room. That enthusiasm immediately turned to disappointment when I discovered that their “plus-size” collection only extends to an XL, or a size 14, which is a normal size in most stores.
To add salt, alcohol, and vinegar into an already sore wound, the “made-in-America” company has launched a ridiculous campaign, “The Next Big Thing,” to hunt for the next face of their plus-sized division. If you’re not as offended and embarrassed as I am yet, read their website’s model search description:
“Calling curvy ladies everywhere! Our best-selling Disco Pant (and around 10 other sexy styles) are now available in size XL, for those of us who need a little extra wiggle room where it counts. We’re looking for fresh faces (and curvaceous bods) to fill these babies out. If you think you’ve got what it takes to be the next XLent model, send us photos of you and your junk to back it up.
Just send us two recent photographs of yourself, one that clearly shows your face and one of your body. We’ll select a winner to be flown out to our Los Angeles headquarters to star in your own bootylicious photoshoot. Runners up will win an enviable assortment of our favorite new styles in XL!
Show us what you’re workin’ with!”
A “bootylicious photoshoot?” A “little extra wiggle room where it counts?” “Your junk to back it up?” My stomach is suddenly queasy. A search awash in endless slimy “fat girl” puns is not appealing, American Apparel! Yes, curvy girls are proudly bootylicious. We do need a little extra wiggle room in our jeans because we do have junk to back it up, but using cliché lines that are offensive and classless will not bring all these curvy girls to the yard.
So next time, American Apparel, have a little class and sensitivity. Or just don’t extend into “plus sizes” at all.
Oh, and curvy ladies, do me a favor. Boycott!
Evette Brown is a regular contributor to BettyConfidential.