American Apparel Models

PDHPE Assignment


The model stereotypes are that... All models are blonde/blue (never mind Beverly Johnson or Janice Dickinson)

All models are "perfect" (never mind Lauren Hutton and the gap between her front teeth, or Cindy Crawford's facial mole)

All models are snobs and/or vain (some are, some aren't...there are plenty of non-models who are snobs or vain)

All models are thin (what about plus size supermodels like Emma?)

All models are anorexic or bulemic (some are, but most aren't)

All models get the guy and keep him (Christie Brinkley lost 4 husbands)

All models are gold diggers (some are, most aren't)

All models are party girls (most aren't...that is if they want to keep their careers)

All models are dumb (not true...many of them put themselves through college with modeling, and then go on to other careers when the modeling is over.)
"We find our models all over the world, through online submissions, word of mouth, and in retail stores." American Apparel


Are you HOT enough to work for American Apparel?

In July 2009, American Apparel company's CEO, Dov Charney, made managers nationwide take “group photos” of employees.

“… so he could personally judge people based on looks. He is tightening the American Apparel ‘aesthetic,’ and anyone that he deems not good-looking enough to work there is encouraged to be fired. … Dov wants to weed out the ‘ugly people.'”

One of the former managers at American Apparel said she was told what kind of black women to hire during open calls: “none of the trashy kind that come in … try to find some of these classy black girls, with nice hair, you know?”

She was also asked to tell two black female employees to “strop straightening their hair.” Not hiring someone because they’re not skinny enough or their African-American hair doesn’t look “right” is beyond messed-up!

Gender Roles

Why do so many people react to a man with his bare butt in the air, but no one is outraged when they see a woman doing the exact same thing. "People say, 'Ew, you can't have those images.' But when women are portrayed similarly, no one reacts,"

American Apparel views the roles of women and men in its advertisements very differently. It portrays men as active and full human-beings while it shows women as passive sex toys. One is consistently dehumanized while the other is not. One gets to be showcased as a subject and the other purely as object.

Positive and Negative Behaviours, Images and Attitudes

Positive -

- Beauty

- Marketing potential

- Affirming

- Makes the woman feel good about their body

Negative -

- Striving to be the same

- Distorted eating

- Poor body image

- Mental health issues

- Self harm

Good and Bad Effects on Young People

Some of the effects on young people can be bad because when they see a model they might think 'I can never be a model because I'm not a tall, skinny, white girl' or something like that which can lead to distorted eating, mental health issues and even self harm.

Some of the potential health consequences are -

- Anorexia

- Bulimine

- Poor body image, etc.

Their are also good effects on young people like if someone looked up to a model and found information about that model saying that they go to the gym or eat fruit and vegetables a lot it can sometimes inspires them to do the same instead of not eating at all and self harming.


People can ignore the fact that American Apparel is showing clear signs of sexism in their modelling and that they are suggesting that women cannot look good in unisex clothing unless it is displayed in a sexual way. So people could ignore or they could report this to American Apparel. American Apparel should be fully aware that this way of displaying women is wrong and should not be done.