Overt Sexualization in American Apparel’s Advertising Essay example

Overt Sexualization in American Apparel’s Advertising Essay example

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“In the twentieth century, advertising evolved into a form of persuasive social discourse intended primarily to influence how we perceive the buying and consumption of goods,” (Danesi 179).
Does sex sell? American Apparel’s advertisements use sexual images to sell their products, it is a strategy that has caused much controversy because it is the woman being put in the advertisement in a suggestive way to model American Apparel’s clothing. From having American Apparel female employers exposing their bodies to female models seductively placed in overtly sexualized positions to having a pornographic actress.
American Apparel has been a controversial company when discussing their advertisements. The company advertises their clothes in a sexual and erotic way, generating much publicity about the advertisements and even having some advertisements banned.
One advertisement to look at is a 2005 ad campaign of a blonde female who is topless and her legs and hair are covering her chest, slightly parted to expose her underwear covering her female body parts as she wears American Apparel’s knee-high socks/tube socks.
American Apparel is a slightly higher priced brand, compared to Walmart or Target, that produces clothing in the United States and is sold in North America. Their clothing is popular in mainstream, urban areas, which can be seen in the retail locations listed on the advertisement.
When looking at the brand itself, American Apparel, there is many meanings behind the word American. American originally meant the New World, but now, American represents the people or things from the United States of America. The word American gives a sense of nationality, patriotism and unity.
The denotative meaning of apparel is clothing ...


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American Apparel’s advertisement is highly suggestive and sexualized and one that stirs up a lot of controversy. Some of the strategies used in creating this advertisement are beneficial, but they are overshadowed by the sexualization of the advertisement. There is so much going on in this advertisement that could be related to soft-core pornography. Even if the audience did not know who the girl in the advertisement was, the sexualized advertisement would still be the same. American Apparel is known for the models used in their advertisements. Not only do they use models, but sometimes they use their own employers.
What are these advertisements telling their target audience? There are deeper meanings within the advertisement than what is just seen on the surface. American Apparel should not have their models being submissive and posed in a provocative manner.

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