Sex Sells, But At What Cost: American Apparel Essay

Sex Sells, But At What Cost: American Apparel Essay

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“Sex sells” has been used as an excuse to exploit and humiliate women through advertising for years. It is seen everywhere: television, movies, magazines, billboards, literally any place that can have an advertisement put in/on it. One company that specializes in advertisements composed of sexualizing women in order to sell their clothes is American Apparel. For years, they have created degrading ads that make the average believe they need to look like these images in order to feel good about themselves. Advertisements like these have a negative effect on society and especially women but American Apparel has taken things to a whole new level of exploitation.
In Jean Kilbourne's documentary “Killing Us Softly 4”, she gives multiple detailed examples of advertisers making women a sexual object which leads to society dehumanizing the female species. As well as this, they are finding younger and thinner women to use, even photo-shopping their models to unrealistic body shapes; warping the average women's view of what she should look like. American Apparel's founder and CEO Dov Charney himself stated that he had worked hard to acquire the provocative image they have today and that he purposefully created ads that were “soaked in youth and sex” (Chauduri). The company insists that they are simply “open about sexuality” and should not be persecuted for it (Chauduri). While sex is more prominent and less taboo than it has been in society, there is a definite line between more “open” about sexuality, and abusing the sexual side of men and women. By “open about sexuality” Dov Charney and American Apparel actually mean that they are going use extremely young women in promiscuous positions to sell their clothing, despite the fact that the...


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...he rise of materialism, depression, sexuality at a young age, and eating disorders are just a few examples that have definitely not been helped by advertising. As long as companies like American Apparel continue to produce images such as the ones they have been, these things will only get worse.



Works Cited

Chauduri, Saabira. "Nipples, Nudity and a Small Striptease: American Apparel's New Ad Campaign." Fast Company. Fastcompany.com, 21 Nov. 2008. Web. 24 Oct. 2011. .
"Eating Disorder Statistics." 2003 Retraining Grant Program. South Carolina Department of Mental Health, 2006. Web. 24 Oct. 2011. .
“Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women” Jean Kilbourne. 2010. Documentary

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