Monday, August 04, 2008

What do I believe in? Do keep forgetting. American Apparel was giving away free "Legalize LA" t-shirts, and I do believe in immigration reform and I do believe in free clothing but I do NOT believe in free advertising all over my front (visible in the signature cut more than in the shirts text, which really does mostly say "Legalize La: Immigration Reform Now!). And do I believe in companies getting involved in political activism? Is that admirable and responsible, or is it an abuse of power, or is it just , again, an advertising campaign? Rosie and I picked up shirts (size XL mens--do I believe in the beautiful unashamed shapes of the human body or do I believe that covering up is the most valid feminist stance I could possibly take at this point?) and then I went to work, talked about immigration reform with a few people (good! but oh the pamphlet Am.Ap. handed out was so ditzy--a Timeline of attitudes about immigration reform with entries like "Sept. 11th changes many attitudes towards immigration." ???) And then a girl came in and told me about her absolutely miserable impression of Dov Charney and what a sexist hebephile asshole he is, and I told her about Clams meeting him and Ruth working for them and the miserable impressions they got, and then I went home and read more and just hated him and his, and looked at those anorexic teens and hated it, but then again what company would I not hate if I read as much about it as I have about American Apparel? It's all for profit and it's enough to make one never buy and enough to make one accept a free t-shirt and be bought.

1 comment:

bean said...

oh! I was having a very similar dilemma at this same time. the thing is I love those stockings so much, and there ARE some things you just can't really find used and still usable. undergarments, mostly, and American Apparel is undeniably about 1000x more responsible a place to shop than basically any underwear manufacturer. but I went in there twice while I was in Brooklyn and both times it almost ruined my day. it's the blatant manipulation and the subtle, but more than that is the (maybe regrettable) fact that I wholeheartedly despise everyone who works there and most people who shop there.
that's to say, I find your critique very well thought-out, but I'm also inclined to believe that gut hatred is as good a reason as any to spurn a company.
(although, sigh, I secretly love clicking through all different colors on their website...and it is worth noting that many of their models are not anorexic but actually kind of hot and amazing: http://store.americanapparel.net/rnt31.html)