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American Apparel

On that theme of women in photographs, in "arty" photographs, there is another type that also bears investigation. Megham Daum of the LA Times writes an opinion piece on American Apparel ads. She finds the images "icky" and pornographic, but is uncomfortable with saying so because she'll be labeled a prudish old biddy. I guess I'm a prudish old biddy, too, in that sense.

Baum points out that American Apparel makes its clothing right here in California and pays its workers $12.50 per hour and offers benefits. Quite a change from the usual. So that's good. They also feature a lot of the employees as models or find people on the street. I think this is where it gets strange. It seems that the "innocent" look offered in these ads might actually be a kind of innocence. Except when it features the founder of the company, who gets off on masturbating in front of reporters.

I like that they use their workers as models otherwise. I can think of many ways to pose them that don't have to say SEX all the time. That would still be effective. I like that they encourage employees and others to send in their photos of anything they find interesting. It's an unusual company and we have to like that it isn't exploiting foreign workers or outsourcing American jobs. But damn.

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