American Apparel. Never forget.

Okay, so I did forget. I forgot what the American Apparel shop assistant said and that makes me a bad fat woman. Thankfully Nancy Upton didn’t forget.

So, it turns out that AA are looking to extend their sizing to include an American size 12. So, that’s a UK size 16. All the way up to a whopping size 16. “Fat” women of the world thank you, American Apparel. If, however, we put aside the issue that a size 16 is the average size of a woman in the UK, if we pretend that American Apparel is doing a wonderful thing that we should all be grateful for, we get to the really patronising stuff. Now, please don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% happy for more plus size women to be represented in advertising, and I guess holding an online contest to find the best person to do it is a good, inclusive idea. My problem lies with the language used and the attitude portrays. Sadly, the press release isn’t up on the website any more, so I can’t provide you with specific examples, but suffice to say that the highest rating you can give a model is 5/5 or ‘XLent’. That’s right, because they’re XL. At US size 12. Some other choice words used in the publicity and on the site have been “booty-licious” (Christ), “full size fannies” (Really) and “bootyful” (hilarious). Never mind the awful language for a minute, set that aside if you can, how come there is only one acceptably big body part being referenced here? Why is it only bums that are going to be “full size”? If you’re overweight, the chances are, you’re likely to hold it over the majority of your body and not just your arse.

That’s another thing, a lot of these women are not a US size 12. A lot of them are bigger than that. Many are smaller than that. There are some positively svelt ladies in this competition and the size difference is pretty overwhelming. What are the chances that an over US size 12 woman is going to be picked? I’d say slim. Excuse the pun.

I urge you to look at  Nancy Upton’s photos. There she is, doing was big women do best: eat. She’s bathing in the stuff. Literally. Is that ‘bootylicious’ enough for you American Apparel?  Ironically enough, as I write this, Nancy is in the top rated position. What will happen if she wins? Who knows. What I do know is that this seems a lot like pandering. It seems like AA are happy to throw some money at the problem, make a couple of plus-sized-concessions here and there and then sit back and hope that all of their previous sins will be forgiven.




Big thank you to for most of the links.

Even bigger thank you to Nancy Upton for taking a (hilarious) stand.

Okay, I can’t end this blog without stating the obvious. Nancy is hot. She’s a bona fide hottie. Hot.

One comment

  • 1
    September 9, 2011 - 4:14 pm | Permalink

    The concentration on women as a combination of body parts, rather than a whole body, is behind most cosmetic surgery, IMO. I get annoyed at skinny women with huge fake knockers because it leads some people to believe that you can have large breasts or a large bottom without fat elsewhere. It seldom happens that way naturally. And yes, Nancy is lovely. Let’s hope she isn’t pressurised into doing a Sophie Dahl and losing both her weight and personality.

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