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An Open Letter to Bang-on Custom T-Shirts

7 Dec

Dear Head Canadian T-shirt Bro (or, President and/or CEO of Bang-on Custom T-Shirts Ltd.) Craig Doyle,

I’m not sure that I expect much from people who are making novelty/faux-vintage t-shirts in 2012, but I felt compelled to write after a recent visit to your Atlanta, Georgia outlet in the carnival of ill-conceived attempts at rebellion known as the Little Five Points neighborhood. While perusing the otherwise banal and innocuous bits of disjointed pop culture detritus that make up the bulk of your t-shirt designs, I found myself facing the back wall of the store, where my eyes came to rest upon a t-shirt emblazoned with the words “I choked Linda Lovelace” in a VH-1-attempts-a-70s-look font.

While I can probably follow the train of thought that deposited your designers into the trough of depraved stupidity from which they dispatched this particular design, I wonder if you or your management team have done likewise. If not, you’re too stupid to run a company. If so, you’re too big of an asshole.

Let me elaborate. It’s likely (nay, it’s nearly impossible that it’s otherwise) that the dude who brought this sartorial satori to the world was just some thoughtless dick who doesn’t think much one way or the other about the porn industry and its effects on women. He’s probably heard of (or seen — retro porn to match one’s retro camera) Deep Throat, is familiar with the subject matter, and figured he’d stumbled upon a way to make an “I have a big dick” t-shirt clever and/or funny. While that’s a worthy pursuit, he’d have been far better off going with one that said “I have a big dick.” Instead, he submitted — and your company produced — a t-shirt that says, “To me, women’s bodies are just dick-measuring instruments in a never-ending contest between supposedly heterosexual men.”

Your design dude (one would hope) was probably not aware that Linda Lovelace was coerced into participating in the production of Deep Throat and several other works of pornography — including a bestiality film — and that Chuck Traynor, her “manager” and husband, beat her, raped her, allowed other men to gang rape her, kept her prisoner, and threatened her life with deadly weapons on several occasions. Whoops! Making a dick joke at the expense of a brutalized woman is a faux-pas all the way, dude.

As embarrassed as you ought to be by this bit of egregiously obtuse insensitivity, it’s only half of the problem. Let’s say — as might most dudes who are invested in believing that women enjoy being sexually abused so half-wit men like those who design your t-shirts can jack off more efficiently — that Lovelace lied about having been raped and actually participated in the making of Deep Throat willingly (despite never having received any compensation for her participation). Deep Throat is a movie about a woman whose clitoris is located in her esophagus, and who therefore seeks out opportunities to fellate men, inserting their penises down her throat to a point that would make anyone on Earth choke and likely puke. Quick, find me a real, live woman with a clitoris in her throat, or even one who reaches orgasm via deep-throating penises. Not one who is paid to pretend so, but an actual woman who has a clitoris in her throat or enjoys the sensation of impending organ damage. If you find the former, I’ll give you a million dollars. If you find the latter, I’ll be shocked, and I’ll show you a woman who has been so psychologically traumatized by men and the porn industry that her body no longer heeds its own instincts. No man believes that such a woman exists. Ergo, men who are excited by the concept or actualization of deep-throating find it arousing despite (or because of) the fact that they know it causes pain and instinctive fear.

Linda Lovelace — even though you’ve probably seen her blow someone on film — was a human being. I know that this is a difficult concept for porn users to grasp, but she had emotions, she had nerve endings that detected pain and bodily damage, she had an esophagus that existed to protect her digestive system from intrusion. Women’s bodies do not exist to be used and abused by men, even if men are willing to pay a lot of money for the privilege. No one wants to be choked, injured, or gagged for the sake of assuaging some narcissistic dunce’s penis anxiety, nor does the absence of a gag reflex indicate that a particular woman was created by the cosmos as a dick receptacle.

The lack of consideration for women’s humanity evinced in a t-shirt that reads “I choked Linda Lovelace” would be shocking if it weren’t so ubiquitous. That we have been so desensitized to the sexual abuse of women by the porn industry and by societal misogyny that people continue to shop at a store that sells a shirt that basically says my human dignity and bodily integrity are less important than the size of your dick ought to worry you enough to make you question your participation in the perpetuation of that idea. If that’s too much to ask, then at least stick to designs with less room for interpretation. Say, “Fuck Art Let’s Dance!” for example. It’s safer that way.

Until then, I’ll encourage as many people as I can to boycott your stores.

Sincerely,

ND

Bang-on Contact Page

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If your kindergartener’s ass isn’t hot enough, Skechers can help.

30 Apr

Ever since the the early 90s when they began pumping out “skate shoes” and those ridiculous high-heeled sneakers, I’ve been wondering who the hell is buying Skechers. They seem to have a storefront in every town in America and an astronomical ad budget, but I can’t remember ever having known anyone who has owned a pair or even seeing anyone wearing them. According to the Wikipedia entry on the company, the CEO founded Skechers after jumping ship on the LA Gear brand, which ought to make a lot of sense to anyone who remembers LA Gear. What makes less sense, however, is the claim that Skechers started out making “skate shoes.” Having grown up in San Diego at the dawn of the skate brand era and surrounded by skateboarders, I can aver that not one skateboarder in town owned a pair of Skechers. In fact, I’m pretty certain that a kid showing up at a skate spot sporting a pair of Skechers might have suffered an ass-kicking, and would at a minimum have had to endure extremely vocal opprobrium. As such, Skechers made a real impression on me as a teenager as yet another dorky brand whose marketing directors were trying to latch onto a sub-culture they had no understanding of and were putting out a product that ended up being nothing but a mark of poseurdom. I know, I’m a dork for having had an opinion about a shoe brand and its relationship to illegitimate claims to skateboarderism, but whatever. I was a teenager with pretensions to punkness and Skechers were the Airborne of shoes.

The company quickly gave up on making skate shoes and moved on to producing a full line of footwear featuring boisterous iridescent accents and marshmallow soles, and I continued to wonder where they were making their money. Was every single person east of I-15 and west of I-95 wearing Skechers unbeknownst to me? I’m still mystified, though I didn’t really care one way or the other about Skechers until the recent launch of their Shape-Ups™ and Tone-Ups™ lines. For those of you who have managed to avoid hearing about Shape-Ups™, they are sneakers that curve up at the heel and toe, thus creating a constant instability that purportedly causes the leg and butt muscles to contract as one walks around. Despite the fact that they don’t work, look ridiculous, and have the potential to cause injury, Skechers has put considerable cash into advertising for the line, including for a Super Bowl ad featuring Kim Kardashian (who the beans is Kim Kardashian and why should I know her name?).

These shoes, apparently, have such a drastic effect on one’s physique that they can replace a personal trainer/boot-knockin’ partner, all for under $100. So Kim Kardashian, despite rumors that she works out several hours a day and only eats calorie-free superfoods imported from Jupiter, in reality just wanders around a mansion in hot pink-accented sneakers. But you don’t have to be a rich, famous (for some fucking reason) sex symbol to benefit from Tone-Ups™. Regular models wear them too.

As annoying as these shoes and their attendant ad spots are, they’re nothing new. “Hey, we know you hate your _____ because we’ve been screaming at you from magazines, billboards, television, movies, and porn since the day you arrived on Earth that you should, but we’ve got the solution! Buy our newest product, and this time it will work and you’ll be a slightly less worthless human being!” At this point, the fuckability industry’s attempts to ensure its ongoing profits at the expense of women’s relationships with themselves and their bodies are so redundant and obvious that many feminists don’t even bother to call attention to them save in particularly egregious cases. These ads, while plenty offensive and retch-inducing, aren’t really all that noteworthy as beauty industry ads go, but there’s more. While watching a little Spongebob last week, I happened to see this ad for Shape-Ups™ for girls:

The laser-like focus on the ass isn’t as prominent in the ad for the girls’ version, but what else is the point of these shoes supposed to be? No one has ever made the claim that they help burn calories in general. Nor are the shoes offered for both girls and boys, despite the fact that all of the kids in the US could use more exercise to counteract the “food” industry’s attempt to turn us all into diabetic corn syrup addicts. The adult model of the shoe is marketed specifically to women, specifically for improving one’s gluteal beauty-mandate adherence, and the girls’ model is no different. Female children want to emulate their adult female role models, and if their adult female role models are concerned with the shape of their asses enough to buy Shape-Ups™, then those girls will get the impression that they ought to do so as well. Why does a female child need a pear-shaped ass? Why should a little girl think about her butt at all? Why would a girl want a gaggle of boys wearing junk food costumes to follow her around and stare at her behind?

The sexualization of female children becomes more audacious at every turn, as do the attempts by the beauty industry to reach into the psyches of ever younger female children and foment a paralyzing sense of inadequacy and worthlessness that can only be partially assuaged by spending money in an endless and fruitless quest for a respite from self-hatred. Please take a minute to contact Skechers and tell them it isn’t cool, that not only do adult women not need to obsess over how hot men think their asses are, but that it’s also disgusting and immoral to sell the idea to female children that they ought to be doing so.

Halloween approaches. Time to dress your dog up like a bee in a porno.

10 Oct

Come the fuck on, dude. I just went over to check out my Twitter page, where I came across a tweet (holy shit, did I just use that word?) posted by Bitch PhD linking to a page that looks to be a joint effort by the Spoiled Rotten Doggies (retch) site and The Extreme Halloween Network. What kinds of activities The Extreme Halloween Network can be involved in I can only imagine. Armed trick-or-treating? Doorstep parkour? Dressing up as characters from 1997 Mountain Dew commercials? I’m sure it goes the fuck off, but I digress. This particular site, far from hyping anything particularly x-treme, is jumping on the hosey Halloween costume bandwagon and offering sssexxxaaay women’s Halloween getups that come with matching miniature versions for dogs.

lg83207Unbelievable. First of all, I’m really sick of the pirate craze. REALLY sick. It’s officially been stupid for a minimum of five years — more likely eight — and the fact that any adult is still into it after the advent of Jolly Roger underwear for toddlers really makes me wonder. And then there’s the pink. Why is it that any time one wants to make a “women’s version” of something, they just replace one of the colors with pink, tart it up, and act like they’re doing womankind a favor? Pirates, as boring a subject as they are at this point, certainly weren’t out wearing ruffly panties and pink, off-the-shoulder peasant tops while they hopped aboard seagoing junks and swiped all the booty on board. Nor were they likely to have been wearing thigh-high pink-ribbon-trimmed stockings on their peg legs. Apparently, in order to put together the “women’s version” of a particular Halloween costume, the creative team has to figure out a way to cross the sartorial stylings of some fantastical character with those of a female infant and those of a stripper. Imagine the visionary vibe at the meeting at which these dudes had to figure out how to bring a little asshole dog into the mix.

la83261

Alright, so the pirate costume isn’t the only thing on offer, but whatever. They’re all the same. The outfits without fail include thigh-highs, a skirt that barely covers the culo, some off-the-shoulder or sleeveless shirt, and a stupid hat, no matter what character is being portrayed. And the dog versions, which are naturally modeled by tiny Chihuahuas, are all just miniature facsimiles of mama’s costume, so your dog can be sexually objectified too!

la21055Isn’t that cute? The dog looks like it’s filming a (more) pornographic version of the “Hit Me Baby One More Time” video!

Seriously, dude, have the porn and entertainment industries so thoroughly brainwashed the American female into believing that her life ought to revolve around eliciting boners that we’ve now moved on to dogs? I hated most dog people before I’d even seen this site, but my conversion is now complete. Not only do I have to suffer listening to people tell me how their relationship with their dog is exactly the same as that of other people’s with their children (or better); not only do I have to tolerate reading bumper stickers on the backs of SUVs telling me that some North Face-vest-wearing dork’s Weimaraner is smarter than “your” honor student; not only do I have to pretend I don’t think it’s flabbergastingly rude for people to bring their dogs to cafes where I’m attempting to eat and drink; not only do I have to suffer with equanimity the slobbering of strangers’ dogs all over my shoes while I sit in the various parks I sit in (and even pretend it’s cute); not only do I have to endure the general thoughtlessness, narcissism, and sense of entitlement of the average dog owner when it comes to the behavior of their pets; but now I have also been forced to confront the fact that this exists.

I don’t dislike dogs. Dogs are cute and often very entertaining  (though they stink a little more than I’d like them to), and I don’t mind seeing them around and even petting one occasionally. I won’t blame dogs for this abomination and affront to human decency and self-respect. I won’t blame the victim, as it were. Dogs don’t read blogs or dress themselves, so I’ll leave them out of it. Female pet owners and Halloween costume-wearers, on the other hand, I’d like to ask a question: Don’t you think it’s kind of insulting that when you have just one chance a year to be whatever you want, you’re still expected to be a sex object? Can’t we have one day of rest in 365? Men get to pretend to be any fanciful character their psyches can devise on Halloween. They don’t often come up with anything all that interesting, but still, they get to be whatever they want. And we’re supposed to also be whatever they want? That’s a pretty shitty deal.

The fuckability mandate sucks. Why foist it upon your poor dog? And besides, think about it for a minute. Is there a single thing on this planet that is more absurd than a sexually provocative dog costume? I’m going to try to think of something.

Hold on.

I’m trying.

Still trying…

OK, MRAs come to mind, but other than that I’m at a loss and will be taking suggestions in comments.

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Latisse. Because if your eyelashses aren’t thick enough, you are seriously fucked up.

10 Aug

I was watching TV recently when I saw a commercial that seriously confused me for a minute. The commercial was for Latisse, a new product by the makers of Botox that claims to help one grow longer, thicker, darker eyelashes. For a minute I thought I had accidentally stumbled upon a skit show, but then I remembered that SNL and Mad TV are incapable of doing anything funny or insightful, so I had to consider the possibility that Latisse was a real product, that a major pharmaceutical company had developed a prescription drug for people who are so upset by the paucity and/or hoariness of their eyelashes that they feel they need a DRUG to help them remedy the situation. And then I thought about my own eyelashes, which are fairly pale, and wondered whether I ought to rush myself to the nearest hospital.

This pharmaceutical outfit, Allergan (operating out of Irvine, California — a real shock), claims that their drug treats the legitimate medical problem of hypotrichosis, but I’m a little skeptical. Have you ever heard of hypotrichosis? Yeah, me neither. It’s a scientific term for “a condition of no hair growth” (nice work on the wording there, Wikipedia cooperative). Apparently that’s considered a medical condition, though I can’t imagine why it would be save in very rare circumstances. I’ve always been under the impression that a medical condition was something that caused one physical discomfort, threatened one’s life, or disrupted one’s ability to carry out one’s daily activities. Oh, wait, that’s it: a “condition of no hair growth” in the wrong places can be just as disruptive as a condition of copious hair growth in certain other places, because it threatens one’s ability to comply with the old fuckability mandate.

The product’s website makes frequent reference to hypotrichosis, which indeed does sound terrible (as does anything that ends in -osis), but the company’s product line-up hints that what they’re really trying to treat is notthathotatosis; Allergan, in addition to Latisse, also slangs some injectable anti-wrinkle shit called Juvederm (the slogan for which is “parentheses have their place but not on your face” — I swear), the Natrelle line of breast implants, our old pal Botox, and some line of uber-expensive skin creams called Vivite. Not only do none of their products treat legitimate medical conditions, but they don’t even treat the symptoms of legitimate medical conditions. I mean, I suppose having no eyelashes could be a problem, seeing as they protect one’s eyes from debris and all, but I imagine that the no-eyelashes-at-all contingent makes up a pretty small percentage of this product’s target market. The majority of that target market, I suspect, consists of those women who have been convinced that having a few thousand spider legs for eyelashes is more important than, say, protecting one’s eyes from irritants and chemicals or being able to rub one’s eyes when they itch without having to worry about dumping an ounce or two of mascara flakes into them.

So, you drop your $130 for each month’s supply, smear this shit on once a day, and a mere sixteen weeks and $520 later, your eyelashes may get thicker and darker. Of course, as soon as you stop using Latisse, these benefits will disappear. What a sweet deal. But there has to be a catch, right? No way. Latisse’s side effects are totally mild! They include red and/or itchy eyes (which you’d have anyway due to mascara) and the possibility of skin and iris discoloration. The discoloration is likely to be permanent, but you can always wear eyeshadow to cover it up and get color contacts to restore your natural eye color, right?

Are you fucking kidding me, dude?

This product campaign is just evil. It preys upon women’s insecurities in the most disgusting of ways, creates insane expectations that can’t be met, then hoses women out of huge sums of money. We’ve all gotten the message that, if we can’t naturally grow eyelashes the likes of which mascara models can’t pull together without falsies, we’re blowing it as human beings and will never be able to coquettishly bat the fuckers at men in order to make them stupid. Hence the existence of glue-on eyelashes, eyelash dye (a lovely substance to be sure), eyelash extensions, and the ever-expanding variety of mascaras with absurd patented high-tech names. But now that ain’t enough. Sparse eyelashes now constitute a pathological medical condition (note the frequent use of the phrase “inadequate eyelashes” on the site and in the ad) that requires treatment with expensive drugs that might permanently alter the color of our eyes and eyelids, drugs that might sort of work, but will never create the kinds of eyelashes that don’t require curling, slathering with mascara, and augmenting with false eyelashes. I know this because all of the images on the site and in the ad feature women with an abundance of mascara on.

All of that is sinister enough, but what of this company’s central operating principle and the message that the FDA, in approving these drugs, is putting out there? That principle and message are one and the same: in a nutshell, not being hot enough is a medical condition, and a boner shortage warrants the attentions of our best and brightest scientists (and marketing experts).

I must have missed the news report announcing that we’d cured cancer, AIDS, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

Latisse is officially the new Flomax.


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Dimples Kids Spa, making your 6-year-old sexy as fuck.

28 Mar

Ugh. Do I have to admit this? OK, I’m on Facebook. I was checking my Facebook page today to see what kind of dorky shit the people I know who have Facebook pages were doing and I happened to spy a teensy little ad in the column to the right of the page. The ad was for a place called Dimples Kids Spa (nice name — pardon me while I puke), which is located in Brooklyn Heights. I love New York sometimes, but I really hate it sometimes too. If someone can come up with a disgusting, insulting way to part people and their money, it’ll happen here first. This place has been open for a bit, so I’m sure there’s something similar in LA by now, but whatever. New York is the world capital of offensive profligacy, the city that offers the rich asshole the largest variety of opportunities to communicate the fact that she/he is evil by doing things like pissing off to eat a $1000 ice cream sundae after blindly waltzing past a woman begging for change for some corporate shit-burger with no nutritional value. And what better way to tell the world and all of its poor people that they can collectively huff a dong than to throw hundreds of dollars away on spa treatments for children?

Hence we have Dimples Kids Spa. If you live in Brooklyn Heights and just can’t figure out how to waste your money quickly enough, toss your kid into your Orbit Baby Infant Carrying System (MSRP $900), stop off for an $8 non-alcoholic beverage, and then drop her ass off for a spa day (drop your son off at the park where he can exercise and develop coordination and motor skills).  At Dimples, your little girl can “indulge” in hair, nail, and facial services, and they even do parties! Their services include temporary tattoos (what your daughter really needs is a temporary lower back tattoo), manicures, pedicures, chocolate facials, strawberry honey facials, hair braiding, hair styling for the “evening”  (you know, for all of those black-tie events), and flat-ironing. Because nothing looks less sexy on a kid than wavy hair.

What the fuck!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Has everyone lost sight of what spas (massage services notwithstanding) and salons are really about? They do nothing other than enable women to waste their lives and money striving for the ever-elusive beauty standards that our society sets up for them. And whence do those standards derive? From boners. Salons and spas exist to help women  increase the number of men who want to fuck them, and that’s it. All of this bullshit about “self-indulgence” and “empowerment” and “me time” is fucking absurd. I mean, sure, it’s a good idea, if you have to waste several hours a week on your appearance, to make the wasting of those hours as pleasant as possible, but women wouldn’t do any of that shit if we weren’t told that we are blowing it as human beings if we don’t look like gold-dusted, semi-moist cartoons.

The fact that the average woman’s idea of the ultimate way to spend a day so often involves hundreds of dollars’ worth of beauty treatments ought to show you that there’s something seriously amiss with femininity, our cultural ideas of what’s sexually attractive, and capitalism. Feminity is a fucking jail sentence, not an “indulgence.”  It requires that we sacrifice our time, energy, and self-worth chasing a goal we’ll never reach, the goal of being adequate as human beings when “adequacy” for women means hotness and when the definition of what’s hot changes every second. Our social construction of what is attractive binds women into a never-ceasing downward spiral of self-hatred and doubt, because our social construction of what is attractive springs from misogyny and is abetted by capitalism. Capitalism doesn’t work if we have a sense of “good enough,” and the entire world of marketing and product development exist to remind us that there’s no such thing as “good enough.” We don’t have enough shit, we aren’t hot enough, we haven’t put forth the effort or spent the money that we need to. We have to take that next step on the staircase to nowhere in order to be a little bit less worthless.

I have a good idea! Let’s introduce our daughters into this fucking mess as early as possible so that they’ll never have a chance to escape it! Let’s make sure that they learn that their lives ought to revolve around how much sexual attention they can get from men, and quick! Get ‘em started on mani-pedis, facials, and the idea that the natural texture of their hair is an abomination as early as possible. It shouldn’t be that hard to convince a female child to accompany mom to the salon in the current Pepto-Bismol environment young girls are forced to live in, just tell her there’ll be lots of pink shit and that she’ll feel like a princess. Of course it’s not inappropriate to sexualize a 6-year-old and to encourage her to objectify herself. It’s good, clean mommy-daugther bonding action!

For those of you new moms, Dimples Kids Spa has an even better option. They do baby mani-pedis, so you can get your daughter onto the femininity track as a baby so that, by the time she’s five, wearing nail polish and having facials will come as naturally to her as tilting her head and pretending to be stupid and dainty when men talk to her. Hey, if you don’t get her used to the idea early on that she exists on this Earth to be looked at and lusted after, she might get the foolish idea that she’s a human being, and we all know that leads to disappointment, frustration, and a sense of unfairness — and then on to FEMINISM! And we wouldn’t want that. Men don’t want to fuck feminists, and if no one wants to fuck you, what power have you got as a woman?

Wake up, you fucking dupes. If not for yourselves, then for your daughters. I understand that as things are, sex appeal is one of the few sources of power that women have, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We don’t have to allow our worth as human beings be determined by advertisers, by the fashion industry, by how much male lust we can garner, but the only hope we have is that we start teaching young girls the right things, and the right things don’t include chocolate facials.  I didn’t start hearing that it was my responsibility numero uno to put shit all over my face, fingers, and hair every day in service of the fuckability mandate until I was an adolescent. As such, I stood some chance of seeing it for the inconvenience and outrage that it is. Had I been coated in face masks and nail polish at the age of 6, I’d have stood absolutely no chance, especially if the coating took place in a cutesty party environment and if it was presented as a bonding experience with mommy.

If anyone wants to toilet paper this place, send me an e-mail.

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Dov Charney thinks you’re stupid.

28 Jan

The American Apparel ad I posted about yesterday was so outrageous that I almost thought it was a joke, but Dov Charney is such a morally repugnant tool that I was 97% sure it was legit. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t think Dov Charney actually believes that most instances of domestic violence are women’s fault (fuck, I’m sure he thinks global warming, the demise of Crystal Pepsi, and his own impotence are women’s fault), but I’m not sure anymore that I believe that there was no self-awareness involved in the absurdity of the ad (UPDATE: it’s phony, though the quote was a real one from a Dov Charnety interview. Whoever made it is a satirical genius). Wanna know why? Look at this shit:

efficienciesThe text: “By relentlessly pursuing efficiencies in management and production, we aim to make use of exploitative labor tactics not only unnecessary but actually counterproductive.”

Get the fuck out of here. 

That, as you might have been able to pick up from the horrible diction and lack of sense and substance, was a quote from American Apparel’s head hipster sexual harasser, Dov Charney. You see, he (claims that he) hates exploitation when it comes to the manufacture of t-shirts, but he’s got no problem with exploitation in the form of using women’s body parts in quasi-pornography to sell his products. Riiight. 

This ad is so absurd and displays such a lack of internal coherence that I have no option but to assume that the logical contradiction was intentional, that Charney (and/or his ad team; I’m not sure he’s smart enough to have come up with this on his own), knowing what a broo-ha-ha his ruthless exploitation of women has caused in the media (feminist and otherwise), has decided to create even more obscene and glaringly hypocritical ads in the hopes that it’ll cause an even greater furor and garner him even more publicity. Dov mistakenly thinks that any publicity, as it were, is good publicity. 

He’s relying on the fact that the entirety of his target market is made up of stupid, cretinous hipsters. This kind of shit is hipsterism deluxe: empty, nihilistic, unironic irony with absolutely no point. Only a hipster could look at this ad and react with anything but a retch. Hipsters, you see, don’t actually give a shit about anything but whether they look like Urban Outfitters mannequins, whether their CD collections contain enough albums by obscure bands that are obscure because they suck (not because the world is lacking in people with good taste), and whether they’re making a big enough show of how “ironical” their taste is. As such, hipsterism, as the only visible “counter-cultural” movement in existence today, isn’t actually counter-cultural at all, but is rather founded upon nothing but  snarkery and a faux-burlesque embracing of the worst elements of mainstream culture. Hipsters, idiots that they are, still think being into midget porn and talking about shitting in public gives them iconoclastic street cred, which every other dumbass figured out isn’t funny/hip/cool/rebellious/whatever about a decade ago. 

So, Charney thinks he’s going to use bloggers and other media types to sell his ugly clothes to people who are too stupid to realize they’re being duped. He figures we’re all so dumb that we’ll react with outrage to the self-aware (though likely still sincere) hypocrisy in his ads and make a big to-do out of the whole thing, and that there are still enough fedora-wearing fools out there who will come running to his fluorescent-lit dork emporiums to buy hot pink leg warmers (in 2009) as a result of that to-do. 

The problem is, hipsterism is about dead, is it not? It’s all but over in New York, and I’ve even noticed a drop in the numbers of people I want to slap in Atlanta lately. The other problem is, Charney is banking on the fact that no one will take what feminists have to say about his company’s practices to heart. My posts about American Apparel have been getting more hits lately than anything else on my blog, and that’s from Stumbleupon more so than it is from other feminist blogs. That means that people are paying attention to what’s going on with American Apparel; and the comments I get from them tell me that they’re not stoked about what they’re seeing.  My (and others’ — word up to Womanist Musings and  Uncensored Feminista for taking up the cause) suggestion that readers boycott American Apparel isn’t falling on deaf ears. If we’re urging boycotts and people are listening to us, is that really “good publicity” for Charney?

We can all tell from the text in this and yesterday’s ad that he’s a fucking dunce, but Charney has really lost the plot. He’s made a serious miscalculation that shows just how out of touch and desperate he really is. His company’s in trouble because vapid, nihilistic hipsterism is over. As misogynistic as our culture may be, he’s still found a way to scandalize a large majority of his target market, and he’s too stupid to realize that more of the same isn’t going to save him.  This gynophobic, turgid asshole thinks he’s outsmarted us dumb broads, but it looks as if he just might have pissed in the chilli. 

Just in case anyone missed my point, here it is: if you continue to buy clothing from American Apparel, you’re a fool and most likely a complete dick.

If you feel like contacting them and letting them know where to stick their ads, click here or write/call the following:

747 Warehouse St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
United States

Tel. +1 (213) 488-0226
Fax. +1 (213) 488-0334

** UPDATE: Now that I know that the other ad is fake, I suspect this one is too. That may invalidate my argument that American Apparel is trying to use media outrage for publicity (or maybe not — their ads are outrageous as fuck, and there might be some self-awareness involved in that), but it doesn’t change the fact that the company’s marketing strategy is inherently hypocritical; their purported appeal is that they don’t condone the exploitation of workers, but their ads are based on nothing but the exploitation of women. And Dov Charney is still a fucking miscreant.  If these do turn out to all be fakes, please, PLEASE, help me find the genius who made them.

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Dov Charney is an MRA. Pardon me if I don’t faint with surprise.

27 Jan

Would you LOOK at this fucking American Apparel ad:

custom_1233073010441_dovIn case you can’t read that text, it says, “Women initiate most domestic violence, yet out of a thousand cases of domestic violence, maybe one is involving a man. And this has made a victim culture out of women.” That’s right, the world’s premier sexual harasser has, like, some really serious opinions about social issues. 

First of all, that statement doesn’t even make any sense. Is he saying that 999 of a thousand domestic violence charges are brought by women against women? If not, then more than one in a thousand cases “is involving a man.” How does “this” (whatever “this” is referring to) create a victim culture “out of” women. Wouldn’t it be a victim culture among women (if it weren’t total bullshit)? I’m pretty sure I’m not taking advice on serious social matters from a guy who can’t even form a coherent thought and doesn’t know that a Salvador Dali moustache isn’t attractive. 

 Horrible diction aside, there are some problems with Dov’s claims. How does he know that “women initiate most domestic violence”? Has there been a study I’m not aware of? Or is Dov just speaking from personal experience, letting us know that any time he’s been involved in violence against women, it’s been for a real good reason? And speaking of that, what, exactly, qualifies as “initiating” domestic violence? Striking first? Or simply being to mouthy? That kind of wording reeks of MRA reasoning, in which men can be excused for physically abusing partners who “push them to it” with their nagging. Dov, apparently, has forgotten that there is no excuse to hit another person, whether you are male or female, and that the idea of one partner “initiating” domestic violence is therefore a joke. “Initiation” does not require retaliation. 

He’s also brought out another MRA favorite, bemoaning the “culture of victimization” among women. MRAs love to claim that feminism, for rightly pointing out and resisting the abuses men commit against women, has turned otherwise “good women” into whiners. Nothing illustrates their unexamined sense of entitlement more than MRAs’ claims that women ought to be happy with what they’ve got and quit complaining. It’s often these types that will remind women how “lucky” we are that men have granted us the rights and privileges that we have now and that we ought to have a look at Afghanistan before we do any more complaining. Dov Charney, by making the absurd claim that a culture of victimization has arisen among women because they perceive domestic violence to be a problem, is proudly joining his MRA brothers in telling women we’ve gotten all we’re going to get, we have nothing to complain about, and we ought to shut the fuck up and get back to celebrating our “right” to huff dong for cash. 

I mean, look at the woman in the ad. I suppose Charney thought if he had a woman lying next to him, it’d prove just how right he is about what weenies us feminists are. The message: now here’s a real liberated woman, one who doesn’t go around complaining about domestic violence. She doesn’t invite domestic violence on herself because she’s docile and agreeable. She sees just how awesome it is to be a woman, what a sweet deal it is for her and for womankind that guys like me exist that will pay her to lay in a bed with me with almost no clothes on in support of my “women are unhappy because they won’t stay in their place, not because men abuse them” message.

Honestly, that woman looks drugged to me.

Here’s the last thing that struck me about this ad: what the fuck are we selling here? Stupid MRA libertarianism or ugly hipster clothing? This asshole, the CEO of the company, has come out of his gang bang emporium of an office to appear in one of his company’s ads and make a social and political statement, and this is what he chooses to say? This is the biggest social issue weighing on this guy’s mind? He’s so concerned with this MRA bullshit that it’s more important to him than selling us metallic leggings? Unbelievable. Whatever you may have thought of him before, there’s no longer any denying where this guy’s mind is at.

Please, I beg of you, don’t buy this guy’s clothes. If you won’t boycott American Apparel for the sake of shutting a bullshit hipster company down out of respect for aesthetics and genuine counterculturalism, then do it because he thinks women have no reason to feel put upon in a society in which people like him use their bodies as decorations, as means to sell products, and as fuck toys.

** UPDATE: It turns out this ad is a phony. But who cares? It’s a real quote from Charney, which proves that he is in fact an MRA, and it’s superimposed on a real AA ad.  I do, however, want to offer a serious reward to the person who find the creator of this ad for me. S/he’s a fucking genius. 

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