Thursday, March 26, 2009

Because it Needed to be Done

I feel a little funny sometimes when choosing what to post on this blog.  I have a strong personality and strong opinions, and sometimes I can come across a bit, well, strong.  I don't ever mean to offend anyone by what I write, and I also hate knowing that some people are going to read this stuff and make innaccurate or uncomplimentary judgments about me.  I've decided, though, that if I can't write what I want here, on my blog, then where can I?  And if I can't write about what I'm really thinking or feeling or experiencing, what's the point in having a blog at all?
So where did that little disclaimer/justification come from?  I was talking to my mom today about how helpless I feel sometimes when I pay attention to the directions our country is headed politically, the epidemic of avalanching morals, and the increasingly offensive onslaught of programming and advertising.  The world is spiraling out of control, and there's nothing I can do about it.  Or is there?

I've decided to take pride in the fact that I actively participate in promoting positive change by making my voice heard through letters, emails, boycotts, or phone calls.  I've already posted a couple of examples, all rather silly, and had decided to forgo similar future entries because I didn't want to offend or be regarded as an obnoxious activist.  I have changed my mind.  I don't plan on posting about every phone call I make or letter I send (because I intend to do a fair amount: some trivial, some not), but I will write about some for two reasons: first, because I hope that others will be inspired to speak up too, and second, because I want to bring attention to some of the issues I feel strongly about.  

I am a letter-writer.  An email-sender.  A phone-caller.  A boycotter.  And I'm proud of it.  

On Tuesday, February 17, 2009 12:34 PM (Pacific Time) you submitted the following feedback to American Apparel:

I think some of your clothes are stylish and fun, but I will absolutely never buy them because of your pornographic ads. Whose bright idea was it to have a bare-chested woman with a nipple showing through the advertised suspenders?? Disgusting. I can't even tell you how offensive that is. That's the raunchiest ad of yours that I've seen, though you've certainly had some other doozies. Maybe you think "sex sells," but certainly not to this customer. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2009 7:58 PM, American Apparel Response

Hi Lindsay, Thank you for expressing your concern, American Apparel At American Apparel, we respect diversity at all costs whether it be race, gender, sexuality, nationality, interest, or even occupation. We understand that beauty comes in all shapes and forms, and different people choose to display this beauty in different ways. Additionally, we find that most of our customers appreciate our unconventional means of advertising and photography, including our choice in models. Lastly, we also find that those who would be so offended by the details of our models personal choices must be familiar with their occupation, thus being a fan or at least a follower of their career, in which we would assume they appreciate their work outside of American Apparel. Thank you

Sarah Tompkins

Wednesday, February 17, 2009 10:46 AM

I agree with almost everything you said.  I think it's fine that you respect and promote diversity.  I am not complaining about your choice in models or judging their personal choices, and I respect the rights of other people to look at and enjoy the naked women on your website.  Your last sentence didn't make any sense to me, but I don't know who any of your models are and I'm not familiar with their personal choices, occupation, or work outside American Apparel.  

My problem with your company is that you place offensive ads on other, family-friendly websites (i.e. Facebook and, to name two).  Some of your ads are classy and fine, like the beret ad or most of the Get Toasty ads.  I don't mind seeing your models or ads for your company when they're modestly attired.  Save the pornographic ads for your website or adult and porn websites.   I can't believe that I have to explain this, but most people don't want to see breasts and nipples on their sidebars when surfing the web.  It's offensive.

Yes, they just opened an American Apparel in San Antonio.  No, I will not be shopping there.  


  1. I love you.

    I am doing the same thing, but for example, with Siemens. I boycott all of their products, because they used slave labor from concentration camps during WWII to create some of their products.

    I also shop where I like the advertising. For example: gap is just fine, anthro, even Target and Old Navy have normal, classy ads where no one is naked. Disgusting. I would never want to see someone's nipple in an ad unless it was for breastfeeding or something!

  2. Wahoo! I'm with you sister! I would suggest also (if not primarily) emailing the sites that sell the ad spots to American Apparel. AA is probably never going to clean up, but that so-called family-friendly website can decide whether or not to profit from their pornographic ads. I have written several emails to Hotmail along those same lines because of soft porn Victoria Secret and True ads. There was even an ad on (a Provo-based family blog site) with a weight loss ad featuring a closeup of a scantily-clad shapely buttocks--not necessarily porn, but certainly in poor taste! Anyway, if you ever want an activist buddy, let me know. I love it!

  3. You're awesome. I love that you share these kinds of experiences on your blog. As you said, it's YOUR blog. And I find it inspiring. So thank you.

  4. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.... This last week, we were a "Nielsen Family"--you know, the Nielsen TV ratings. We were supposed to keep track of what we watched and then mail it back. At the end, they invited us to comment on TV in general. Here is what I wrote:
    "We rarely watch 'major' networks (ABD, NBC,CBS) anymore--their programming is too embarrassing to watch with our family. NBC had the prime opportunity to win us back during the Olympics, but they kept advertising a tasteless show called "Kath and Kim." We were all watching the Olympics, and a commercial for this show came on with some 'joke' about screaming during sex. Sorry, NBC, you lost us--that was extremely offensive, especially since we were watching with our kids. I would have found it offensive even if they weren't there...."
    I also wrote my congressman twice since January, but I'll spare you the details....