American Apparel Takes The Low Road

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THE PLANK JULY 23, 2009

American Apparel Takes The Low Road

An American Apparel picture is, as ever, worth a thousand
words
:

But this time, the ad isn't advertising neon bodysuits or the merits of going braless. It forms part of an “explicit” show of support for Washington’s decision to
accept same sex marriages performed in other states. “Congratulations, Washington D.C.,” reads the fine print: Dov
Charney thinks you're hot!

Hotness, of course, is crucial for Charney, the company’s founder, even as he
makes forays into the political sphere (his other cause is immigration reform). But sex is not always synonymous with progressivism; not even American
Apparel's brand of real-world soft-core can include two men or two women holding hands, or otherwise engaged in the business of love and life. Instead, we are treated to a Narcissus fantasy about homosexuality, and particularly lesbianism, that's as old as Paradise Lost and as fatuous as Katy
Perry's “I Kissed A Girl (And I liked it).” Should we “Legalize Gay” so that more straight girls can make out—with each other, and, apparently, themselves—at frat parties?  I hope not. Political cowardice can be smutty
as well as painfully staid, but between these two extremes is a gap waiting
to be filled with real representations of gay America, which is populated by people who—you guessed it—look like “you and me.”

--Carina del Valle Schorske

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