The media has always tried to make ugly people more marketable. After all, there are a lot of ugly people in this world that buy shit. Unfortunately, as history has shown, ugly doesn’t always work. It didn’t work for Crocs. It didn’t work for Tori Spelling. And last, but certainly not least, it didn’t work for Dove and their “natural woman” advertising campaign, which ultimately resulted in 40 foot posters of Sea World mammals wearing human panties.
However, there are a couple of counterexamples to this “ugly doesn’t sell” mantra. One example, of course, is Flavor Flav.
The second example requires a bit of introduction. Meet Louliko. Louliko is half French-Canadian and half Japanese. By day, she works at a restaurant in Montreal; by midday, she’s an amateur model; by night, she’s some combination of the two. Pictured in a ti ght fitting, navy blue, jersey cotton bodice, this girl next door, free of any makeup, has a pained expression on her face – like she’s yearning for something that she’s too afraid to want. In such angst, her lips are pursed, her shoulders are tight, and her limbs flail downwards cascading in a line towards her lower torso, which is thoughtfully excluded from the frame of the photograph. What’s so special about Louliko and why does she exude such a disturbed expression even though her clothing is extremely flattering and her hair looks great? Louliko is no mere mortal. She’s a model for American Apparel, and at American Apparel, ordinary sells.
Against the norms of conventional clothing ads, the American Apparel culture champions mediocrity. Encompassing a wide selection certain to satiate any carnal appetite, the inventory of AA models bursts with sexy normalness: to name a few, there’s Sona, a forensics major who also knits and sells sweaters in New York, Janine, a half Vietnamese and half Chinese Iowan working as a loan processor for a mortgage company, and Stryder, a hometown boy from east LA. Forensics? Loan processing? East LA? Did I just pop a boner?
And the best part about American Apparel models is that you, too, could become one! Have you ever been asked if you were a model, even if it was in jest or because the fat lady at Bottega was trying to make you buy something? Do you have bags under your eyes or massive amounts of unattended hair growth? Does your “pouty” face often cause uncontrollable masturbation by yourself and/or other parties? Answering yes to any of the aforementioned questions means your level of mediocrity may be eligible to one day grace the semi-glossy cover of an American Apparel advertisement. While the bronze god of Abercrombie & Fitch is just a premature ejaculation waiting to happen, the American Apparel model is a far more gentle experience: as the post-modernist’s answer to the sex-craze of the contemporary advertising world, the AA model is not about being perfect. The AA model is about being average. And, damn, does AA make average sexy.
Take note of Evan and the California Fleece Zip Hoodie that accentuates his less than muscular build. His growth of facial hair only underlines his likely state of unemployment accompanied by an ongoing bout with heroine. See how he unzips the hoodie, only to reveal his nude chest and untamed happy trail. He’s even got red eye and hairy nipples to boot!
Now Sumi, wearing a pair of Highlighter Cotton Spandex Jersey Hot Shorts and a Loop Terry Bra, appears to have the rack of a prenatal hamster. She is more editorial in her choice of poses, as she gazes in every direction but the camera. Her diamond belly button ring acts as bait luring your glance towards her neon yellow panties, whose bright color and seamless cut bring life to its hidden treasure: a camel toe to rival even the best of the dromedaries. Bedroom eyes? Borderline translucent skin? She’s got it all.
So If you’ve always wanted to be a model, but never had the symmetry of the fact or the height, there’s skill hope. American Apparel is an answer to the prayers of every homely boy and girl who dreams of one day being photographed and tastefully exploited on the internet.
Oh yea. And they have great clothes.