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“Rawness and Realness”: American Apparel Brings Back Pubes

Pubes: we all have them. For some of us, pubic hair has been around since the pre-pre-teen days, and really no matter who you are – as long as you’re human – putting the pubes in puberty is about as inescapable as aging. They go hand in hand; the older you get, the closer you become to pubehood. 

Luckily – or at least society makes us feel lucky about this – there are countless ways to eliminate this unwanted hair. The deeper we get into the 2000’s, the more insecure and repulsed we feel by pubic hair (actually any kind of body hair in general) and subsequently our own bodies. Why is this?

Hairless

I mean, I completely understand it in some ways. I’m definitely one of those people who doesn’t particularly enjoy hair that I feel shouldn’t be there; I don’t at all care for hairy armpits or the slight moustachio that has a tendency to creep up on me, but if I go a little untamed in the nether regions for a week or so, I don’t freak out. In fact, I feel a little more womanly and when looking at myself in the mirror I don’t consider that young woman with the bush a stranger. 

But then there are the days when I feel like I need a couple’s therapist for my vagina and me. Don’t tell her this, but I’m pretty sure she has a serious case of Peter Pan Syndrome

What’s stranger than this is that when it comes to men, I feel that they should have hair in all those places. I don’t want to be with someone who looks like a little boy, so why are men – or is it society? – so fixated on women who look like little girls?

It seems like I am not the only one who feels this way, and recently American Apparel has made it very clear that they share these sentiments. 

Billboard

Micro Mesh

What I love about American Apparel is that we can always count on them to push social boundaries. They are repeatedly posting advertisements that throw conservatives nation-wide into fits of outrage. Women’s nipples, bottoms, body hair, curves etc. are on constant display and in the most prideful manner. American Apparel, unlike so many other companies out there, is not afraid of a woman’s body. They cherish it, they uplift it and they let us everyday girls feel like it’s ok to be real women. Some people think their advertisements are vulgar and overly sexualized, but it seems to me these are the very same folk  – give or take 500 years – who were horrified by Botticelli’s Venus. 

So of course, American Apparel’s latest window display with fully-pubed female mannequins wearing sheer underwear has caused quite the commotion. The display was only created this week, and was designed specifically for the  American Apparel on East Houston Street in New York City

AA Pubes

American Apparel is a company that celebrates natural beauty, and the Lower East Side Valentine’s Day window continues that celebration. We created it to invite passerbys to explore the idea of what is “sexy” and consider their comfort with the natural female form. This is the same idea behind our advertisements which avoid many of the photoshopped and airbrushed standards of the fashion industry. So far we have received positive feedback from those that have commented and we’re looking forward to hearing more points of view, ” says Ryan Holiday (source). 

AA AD

Another article in Gothamist remarks that the pubes on these mannequins are “straining against [the] mesh panties like a furry Rorschach test or a bundle of untroubled Daddy longlegs“, but I think the remarkable symbolism here has been sorely overlooked: Women’s pubic hair and natural bodies have been contained for so long behind such mesh-like barriers, and now American Apparel is making a pointed effort to not only demonstrate this struggle but to liberate women and their bodies as well. 

Window Display Viewers

An associate at the East Houston Street location stated that these – shall we just call them feminist? – mannequins “were meant to convey the “rawness and realness of sexuality ‘”. Well, whatever their purpose all I can say is ROCK ON! Once again American Apparel  has not only impressed me, but intrigued me as well.

Also can I just say that the clothing behind these femaquins are to die for?  I will definitely be spending my next hard earned paycheck at my closest AA!

Photo Credits: Cover Image, Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6

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