Culture Jam Assignment: American Apparel Advertisement

The Original Advertisement

Original American Apparel Advertisement (above)

American Apparel was once a popular clothing company with stores all over the world, including in Vancouver. The poster above is an original advertisement, which was used to promote their Amsterdam location, with the words ‘now open’ to show that the store is open for business.


Analysis of the Original Advertisement

The original advertisement above sexually exploits the model in the photograph as she is used as a marketing strategy. The poster advertisement took a more sexualized approach so that it would be able to catch the eyes of potential consumers, where the model is seen posing seductively as a clever strategy to garner sales and attraction. With the model posed this way — her legs spread apart and arms up — the focus of the poster has shifted from promoting the store to promoting her body. The bold words ‘now open’ coupled with how she is posed thus insinuates much more than just a new open location, but that the model is open as well. This provocative pose is a huge issue since it does not benefit the store’s grand opening and does not promote the bodysuit she is seen wearing. Instead, it is just a way for American Apparel to exploit and sexually objectify the model so that the advertisement is more attractive to possible consumers. In this manner, ‘now open’ becomes two words used to sexually exploit the model’s body and onlookers will lose sight that the ad is for promoting the clothing company. Unfortunately, public promotions like these where women are used for sales purposes are not uncommon for American Apparel, since they have been known to endorse their company with “images of nearly nude women in risqué positions” (“American Apparel Has a New Look”, 2018). With a reputation and recognition that their advertisements are like that, American Apparel is still taking advantage of women and their bodies for their own company’s benefit to this day.

In my jammed version of this advertisement, I would like to address the implication of this sexualization in the words ‘now open’ and the way the model is posed. Not losing sight on the fact that American Apparel is a clothing store and not a place where ‘sex sells,’ I would like to address that the company’s sight should only be set on selling clothes, not on sexually exploiting and sexualizing women and their bodies as a marketing strategy to garner more sales.


My Jammed Advertisement

My Jammed Version of the American Apparel Advertisement (above); models (left to right): ONE, TWO, THREE


Analysis of the Jammed Advertisement

In my jammed version of the poster, I heavily emphasized the fact that American Apparel is a clothing company. This was something that was not depicted properly in the original advertisement. My jammed version shows that this is more about the clothing and not the model on the poster. With that said, the readjustment hopes to put the potential consumer’s focus back onto the brand’s clothes. With my jammed version, I intended to show that the ad would not only be able to market American Apparel clothing properly but to also show that this ad does not need to utilize the woman’s body and to exploit it for sales. Thus, I realized that having her legs shown in the poster was completely unnecessary in bringing these points across. Consequently, I added three pictures of different female models posing in American Apparel clothing, which was able to cover the model’s legs and further exemplify the different clothes that American Apparel offers. I also replaced American Apparel’s logo to a much larger one at the bottom, with the words ‘we are a clothing store’ in brackets, so that potential consumers get a clearer idea just what this ad is for. On the model’s bodysuit, I added ‘this is an advertisement for clothes, not for the model on the poster’ so that people are aware that this advertisement is not made to sell the model’s body. Lastly, under the words ‘now open,’ I added, ‘but not for you to sexualize,’ since it is true – the model’s body is not up to the company or for society to sexualize or to sexually exploit. Women and their bodies should not be sexualized like this so that companies can have the benefit of receiving more sales. By adding these texts, I hope that it will be able to show that this advertisement is not utilizing the model’s body as a way to garner sales, but rather, the company’s name and clothing to promote sales.



Hanbury, M. (2018, January 3). American Apparel Has A New Look Created By Women, But It’s Still Risque — Here’s Why. Retrieved from