How American Apparel ads helped me accept my body
January 18, 2017
When the news of American Apparel’s demise appeared last week, it felt surprisingly personal. The brand pioneered sweatshop-free production and redefined fashionable basics, but above all, American Apparel shaped the way my generation looked at clothes, sex and the body – for better or worse. And for me personally, American Apparel’s controversial ads became a way of finally coming to terms with the way I looked.
In 2009 I was 20 years old, and I hated my body. I went through high school as an overweight, geeky teenager, and after entering adulthood I was still struggling with eating disorders and body dysphoria. I grew up in Russia, which didn’t help; almost every single woman I knew was obsessed with dieting. I was getting my BA in journalism, and had begun to write about fashion. I clearly didn’t fit in a crowd of thin long-haired girls with perfect skin who worked in the industry.