Petter Lindqvist (from Swedish fashion label byPM) poses in a similar fashion to a female model in an American Apparel ad (inset). Photo: American Apparel/byPM
American Apparel ads have always made us ladies feel a bit iffy. Why? They tend to be shot by Terry Richardson, who by many accounts is a rather creepy cat, and the sexualisation of the female models is so in-your-face that it seems as if every image is taking the feminist movement back 10 paces. Not convinced?
I rest my case.
That's why these two projects from Sweden, that came to our attention via Business Insider Australia, are so satisfying:
"Swedish blogger Emelie Eriksson made headlines this week by juxtaposing male models’ poses in unisex American Apparel Clothing with the R-rated images of women wearing the same shirts (often sans pants).
It's a stark way of showing how men on the website are predominantly shown fully clothed and standing in modest poses, while women are often shown in various states of undress and striking sexually suggestive poses.
To further illustrate how the fashion retailer's double standard works, a small Swedish clothing company named byPM decided to do a photo shoot in which a man posed in the same positions as American Apparel’s female models."
You can see the resulting image at the top of this post.
"We thought it was sick that American Apparel time and again gets away with such sexist advertising," Michaela Forni, a Swedish fashion blogger who manages the product range for byPM told The Local.
After discussing the matter internally, Forni and her colleagues decided to express their feelings by putting a man in a pose similar to how some of the women are portrayed on American Apparel's site.
"We wanted to do the exact same thing they did, but with the opposite gender," Forni explained.
"On our site, it's the man* who has his bare ass in the air and is seen in a sexually seductive pose."
Well played, Swedish friends. Well played.
* the man in the images is byPM’s founder and part-owner, Petter Lindqvist.