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American Apparel Plus Size Model Search


If you haven't heard yet, American Apparel is on the search for a plus size model because they are now launching XL and XXL clothes. 

Well- good for them! Right? I mean not only are they going to be providing fashionable clothing to a whole new sector, it opens up a new market (and American Apparel needs the cash). 

However, the way AA went about the search is a little offensive and many people weren't happy. They're calling it 'The Next Big Thing' - BAD pun and they say- 'for those who need a little extra wiggle room"... wiggle room? What's that supposed to mean? It was too jokey and just plain ridiculous for many. What do you think of the ad campaign? 
(via dailymail.co.uk)

Nancy Upton decided to fire back with her own campaign, check out her tongue in cheek photos- 

You can see the rest of her photos on her tumblr page. 

What do you think of the campaign and her photos? Are you offended or do you see how someone could be offended or do you think this is totally cool? 

Sep 08, 2011 @ 04:08 pm

12 Replies


Not liking it

I don't like their campagn at all! I think it's offensive. I'm sure there are plus sized girls out there who embrace it and have more self confidence than us average sized girls even and would laugh at this. But I don't think most girls would like to hear "where you need some extra wiggle room". It's just impolite and as a (inter?)national ad campagn, I just don't think it's appropriate.
Sep 08, 2011 @ 04:41 pm


I totally agree @beachbabe, I totally think that is seems condescending and impolite!

Nancy Upton- the woman in the photos made the point that if they had just come out and said- now available in plus sizes with regular plus sized models and had celebrated that they were now available in extra sizes, this campaign would have gone over really well! Considering the fact that AA has been charged (or rather their CEO) with being very offensive and objectifying and harassing women, making a more inclusive campaign that was smart and welcoming would have been a smart business move for them.

As a side note- their plus sizes are a size 12, hardly 'giant'.
Sep 08, 2011 @ 04:56 pm
The Fashion P.A.

Always Controversial

Very offensive communication but isn't this what we have come to expect from American Apparel? Previous ads have stirred up controversy too.

In addition to launching XL and XXL options to stimulate sales, maybe they should have launched a new, less controversial advertising... Are tired/bored of AA's racy behaviour..?
Sep 08, 2011 @ 05:13 pm

Not liking it either

The next big thing?? Are you kidding me? It just sounds like they're making fun of the whole thing. This just confirms that I have been doing the right thing by not shopping at AA.
Sep 08, 2011 @ 06:06 pm

Rude really..

"Next Big Thing" is pretty obnoxious, ignorant and shows they're not taking body image very seriously with women. If I was a plus sized model I would walk right by and find a company with more integrity.
Sep 08, 2011 @ 07:00 pm


@AlexJC- That's another point I was going to make! A size 12 is plus size now? Most stores carry up to a 12-14 as their regular sizes! I've never shopped at American Apparel though (definitely not sorry judging by what I've read on this forum), so I wonder: do their clothes run smaller than usual?

I just went on the website and I'm surprised at how much BOOB is on there!! Like really? My husband actually does business involving American Apparel and just told me he's stopped showing customers options on their website for that reason. Just a side note!
Sep 08, 2011 @ 07:19 pm


First off.. my eyes literally almost bugged out when I read what alexjc wrote about them having size 12 as a plus size!!
When I was working out of town last year, my weight jumped way up (due to living out of a motel for 7-8 months & waaaay too much fast food) and I had my first experience buying plus size clothes... Once I got home I was so proud of myself when I got myself back down to a 13, then finally 11. I feel perfectly healthy & comfortable at this size... now, not only are they sending the wrong image to girls & women that a size 12 is considered "plus", I DEFINITELY agree - "The Next Big Thing" would be insulting to anyone, and I don't know anyone who would look at that and take them seriously.

Whoever is in charge of their promo's and advertising definitely needs a slap across the back of the head or something!! :-|
Sep 09, 2011 @ 12:57 am


I agree with all comments so far size 12 a plus size is ridiculous! And the slogan "the next big thing" really offensive! I dont think they will be gaining any business with this campaign there are many other companies out there that promote activewear for woman of all sizes! I will steer clear of american apparal thanks!! I just hope women arent taking these ads to heart, there is enough pressure to look a certain way already!
Sep 12, 2011 @ 01:38 pm

Ousted by American Apparel

Nancy Upton who protested the company and their plus size search was the most popular choice for the competition- in essence, she had won the competition.

American Apparel was not pleased and wrote an open letter to her, you can read it here.

In the end, here is what they said:

"Oh — and regarding winning the contest, while you were clearly the popular choice, we have decided to award the prizes to other contestants that we feel truly exemplify the idea of beauty inside and out, and whom we will be proud to have representing our company."
Iris Alonzo
Creative Director

So basically- they did not agree with her views, writing her an open letter was kind of a lame move though. Agree?
Sep 15, 2011 @ 12:07 pm


I totally love that she won the competition and that they had to address it in such a snarky manner. American Apparel's attitude is so off putting. I am so glad that I have never shopped there and never intend to.
Sep 20, 2011 @ 11:40 pm

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