archive of winners 8: Nancy Upton shames the shameful American Apparel
Questions to Consider:
- What was the message Nancy Upton was trying to send to her audience?
- How did she send a positive message to young girls and women?
- What was the comment she was making to American Apparel?
What We Think:
Nancy Upton, a plus size woman, entered American Apparel’s “Next Big Thing” modeling contest where the winner was to be decided by online votes. For this contest, Upton submitted pictures of herself eating and covered with food in provocative positions, basically spoofing all of American Apparel’s ads throughout the years. Although Upton won the contest due to popular vote, American Apparel did not waste any time and quickly took it away from her, stating that they did not want someone who “discredits the positive intentions of our challenge”, according to Iris Alonzo, Creative Director for American Apparel. What Nancy Upton did was remarkable and applause-worthy because she called out American Apparel for their insensitivity to plus-size women and women who aren’t “sexy” according to it’s misogynist CEO, Dov Charney. “American Apparel was going to try to use one fat girl as a symbol of apology and acceptance to a demographic it had long insisted on ignoring, while simultaneously having that girl (and a thousand other girls) shill their products,” Upton said. Even though her win was taken away, Nancy Upton is still the winner because she became a positive role model for all girls and women out there who have felt victimized by American Apparel. She showed them that they don’t need to succumb to the ridiculous image of American Apparel! — Nickole Mariona