World’s Strangest

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Mock a Contest, Win Anyway

After years of marketing to only small consumers, American Apparel decided to begin offering a limited selection of fashions in size XL. In announcing this, the company launched a competition called The Next BIG Thing Contest to find a plus-size model. Nancy Upton is a size 12 actress, and no fan of American Apparel. She entered the contest with the intention of mocking it.

The puns, the insulting, giggly tones, and the over-used euphemisms for fat that were scattered throughout the campaign’s solicitation began to crystalize an opinion in my mind. How offensive the campaign was. How it spoke to plus-sized women like they were starry-eyed 16 year olds from Kansas whose dream, obviously, was to hop a bus to L.A. to make it big in fashion. How apparently there were no words in existence to accurately describe the way American Apparel felt about a sexy, large woman, and so phrases like “booty-ful” and “XLent” would need to be invented for us—not only to fill this void in American vocabulary, but also make the company seem like a relatable, sassy friend to fat chicks.

Upton submitted a set of photographs of herself (mostly with food) taken by her friend Shannon Skloss. After the photos were approved for the contest and posted, Upton received more votes from the public than any of the other entrants! Upton writes about her feelings on winning the contest at The Daily Beast. Link -via Metafiter

More pictures and links about the project can be found at Upton’s blog (some are NSFW): Link

(Image credit: Shannon Skloss)

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September 11th, 2011

Stranger to the World


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