American Apparel has done something controversial. How very shocking.
The clothing company—which has "shocked" so many times over the years that when they do something "shocking" these days, it's not, it's predictable—unveiled the Valentine's Day window display at its Lower East Side Manhattan store.
And the theme of this year's V-day is pubes!
All the mannequins used in the display are wearing see-through, white underwear and rocking large pubic bushes. In a statement to Elle, American Apparel explains, "[We are] a company that celebrates natural beauty."
The statement continues:
"The Lower East Side Valentine's Day window continues that celebration...We created it to invite passerbys to explore the idea of what is 'sexy' and consider their comfort with the natural female form. This is the same idea behind our advertisements which avoid many of the photoshopped and airbrushed standards of the fashion industry. So far we have received positive feedback from those that have commented and we're looking forward to hearing more points of view."
(It's worth pointing out that while Apparel—debatably—"avoid[s] many of the photoshopped and airbrushed standards" in their ads, their campaigns are plenty problematic. At best, they are overtly sexual. At worst, they're misogynistic. One ad was banned in Britain for sexualizing child models.)
Meanwhile, Dee Myles, Apparel's District Visual Manager, claims that the mannequins "bring rawness and newness to a holiday thought of as a romantic Hallmark holiday...by exploiting the lust of Valentine's Day."
This isn't the first time American Apparel has put their best bush forward. Various fashion shots on their website have also features pubic hair (here, for one. It's less hair than the merkins, but still NSFW).
So far, at least one person has called for a boycott of the store.
The New York Times recently published a piece on the return of the bush. "After years of razors, wax and lasers reducing pubic hair to the bare minimum—or nothing at all—there's a return to a more natural state," Amanda Hess wrote.
She noted, "This look isn't completely untamed, of course. Many women still attend to the sides and underneath. But there's something refreshingly retro, delightfully expressive and confidently grown-up in getting back to nature."
In conclusion, do what you want with your pubes—wax 'em, shave 'em, grow 'em out and braid 'em, you just do you—and let everyone else do whatever they want with their pubes. Not your pubes, not your problem.