Why I Heart American Apparel

Posted: February 5, 2009 in Uncategorized

America Apparel is trying to open a store in the Mission in San Francisco. My local weirdo community is up in arms. It would be the first chain store on Valencia. Feminists also dislike the owner because he seems to be a sexual predator.
I get that the owner is flawed and maybe criminal. I get that the entry of corporate America into the mission would be a big step for gentrification, but I have to admit that i heart American Apparel.
I discovered AA when I was first exploring femme clothing. It was the first place where I found clothing designed to fit the male body and be sexy and colorful. AA provided a ‘queer space’ where I started to explore color, v-neck shirts and clothes that revealed the contours of my (shameful) body. I got great encouragement and support from the girls and boys who worked there. I tried shirts from the proscribed ‘women’s’ half of the store on and received the feedback “All of the boys who work here wear stuff from the women’s section.” For me AA was the first place that I could dress beyond the gender binary and I was supported and encouraged to do that. I find the aesthetic that they promote body-positive, fat-positive and fundamentally queer.
I do not wear as much AA as I used to. It is too overpriced for me. Now I even shop at Forever 21 which has to be the bastion of female heterosexual space. I do not feel shame being in these girly spaces, but that is only because I had a queer space like American Apparel to start my journey.
So, although I hope that they do not open in the mission, I cannot muster any real outrage. I hope that they keep sprouting up like Macdonald’s and continue queering american fashion.

  1. Lola says:

    Hey now…no need to call your body (shameful).

    Love yourself! You’re too great not too!

    This is Lola btw, leaving a comment like you asked, one of the girls you photographed at Dolores Park a few days ago.

    Hopefully we’ll see you again soon!!

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