American Apparel hits rock bottom

Dov Charney wants to see the junk in your trunk

Topics: Advertising, Broadsheet,

It’s been at least days since we last made fun of American Apparel. But dammit, they make it so hard not to, with their CEO who’s a sexual harassment lawsuit magnet and their sartorial aesthetic that says, “We dare you to wear this shit in public.”

So when the news hit this morning that they were running a search for “the world’s best bottom” we swear to God we tried not to take the bait. But with copy like “Confident about the junk in your trunk? Show us your assets! Post a photo of your booty’s best side for judgment,” well, we’re only human. So despite the fact that we assumed that this was a competition settled long ago on an old “My Name is Earl” episode, the consumers of satin charmeuse jumper pants have been eagerly submitting their um, “assets” for inspection. And wow, do they have the idiosyncratic, grammar-be-damned American Apparel vernacular down pat.

Kyung from Los Angeles boasts that “Nobody makes the Shiny Suspender Swimsuit looks as amazing as my ass,” while Georgina from Miami notes that “Fluorescent green baby thermal hot shorts are like the hottest thing ever! i like to tan and then walk around my house listening to techno music. seriously. its so fun!” Representing for the scant two males who have dared to rump shake their way into the competitive world of ass pageantry, Mark from Toronto offers a pic that prominently features not just his booty but his shag covered toilet.

But all for what?  Well, besides the glory of being the World’s Greatest Bottom, two lucky winners will be flown to LA, photographed and featured in  AA’s online campaign. Oh, and although anyone can vote in the competition, “American Apparel judges” will determine the ultimate winners. In other words, Dov Charney is totally checking out that wagon you’re dragging.

Nothing wrong with shaking what your mama gave you, though one has to wish all those ambitious would-be World’s Best Bottoms were doing so in somewhat more flattering garb. To their credit, though, all those who can rock the Day-Glo unisex “Legalize Gay” baby rib briefs have got more than back; they’ve got brass cojones.

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of "Gimme Shelter: My Three Years Searching for the American Dream." Follow her on Twitter: @embeedub.

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