Thursday, September 15, 2011

Spoof entry wins American Apparel's plus-size model search - but furious brand awards prize to someone else

(The Daily Mail) A spoof photo shoot entered into American Apparel's plus-size model search has controversially won the competition.

Thousands unwittingly voted in favour of blogger Nancy Upton, from Dallas, Texas, who was so insulted by the brand's search for a face for its new XL line, she protested by submitting a parody entry.

But despite winning the 'Next Big Thing' online poll, American Apparel is refusing to offer the 24-year-old the chance to appear in its campaign, and will instead award the prize to another contestant.

Miss Upton, a U.S. size 12, told The Frisky site how she received a letter from American Apparel creative director Iris Alonzo, informing her of the news.

It read: It's a shame that your project attempts to discredit the positive intentions of our challenge based on your personal distaste for our use of light-hearted language, and that "bootylicious" was too much for you to handle.

'While you were clearly the popular choice, we have decided to award the prizes to other contestants that we feel truly exemplify the idea of beauty inside and out, and whom we will be proud to have representing our company.'

Miss Upton's entry, in which she posed suggestively with stereotypically high-calorie foods, was one of nearly 1,000 submitted on the American Apparel website.

The photographs were accompanied by a statement that simply read: 'I just can't stop eating.'

A blog dedicated to the competition explained how the purposefully mocking pictures were an attempt to highlight her offence at American Apparel's cattle call approach, and its overt plus-size context.

She wrote: 'I don’t believe that beauty should be qualified as BECAUSE of someone’s size or IN SPITE of someone’s size. Beauty is beauty, it’s fluid, it’s objective and it doesn’t need to be justified to or by anyone.'

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