American Apparel Underwear Ad Banned Because Model 'Looks' Like a Child (PHOTO)

American Apparel is in trouble again for using ads that supposedly sexualize underage-looking women. The company just had an ad banned by a watchdog group that showed a ginger-haired woman who the group says looks underage flaunting her bare buttocks in a thong bodysuit. What's weird is that the model is actually 20 years old.


The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which monitors ads in the UK for offensive material, said:

We considered the model had a youthful appearance and that some consumers were likely to regard her as being younger than 16 years of age. The model was shown looking back at the camera over her shoulder with her buttocks visible ... We considered that readers were likely to interpret the model's expression and pose as being sexual in nature. In conjunction with the youthful appearance of the model, we considered the ad could be seen to sexualise a child.

Here's the ad:

Hm, I don't know about you, but this ad looks like a young woman wearing a thong bodysuit. I mean, the company is selling a thong bodysuit. That's why you have a woman wearing it. Perhaps I need my eyes checked, because nothing there screams "child porn" to me!

Sure, perhaps she could pass for being younger than her age -- but younger than 16? I'm not really seeing it. Besides, who is to say when a grown woman looks like a teen? I guess the ADA does. I guess they are the arbiter of who looks young and who doesn't.

Some of the ads American Apparel has had banned in the past -- such a young woman in a school girl plaid skirt, with her butt in the air and her underwear showing -- erm, yeah, that one did sexualize young girls, even if the model wasn't a young girl.

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But this young lady is just standing there, and you have to show a thong from the butt side to show what someone is buying. I don't think it's any worse than Victoria's Secret ads.

Perhaps the only solution here is to use middle-aged models? Or maybe we should just stop seeing pornography where none was intended? Get a grip, people.

Do you think this ad "sexualizes a child"?

Image via American Apparel

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