Friday, June 18, 2010

If I Were an American Apparel Employee

I need a job. The lack of money has left me a little financially rough so I'm ready to take just about anything. Working at American Apparel appeals to me because, as the company's name implies, it manufactures clothes in the good ol' U.S. of A. I've heard that the employees are paid fair wages. Problem is that the actual area of production seems to be based in California. I'm not about to move over there just to get a job.

So, perhaps, I could be one of their models?

Oh, but I can't. I'd have to lose, like, 88 pounds (or 40 kilos) to be even considered as a model, let alone an American Apparel model. I'd need to let everyone see the marks of my ribcage poke from under my skin and develop deep purple circles under my eyes. Would this be from lack of sleep? Does my pained expression clearly shout "I need food?" For the time being, no. I'm pretty well-fed (maybe just a little too well). My meaty appearance would be spat upon in the modeling world.

But if I did make the cut as an American Apparel model, I would also have to be comfortable wearing barely-there lacy panties while the photographer tells me to spread my legs wide in the oddest gynecological positions. I also wouldn't smile. I am blessed with a good set of teeth and I am always willing to demonstrate them. It shows that I am an amiable and approachable person. For an American Apparel model, however, smiling is seemingly not cool. It just occured to me: if I were to have an emotionless visage plus legs that were extended beyond what a gymnast could physically achieve, then the photo may look just a tad pornographic. But only just a bit, really.

How would I pose without needing to compromise my personal sense of comfort? Perhaps I could do a "Frozen Cheerleader":

Hm. On second thought, I think I shall call this the "Papapa" pose.


No. I don't think I could be an American Apparel model. Perhaps I can try a temporary stint at one of their stores as a salesgirl? I do have some experience working in retail, so that couldn't be too challenging.

Ah, but no. I'd still have to be thin for that job. Not only does this job require a dress code, the employees are expected to not be "fashion laggers." I lived in France for long enough to obtain a sense of aesthetic balance, but to work at AA, I'd need a particular look. From the signals I've been getting, Dazed Anorexic Sexed-Up Druggie Hipster Librarian seems to be "it." If the employees don't achieve this without flaw, they are shown the door. No questions asked.

Also, what would I respond to the clients who ask for a clothing item that is simply NOT AVAILABLE in a larger size? Nor will it EVER be available in a larger size? I've heard that the sizing at AA runs 2 sizes too small, which is a shame because this company actually has customers who will willingly pay nearly 30 for 3 pairs of socks.

You know what? Scratch that. I think I no longer want to work there. I do not wish to work in a place where people purposefully evaluate my appearance and weight because it pertains to a certain "look." Am I a fashion lagger? Too bad. So be it. At least I am content with who I am and the people who love me truly love me.

And as for the job: something will eventually come up. Something better always does.

Barb the French Bean

Disclaimer: I do not own the video that has been shared in this post!

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