Dov Charney and Terry Richardson have come under fire for being sexual predators in the business. Sexual assault is no laughing matter, but why only recently scrutinize the two? These men built something unique in the fashion world, and Americans have supported their work for years, all the while knowing about their naughty nature. America needs to take a step back and realize how it built up these men only to see their demise upon amassing great wealth.
Sex sells, and both Charney and Richardson knew/know that. They used provocative, scandalous images of men and women to brand themselves and sell clothing, but it wasn’t all for pure profit. Remember the Bangladesh photo (see image below)? Charney confronted child labor and the mistreatment of women with a single image. It was bold and successful for American Apparel.
Charney’s business model, in truth, was quite ingenious and successful. I’m not condoning how he treated his young models, but he provided jobs for thousands of Americans. More importantly, he created a true made-in-America business that also happened to support the LGBT community. Americans were eager to support such a fantastic business with trendy clothing, ignoring his overtly sexual creepiness until he was rich and famous. What the fuck America?
We continuously build up figures like Charney and Richardson, and then, take them down when we think they are evil tyrants with money who think they can do whatever they want and get away with it. The truth is they were getting away with the same shit for years, and we, as a nation, and the board members of AA didn’t bother to care until they were part of the one percentile. But hey, we’re a hypocritical bunch — a complex character to say the least.
Are Terry Richardson’s photo shoots uncomfortably creepy and rich with inappropriate sexuality? Yes, but models know what they are getting into when they go to one of his shoots. No girl thinks, “he’s going to have me in five layers of clothing selling McFlurrys.”
They know they might have to display their holiest of holies. Is it acceptable for him to be like that? Apparently, when he gets rich and people assume he contributed to Miley Cyrus’s “corruption,” no.
The real bullshit is that America is the largest producer of porn in the world, and the beloved advertising industry constantly churns out imagery of helpless women that “are just asking for it” (see the below image). The real bullshit is when so-called “glamour photographers”, i.e. sad horny guys with cameras, take advantage of naïve, young girls looking to break into the entertainment industry. These guys fuck them during shitty photo shoots to get shitty photos in return. Yet everyone seems to be ok with this. At least with Richardson, you’re part of true pop culture.
So fuck you, America. We are the ones who elevate these people. We consume the masses of overtly sexual content they produce, so why do we maim these figures with a vengeance when they give us what we want? Know more.