But they ARE actually men. And they’re bringing drag to the mainstream. You can approve of a campaign and not of the company. Like you can like the artwork and hate the artist. Enjoy the book but despise the author.
Look at the campaign though-
Meet Courtney Act
Courtney is from Sydney, Australia but currently resides in West Hollywood. She enjoys success as a pop singer and has toured around the world with her live show. She cites Oprah Winfrey as her religious leader and keeps a gratitude journal in her honor. Courtney’s hobbies include yoga, meditation, Burning Man and go-go dancing. Her favorite color is rainbow.
I’m willing to bet that anyone who already didn’t know who Courtney was would just assume she was a pretty girl based on the above. The word “drag” is never used anywhere until the last sentence of this paragraph in small print all the way at the bottom of the page-
About the Collection
American Apparel is thrilled to present a collaboration with three of our favorite performance artists: Willam, Alaska and Courtney Act. This limited edition series celebrates each drag queen’s talents and allure.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that all three queens they chose are skinny, blonde, and fit mainstream beauty standards and the fact that they are drag queens is being downplayed. This campaign was the perfect opportunity to make a statement about gender, sexuality, personal expression, etc. especially considering that AA sells so much unisex clothing, but instead the angle they chose to go with is “hot girls who aren’t actually girls”, which I find disappointing. If that’s the best they can do as far as “bringing drag to the mainstream”, I’m not impressed. And yes, of course it’s cool that people who are drag queens are being featured in such a mainstream way, but I don’t like the way the campaign was done, and regardless of that I wouldn’t feel comfortable buying anything from a company with such a gross history.
Unpopular opinion time! I know everyone’s super excited about that American Apparel thing right now, but it would be cool if there were shirts with drag queens on them being sold by a major mass market store who DIDN’T
A) have a strong history of extreme misogyny and racism both in the store’s advertising and internal practices
b) market the campaign as basically “Check out these tall skinny hot blonde chicks! They look just like our regular models except *whispers* they’re actually men!”
I just think a lot about how monster high can make younger kids feel
like, a young black girl being told by almost literally any media that she needs to straighten/change her natural hair to be pretty but she comes across honey who not only has hair like her but talks about how much she loves her hair
or maybe a nonverbal disabled child who identifies so much with ghoulia
operetta has a big burn-like scar on her face and she rocks the fashion just as much as anyone else
or girls who learn from clawdeen its totally okay to be hairy, but if you also want to shave thats cool too. and girls who can’t or don’t want to shave can come across marisol and see she’s literally hairy and has thick eyebrows and it’s so not a bad thing
then there’s vandala who has a prosthetic leg and ryder/finn rocking a wheelchair
and it just makes really happy and fuzzy because you can tell these dolls were designed with these kinds of things in mind and they’re gonna make some children, who probably never see these things about them anywhere in media, very happy