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It's about time someone showed a mannequin that resembled a sliver of the natural female form, pubic hair highlighted.
Second wave feminists fighting for gender equality rejected the notion that women were only objects of sexual desire by embracing natural hair growth as a stand against commercialized beauty. Albeit for shock value, American Apparel, well-known for its '70s revival fashion like high-waisted leggings and halter tops, took on the decade's full frontal. According to Gothamist, mannequins in a downtown New York American Apparel window are now sporting pubic hair, which is visible around and through the underwear that they are wearing. We sent our photographer, Kathryn Wirsing, to get some up close and personal pics.
We've been seeing a reemergence of natural pubic hair recently. From dotting the pages of magazines to Gwyneth Paltrow's confession about her upkeep to Ellen Degeneres, the look has still been controversial for some. This past October, Instagram banned the account of a 21-year-old photographer Petra Collins (photo above) because she posted a pic of hair creeping over the underwear line.
While American Apparel is known for its gimmicky methods (a sales associate at the store location said the display was for "eyeballs" via telephone) and offensive ad campaigns (see: Dov Charney antics), the mannequins in its windows are a small step in showing the natural female form in a culture that equates shaving and bareness with beauty.
Update: American Apparel provided this response to ELLE:
"American Apparel is a company that celebrates natural beauty, and the Lower East Side Valentine's Day window continues that celebration," a rep told us. "We created it to invite passerbys to explore the idea of what is 'sexy' and consider their comfort with the natural female form. This is the same idea behind our advertisements which avoid many of the photoshopped and airbrushed standards of the fashion industry. So far we have received positive feedback from those that have commented and we're looking forward to hearing more points of view."