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American Apparel Makes Bold Statement With Menstruation T-Shirts

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  • American Apparel Makes Bold Statement With Menstruation T-Shirts

    American Apparel Makes Bold Statement With Menstruation T-Shirts


    article image
    By Doris Quintanilla, Mon, October 07, 2013
    An American Apparel unisex t-shirt with a drawing of a woman’s vagina stained with menstrual blood is making headlines.

    The $32 ‘Period Tee’ was designed by 20-year-old Toronto-based artist Petra Collins. As a former employee of American Apparel, Collins has created two other t-shirts, including the “Wet Tee,” which features a photograph of a woman’s chest clung to a soaked white t-shirt.

    Although raising eyebrows is nothing new to American Apparel, the T-shirt disturbs some customers.

    One Daily Mail commentator wrote in regards to the shirt, “As an art historian, I say, fine, if it’s art, put it in a museum or gallery. That’s where controversial art belongs, so that interested people can choose to go see it and to discuss it. Is doesn’t belong on a T-shirt.”

    Other commentators were much more to the point, describing the shirt as “horrid,” “vile,” and “disgusting.”

    The company’s website describes Collins as an artist who “creates portraits exploring female sexuality and teen girl culture.”

    In an interview with OysterMag.com last year, Collins said she uses her work to bring taboo topics out in the forefront.

    “I find people are uncomfortable when a woman is expressing her sexuality instead of repressing it,” she said in the interview. “In our society, nude or sexually suggestive images of women are automatically seen as negative.”
    I guess I don't "get" this shirt. Women have menstrual periods, it's natural but so it vomiting or pimples. All those things are perfectly natural and two of them are healthy - the third is an indicator of unbalanced hormones. How are any of them pushing back "taboos"?

    Most women don't see menstruation as a part of female sexuality - it's a part of female reproduction. Regardless of what middle-aged Dianic feminists think, today menstruation is not a critical hallmark of female status. Athletic girls and women have random periods, some using high-tech contraception have only 4 periods a year, and ibuprophen has pretty much ended the incredibly painful and sickening 24 hours that many women had prior to its OTC release. Couple that with the earlier and earlier menarche of girls, the irrelevance of virginity at marriage, the total postponement of both adulthood and pregnancy (prior hallmarks of female sexuality) and I don't see how menstruation is the point of anything right now.

    Today there are a large number of ways to deal with menstrual blood, none of which seem particularly "taboo". The issue of how to deal with it is the sole concern of numerous boards, websites, and commercials. There are a bewildering array of accessories to make carrying menstrual items fashionable, along with apps and tip lines for confused or curious.

    This designer isn't trying to break any boundaries (there are none here), she's just trying to be "transgressive" in an era where her work is viewed less as a taboo and more as gross-out.

    Yes, you can be grossed out by menstrual blood just as you might be by mucus or pus or skin flakes. Today, that doesn't make you reactionary or out-of-touch, it just makes you as fastidious as the bulk of Americans who shower constantly and fret about foot odor.

    Opposing Views
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

  • #2
    Whoinahell would ever wear something like that? Good grief.

    If, for whatever really strange reason, you are a woman who wants to announce to the world that you're presently menstruating (thereby removing all doubt after your bitchy outburst), then just hang a sign around your neck or something.
    Bask in the warmth of the Deep South
    No one will be denied:
    Big law suits and bathroom toots;
    We're all getting Dixie-fried.
    But somewhere Hank and Lefty
    Are rollin' in their graves
    While kudzu vines grow over signs that read "Jesus Saves."

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Adam View Post
      Whoinahell would ever wear something like that? Good grief.

      If, for whatever really strange reason, you are a woman who wants to announce to the world that you're presently menstruating (thereby removing all doubt after your bitchy outburst), then just hang a sign around your neck or something.
      Sadly, it isn't a warning, it's a badly dated sociological protest.
      "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

      Comment


      • #4
        That's it. I'm inspired to express my own interpretation of a taboo. I'm going to design a line of clothing about my farts.
        "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."

        -John Locke

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by scott View Post
          That's it. I'm inspired to express my own interpretation of a taboo. I'm going to design a line of clothing about my farts.
          You'd be really pushing the envelope, my friend. Almost as though 'Beavis and Butthead' never existed. LOL!
          "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

          Comment


          • #6
            That's just gross. Yeah, I have periods, but it's nobody's business.

            Besides, people know about my "sexuality" at least once a month when all the things that usually bother me just a little bit explode. I don't need a shirt for that.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by scott View Post
              That's it. I'm inspired to express my own interpretation of a taboo. I'm going to design a line of clothing about my farts.
              You should probably get it in brown
              If it pays, it stays

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd love to know if anyone actually buys (and wears) these controversial AA t-shirts, or if they're simply a marketing exercise in generating publicity. "No publicity is bad publicity," as they used to say.
                “Any sufficiently advanced capitalism is indistinguishable from rent seeking.” ~ =j

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