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American Apparel was in the news recently over a scandal involving full-body photos required of all applicants looking for work in one of their many international retail stores. People across Internetland were outraged over the implied discrimination the request makes.

The overly empathetic, moral me agrees that, yes, it is unfair. Not everyone can be a looker and it shouldn’t be grounds for unemployment. But the consumer side of me really appreciates their employees’ attractiveness. 90% of my shirts are from AA, partly because their Ts fit my E.T.-like body better than any other brand, and partly because looking at the employees fills me with hope that I too can be as sexy and cool them, that I can be like the dude in suspenders and a v-neck at the register, and in turn, I’ll be able to attract the nice-smelling girl in the spandex leggings. Oh nice-smelling spandex legging girl, that headset walkie talkie just makes me love you more.

Bottom line is their brand is unmistakable. It’s consistent. It’s influential. When I find myself thinking, “I want to be like that guy,” they’re doing something right.

AA is back in the news again, this time it’s over a leaked employee email outlining the company’s grooming standards. I’ve already got the threads, and with the beauty code cracked,  there’s nothing between me and 100% sexydom. You have no excuses, either.

The email starts like this:

Hi everyone,

Males as well as females are expected to exude the understanding of the brand’s appreciation for a natural and healthy appearance. Below are a few notes as well as photographic examples that should be circulated to the staff, specifically to male employees.

Women:

a) Makeup is to be kept to a minimal- please take this very seriously. Liquid eyeliner, pencil eyeliner and eyeshadow are advised against; mascara must look very natural (ie. should not be clumpy or a color that does not compliment your skin and haircolor). Blush must not be overdone- should not have glitter or sparkles. Liquid foundation is prohibited (undereye concealer is understandable if it looks natural- ie. not clumpy or caked on, must match your skin tone). Please do not use a shiny gloss on your lips; any lipcolor must be subtle.

b) Eyebrows must not be overplucked. Full eyebrows are very much encouraged. Please do not dye your eyebrows a different color.

c) We encourage long, healthy, natural hair, so please be advised of the following:
-Hair must be kept your natural color.
-Blow-drying hair excessively could cause heat damage, so this is advised against.
-“Bangs” or “fringe” are advised against. It is not part of the direction we’re moving in.

d) Jewelry must not be distracting. Please do not wear accessories with another brand’s logo on it- this includes watches. No gauges whatsoever. One earring per ear is encouraged. Earrings, necklaces, watches, bracelets, etc. must be simple and tasteful. Please E-mail me or work@americanapparel.net with a photo if you have any questions about a specific piece of jewelry you’d like to wear in the store.

Pics that accompanied the employee email.

Men:

a) Hair should look natural. Excessive product to the extent of creating stiffness and an unnatural or greasy appearance to your hair is advised against.

b) Eyebrows should be natural. Please do not dye your eyebrows a different color or overpluck them.

c) Males should not wear makeup.
d) Facial hair needs to be kept clean and well groomed. Any mustache or goatee of a contemporary style are advised against.
e) No gauges allowed whatsoever.

Reminders about basic dress code:
a) Button-up shirts must be tucked in to trousers.

b) Sneakers of any style are not allowed. Plain white clean Keds or Keds-like shoes are allowed.

c) Please do not wear any earrings. All accessories and watches must be clean, simple, and tasteful. They cannot distract from the garments.

d) Garments must fit properly. Trousers cannot be too tight or too baggy- and must be clean. Shirts cannot be oversized or too tight. If there is an employee that does not wear garments that fit properly, please contact me ASAP so we can resolve the matter.

e) Belts must be worn with trousers that have belt loops.

More email pics

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I remember my first Valentine’s Day. I was 14 years old. I bought several large bags of M&Ms, the ones that are packaged to be put in jars, bowls, etc – not the little packages you give to trick-or-treaters – and I spent the night of the 13th sifting through the browns, reds, yellows, oranges and blues, picking out the green ones and bagging them in a fancy little pouch. This was around the time that Mars was doing their “spokescandy” promotion with anthropomorphized M&Ms; plain and peanut (red & yellow) were the main faces of the campaign. There was also blue, a new color who was cool and kind of an asshole. And then there was green. She was sexy and sassy and in control. Maybe my girlfriend identified with this headstrong piece of candy, or maybe she was just a little neurotic, because she absolutely refused to eat an M&M unless it was green. If I was offering: “Are there any green ones?” If she was asking: “Are there any green ones?” So I turned this little personality tick of hers into an opportunity to be a good boyfriend, the kind who deserves long and intense make out sessions for having been so thoughtful. It worked.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I can relate to this Stefan Magdalinski guy, who dipped a brand new ipad in melted chocolate, let it sit, then wrapped and gifted it to his wife, who is an “Apple Nut.”

“Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it’s not going to get the business.” – Warren Buffett

The original story.

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