Nancy Upton should be American Apparel’s newest model. Except that she’s not and, hey, she doesn’t want the gig anyway.
The 24-year-old Dallas native entered the retailer’s “Next BIG Thing” contest which was — according to the company’s own literature — a search for “booty-ful” models who need “a little extra wiggle room.”
Upton entered the contest, sending in pictures of herself eating chicken, gorging on ice cream and bathing in ranch dressing, among others. And despite her obvious disdain for American Apparel and its search for plus-sized women with “curvaceous bods,” Upton won the contest — at least based on popular votes.
But don’t look for her in any of AA’s advertising campaigns. The company sent Upton a letter on Wednesday (Sept. 14) explaining why she doesn’t exemplify the “idea of beauty inside and out” and accusing her of setting back the cause of nice clothes for full-figured women.
This isn’t the retailer’s first poorly-handled contact with the plus-sized community. In 2010, plus-sized adult film star April Flores, who was seeking out pieces for a plus-sized clothing line, was told by an AA rep that they didn’t carry plus-sized items because “that’s not our demographic.”
“I just hope they see a missed opportunity,” Upton writes in an e-mail to Jezebel. “If they’d gone about the contest differently or, what I think would have been really great, if they had just suddenly start running ads with sexy plus-sized women and simply said, ‘Now available in sizes through 2XL,’ the impact would have been huge (no pun intended, believe me) and VERY positive, I think.”
Read more about the unfolding story on Upton’s tumblr page.