American Apparel "Period Power" Tee Gets Mixed Reactions
I don't even know what to say about American Apparel's new "period power" tee. I like her nail art? The rest falls under if you don't have anything nice to say...
I'm all about destigmatizing periods and female masturbation and everything else that needs destigmatizing, but I don't think the proper place for any kind of genitals or bodily processes is in close-up, on a t-shirt. Call me crazy. The screen-print, however, was designed by 20-year-old artist Petra Collins, a one-time American Apparel retail employee turned Vice, Vogue and Rookie photographer who also curates an all-female art platform called The Ardorous. Half the proceeds from the tee's sale will go to the Ardorous, and so I kind of feel fine, whatever about the whole thing. Maybe putting this on a tee isn't necessary, but it's getting attention and money for a female art collective, so I can't be too mad at it.
Reactions to the shirt have been mixed. Time's Anita Hamilton is celebratory:
But if we're to take this as social commentary, then discussing whether it's too cartoonish, in-your-face or vacuously attention-seeking are fair game. As a commenter at Jezebel says,
Collins defended her shirt to the Daily Mail .
It's a little Women's Studies 101, but one can hardly argue that Collins is wrong. Maybe it's just impossible to talk about vagina art without sounding a little derivative to anyone who's witnessed this go down before (somewhere out there, however, a 15-year-old's mind is getting blown). As Ashley Cardiff at the gloss writes:
Images: Alastair Thompson/Flickr; American Apparel