Why You Should Drop Urban Outfitters and American Apparel

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This is an article I wrote for my college’s student paper about why people shop at American Apparel or Urban Outfitters. Also, update: Charney was removed from the company entirely in December 2014.

The Agnes Scott Profile


Sierra Williams

Staff Writer

In the case of Urban Outfitters and American Apparel, it appears that evil comes in the form of international corporations, as another year means another controversy and jump in sales.

Both Urban Outfitters and American Apparel use controversy as a marketing strategy. However, they have crossed the line this past year. With the recent exposure of American Apparel’s offensive CEO, Dov Charney, and Urban Outfitters’ creation of  a fake blood-stained Kent State sweatshirt, we shoppers are reminded why we need to stop shoveling money into these two stores.

According to USA Today, Urban Outfitters was under fire in 2003 for selling a Monopoly parody game called Ghettopoly. The racist game portrayed “life in the ghetto” with a black man holding a gun and a “40 bottle.” The cover included such placement pieces: a crack pipe, a marijuana leaf, a pimp, a hoe, a…

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Opinion on “10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know about America”

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In 2012, a self-claimed well-traveled man named Mark Manson wrote an blog post on how other countries actually view America as opposed to how we think they view us. I ran across this article on Tumblr and me being me, I just had to read it and give my opinion (as if anyone cared). Here’s a link to the post.

As someone who long ago lost the notion that America is the greatest nation in the world, much of what Manson said wasn’t a shock to me. Those who look past the nation’s exterior to view its interior would know that America is not the “shining beacon” we advertise ourselves to be. With this insight alone, many of us already  infer how other countries feel about us and how we compare to them. Nonetheless, I haven’t traveled to foriegn countries or know many people outside of America, so I cannot confirm or deny Manson’s findings. I find them plausible, some even probable considering what I know from an insider’s perspective and the handful of international testimonials I have.

What I do know to be true is that the statistics don’t match America’s ego. Our healthcare and education rankings are unimpressive and the pain of that can be felt across the nation as we struggle to adopt to the Affordable Healthcare Act and watch our public education system continue to fail, even hinder some of our brighter minds.

Aside from the cold facts of our nation, American culture is . . . frustrating. Although we praise the “unmatched freedoms” we have to be ourselves in America, in reality, we’re playing catch up to most other first world nations.

Our repeated mishandling of the “controversial aspects of society” shows how stuck we are in the past, how unable we are to move on from values that inhibit us simply because they’re long-standing values. Many Americans enjoy ignoring years and years worth of strong evidence disproving their beliefs, whether that be the questioning of global warming, the disbelief of evolution, or the preaching that the LGBTQ community is out to destroy the world. Yes, it’s human nature to be reluctant to change, but it takes a special kind of stubborn to ignore decades worth of evidence that clearly debunks the status quo.

We need to move beyond the unnecessary judgment we thrust upon others and stretch beyond our stubborn viewpoints. Otherwise, we risk ruining the actual great aspects of this country.