American Apparel & the Case of the Yoga Model who’s never done Yoga.

Via elephant journal
on Nov 24, 2009
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A beginner (and many of us are beginners, and that as Richard Freeman says makes us the best yoga practitioners) can try. Or, we can be too hipster cool to give it a go, and model bad alignment for other young women. That said, this young lady was of course under the direction of American Apparel, and it’s to AA that we offer this little comment.

If you’re gonna model yoga, at least know a bit about how to do it. This young lady’s alignment is gonna send her to the hospital before long—that is, if she practiced yoga, ever, which she clearly. Does. Not.

Which would be fine. But kids everywhere look to AA for what’s cool, and nothing would be cooler than trying. No problem with her being a beginner. No problem with her being less modelly than some (we think that’s great, makes it more accessible). No pre-judgement: but it’d be inspiring to see her try, a bit, instead of going after the disaffected slacker look.

Still, American Apparel’s yoga line is fair labor, and these photos are clearly not overtly sexual, which should please AA’s critics.

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Comments

62 Responses to “American Apparel & the Case of the Yoga Model who’s never done Yoga.”

  1. Michelle Marchildon says:

    Several years ago I was asked to participate in a yoga photo shoot for a health club. The other "models" were looking kind of glamorous doing I-don't-know-what-pose. I was doing the poses accurately. In the end, they cut most of me out because the health club said, I looked too "weird." Hilarious.

  2. Kelly says:

    I like it. It's refreshing. It's not intimidating and it's what most people look like when they start yoga. With the internet inundated with FB pictures of people in mind boggling poses it has become commercialized and trendy.

  3. Olivia says:

    I like it. She doesn’t look photoshopped, she looks quite average, it’s non-threatening. AA are all about not looking like you’re trying too hard. These shots are perfect for their brand. Kudos to them. And extra points for the tummy bulge. Someone deserves a raise

  4. Michelle says:

    I love it.
    she is not perfect.
    who is.
    get over it.
    i find this refreshing.
    enough "yoga celebrities" already.
    lets see real people doing their best.
    more accessible
    more honest.
    I extra LOVE her belly in the forward fold.
    HORRAY AA for not following the Norm of Yoga advertising & stepping out of the Yoga glam BS.

  5. maria says:

    i think is very cool, she is like beginer is nice to see no perfection also

  6. moonring says:

    So I do. I don't know what's up with all this hatha snobbery, but let's not forget that contorting our bodies in strange shapes was originally just to help yogis meditate longer in a single position. The Elephant Journal staff–and many people who practice asana, though not necessarily yoga–are, I believe, putting way too much emphasis on physical alignment. I thought yoga was an all-inclusive, non-competitive thing. I guess we can turn it into anything when we focus just on what our bodies look like, though.

  7. Patricia says:

    SO many people ” practice” like this , but teachers are too busy demoing then really teaching, maybe she just had a bad yoga teacher, they DO exist

  8. anon says:

    there is no picture of her in urdhva dhanurasana. if you mean the one where she is in dhanurasana, her head is out of alignment, and her shoulders are jacked up by her ears. so….yeah.

  9. jen329 says:

    interestingly enough, Elephant Journal has endorsed an advertisement at the bottom portion of this article to 'Stop Negative Thoughts'…. Elephant Journal, stop with the negative articles then too, please. I enjoy many of the articles that are shared here but shaming a person's yoga style or incorrect posture (even if a model for well known clothing company) seems a bit unnecessary. It may effectively send a message that to be yogi, you need to be yogi enough. I would enjoy a message of 'You are enough' regardless of where you are in your yoga path.

  10. elephantjournal says:

    There are articles expressing exactly that on elephant journal, Jen. elephant isn't a place where every article expresses the same idea. How boring that would be! People of differing viewpoints are welcome, and then we can discuss the validity of all points here.

  11. jen329 says:

    Yes, but this is judgmental and mean spirited and doesn't seem to be in line with Elephant Journal's stated published mission, ie dedicated to create an enlightened society and mindful life, leading to good life that's also good for others, wellness, education etc.

    If EJ is working to create an enlightened society and is dedicated to a mindful life but then publicly shames a particular beginner yogi style then the message and mission becomes skewed and off base. I have thought of EJ as more of an encouraging and accepting online environment. I don't feel a beginner yogi would read this article and feel encouraged and accepted.

    I believe all viewpoints should be welcomed as well but isn't that what the comments section is for, and the section where EJ posts and publishes articles to its 500k+ readers is where the mission statement could be supported so that the 'enlightened education' remains 'enlightened education' and not public shaming.

    Thank you for welcoming my differing viewpoint.

  12. elephantjournal says:

    I appreciate your comment Jen, but the article doesn't seem that bad to me. It's just pointing out that it would be nice, for yoga's sake, to have someone who practiced yoga there instead of a model.

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