American Apparel is again under fire for racy ads featuring underage models (WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES)

There's absolutely nothing shocking about American Apparel coming under fire for another highly sexualized ad. In fact, I think its safe to say that the brand has developed quite a reputation when it comes to creating advertisements that use exploitative images of young women. The same applies to their website. But unlike previous charges, this one is a bit more serious because Britain's Advertising Standards Authority has accused them of "sexualizing" underage models. That means 16 years or younger. BIG mistake!

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According to U.K.'s The Guaridan, that British agency has received a number of complaints from shoppers including one about young women on the site modeling T-shirts in which you can clearly see their breasts through the shirts. But, apparently, American Apparel responded by saying that the ads of the young girls posed in these tees were "completely decent and fair representation of their product." Really? Because I don't see anything decent about a young woman's breasts being exploited on a shopping site.

The ASA agreed that the images were "sexually suggestive, gratuitous and flirtatious," and explained that "because her breasts were visible through her shirt, we considered the images could be seen to sexualize a model who appeared to be a child."

Another woman complained to the ASA about some of the online ads for American Apparel's tights, which featured women that were practically ONLY wearing tights, if you know what I mean. The woman told the ASA that the images were "unnecessarily sexual and inappropriate for a website that could be seen by children."

I can't tell you how many times I've logged onto the American Apparel website in search of some tights or leggings and have come across young-looking women posing in stockings topless. I mean, it's uncomfortable and like the complaining woman said, totally unnecessary! Luckily, the ASA has so far banned three of the 23 ads that were used to promote tights. That's certainly a step in the right direction.

I'm hoping that American Apparel finally gets the picture and decides to do without all their extremely sexually explicit ads. In the meantime you can bet your money I won't be shopping there anytime soon.

Images via American Apparel

Topics: clothing  fashion  controversy