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American Apparel Sends a Letter to the XL Contest Winner, Says They're Sorry She Couldn't Handle the Word "Bootylicious"

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In another fantastic example on how not to run a company, the corporate folks over at American Apparel have sent a strongly-worded open letter to Nancy Upton, who you may remember as the woman who sent in photos of herself posing with food for their "Next Big Thing" modeling competition. Well, she won, but was then disqualified because "humor" wasn't one of the desired traits but "curvaceous bods" were. So what was American Apparel to do? Like you'd expect from a company who can't stop offending people, Creative Director Iris Alonzo reacted via an open letter, which she sent to Upton and a few news outlets. We've pulled out four quotes from the letter, in the order that they appeared, and put them after the jump.

1. "It's a shame that your project attempts to discredit the positive intentions of our challenge based on your personal distaste for our use of light-hearted language, and that 'bootylicous' was too much for you to handle. While we may be a bit TOO inspired by Beyoncé, and do have a tendency to occasionally go pun-crazy, we try not to take ourselves too seriously around here."

2. "Maybe you'll find it interesting that in addition to simply responding to customer demand and feedback, when you're a vertically-integrated company, actual jobs are created from new size additions. In this case, for the XL women who will model them, industrial workers that make them, retail employees that sell them and beyond. That's the amazing reality of American Apparel's business.

3. "As a creative who isn't always the most tactful and tends to stay away from the limelight, maybe I haven't spoken up as much as I should have over the past 8 years that I've worked at American Apparel. Perhaps I could have shed some light on some issues that have been left cloudy over the years. However, sensational media will always need something to latch on to and success, spandex and individuality (and mutton chops circa 2004) are certainly easy targets."

4. "Oh — and regarding winning the contest, while you were clearly the popular choice, we have decided to award the prizes to other contestants that we feel truly exemplify the idea of beauty inside and out, and whom we will be proud to have representing our company."

You can read the full letter over here.
· American Apparel Responds to Nancy Upton [Runnin' Scared]