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US clothing store American Apparel goes pubic for Valentine's Day

Published on Jan 18, 2014 7:25 AM
Women look at anatomically correct female mannequins displayed at the American Apparel store in the SoHo area of Manhattan, New York on Jan 16, 2014. American Apparel's Lower East Side Valentine's Day window celebrates natural beauty, inviting passersby to explore the idea of what is "sexy" and consider their comfort with the natural female form, according to the company. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - United States (US) clothing chain American Apparel has sparked controversy by putting mannequins sprouting pubic hair in the windows of their shop in New York's boho Lower East Side.

Passersby stopped to gawk, take photographs, chuckle or raise a horrified eyebrow at the stick-thin plastic models decked out in see-through bras and panties, with bushy bikini lines.

Many people consider women's body hair a private embarrassment requiring painful grooming at beauty salons, and find the display shocking and provocative.

But American Apparel, which in the past has been accused of sexist and controversial marketing campaigns, said it was celebrating "natural beauty" in the run-up to the Valentine's Day rush.

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