The American Apparel Girl

Every night before I go to bed, I close my curtains on 9th Ave.

Across the street, always starring at me, is the American Apparel ad girl, clad in hot pants and noticeably topless, outlined in neon lighting of green, pink and white. This sign sits oh-so-artfully above the storefront. It’s almost like my own personal version of Fitzgerald’s Dr. T.J. Eckleburg billboard in The Great Gatsby.

Her light never goes out. She lays there on her side… perfect shape and form, giving off every vibe that the company would have you believe their ideal consumer possesses.

Tonight I’m suffering from a bout of insomnia.

So, I glanced out the window to watch the slew of taxi cabs and drunk bar patrons go by, and there she was… my American Apparel girl, glaring at me from across the street.

Why is this relevant?

Well my insomnia is stemming from the fact that I can’t seem to make my mind stop racing.

I feel like I’ve always been in a constant state of profound contemplation about my life, even from an early age.

Some might call it being an “old soul.” Some might call it “existential depression.” Hell, some might even call it being a woman…

I call it unlucky.

The other night I was having a conversation with a woman I respect with all my heart. We both have similar personalities and views of the world. She and I share a connection that I don’t quite have with anyone else.

We started talking about some heavy subjects and I asked her, “Do you ever wish you were one of ‘those girls?’ You know… the ones who don’t seem to have a care in the world?”

And we both contemplated the nature of these women. I don’t want to say “simple,” because the connotation is negative, and that’s not what I’m going for.

But you know who I’m talking about.

Everyone knows some form of “those girls.”

The girls with the magnetic presence. The ones who are always happy. They live freely. They know the secrets of how to date men, get people to do what they want for them, and good things seem to come their way with little effort.

Now please don’t misunderstand me; this post is not to bash on these women AT ALL.

In fact, I’m in awe of these women. I would kill to possess the kind of prowess and aura they have.

But what I’m most jealous of, is their ability to be happy… all of the time.

I’ve always wondered what it must be like; to live a life so free of worry, or consequences, or sadness, or worse… depression.

These women don’t feel the weight of the world on their shoulders.

Now maybe it’s because I have a creative mind, but I feel like I’m always bearing more weight than the average person.

And believe me, I don’t say this to make you pity me, or feel sorry for me.


I say this because I feel like it’s true. And also because it’s probably going to lead me to an early grave.  I’m always harboring some severe stress, whether it’s financial, career-oriented, romantic, or other.

Sometimes I just want to be inside the brains of “those girls.”

I want to have an “easy” day, where I can be free of my own damning thoughts for 24 hours.

I want a day where I can not be the girl whose mother was sick for half her life and then passed away as a result of that sickness.

I want a day where I can not worry about how much money I owe the government, or how much credit card debt I have.

I want a day where I can be proud of my own accomplishments and not think that I’m not deserving of them because I wouldn’t have those accomplishments without the help of others.

I want a day where a man can be interested in me and actually continue to pursue me, instead of running away.

I want a day where I can have the career I’ve always dreamed of.

I want a day where I feel comfortable in my own skin.

I want a day where I can remove the shroud of profound sadness that I carry around with me.

Now don’t tell me “those girls” don’t exist.

They do.

I’ve met some of them… have friendships with them. I knew one or two growing up, went to college with a handful, and see them every day on the streets of New York City.

The argument I often get from people, is that these women most likely have their own set of problems. And I’m not here to say that they don’t.

But I do know that not everyone’s mind operates like my friend and I.

I’ve always known that I carry a heavier heart than most people.

And I would like to know what it would be like…

to be the American Apparel girl…

And I’ll probably never know.

Shannon Rose Allen


One thought on “The American Apparel Girl

  1. I learned so much about you just by this post. I agree with you on everything. Wouldn’t it be great to be someone else for a day? The one who you think has everything that we want. The one who’s wanted by all because they’re “beautiful” by society’s standards and by our own standards of perfection.

    I’m sure even they have problems of their own. Maybe they look at us and think the same thing that we wish for. To be someone else for a day.

    What does the desired desire?

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