The Best Kind of Off-Brand Instagram Ads: "Our Afab shirts will change the world"


I don't imagine hardly anyone else shares this issue (I see no reason to call it a problem, taking as I do a profound and perverse pleasure in it), but Instagram occasionally serves me micro-targeted advertisements for fly-by-night clothing companies that are hoping, for some reason, to break into the "AFAB shirts" space.

There isn't an "AFAB shirts" space, if you're wondering whether you've missed something important, so perhaps it's more strictly correct to say they're hoping to create an "AFAB shirts" market, but whenever I see such an ad I can't help but read all the comments. It's such a pristine example of the impossibility of ever connecting with other people, and the exquisitely distressing union of MBA-speech with transphobic trans-affirming language. It's beautiful in the same way an almost entirely-melted glacier is beautiful.

The garment is almost always the same: a mostly unremarkable-looking plain cotton T-shirt, except it's a little bit longer than usual, like the kind Urban Outfitters sells, and the model is either using one hand to grasp their other wrist tightly in front of the body, or putting both hands in their pockets, tightly smiling, and looking away into the middle left distance.

The shirt, inexplicably, is named something like Rosco, or Marlo, or Elmo Jackson, or Franklin Delano Friendship.

It's the ad copy, and the hashtags, that really makes it:

Our Afab shirts will change the world. No other shirts could possibly fit the UNLIKELY SHOULDERS of BIRTH ASSIGNMENT. birth assignment. No other shirts can be worn over BINDER. Hips emerge from men's shirts like corpses from a shallow grave. No more. Our special shirts for your special body. Thoughtfully designed. THIS shirt is named Coleb. Scoop hem. You need a scoop hem. Without a scoop hem your problem areas, your certain areas, your troubled areas, your uncomfortable bunching. That's where the idea came from. Here is your birth assignment shirt.

#Afab #clothing #them #finch #foundalotofloveinthisstrangeworld #afab #birthgal #gender #shirts #pants

And the comments are only ever one of two kinds, the inanely supportive:

  1. I love this perfect idea. I am so proud of you baby!!! And i love that you put so much thought into the needs of this community.
  2. I'm going to buy this shirt. i love this shirt idea. I'm not trans, actually I love my womanly figure, but this shirt is going to help so many people.
  3. You are making history for shirts. this is so legit
  4. I live in Montana, will this fit me?
  5. you're literally making shirts for the community <3

And the wildly hostile, but never about the part one might expect:

  1. You piece of shit. This shirt should cost $4. how do you expect anyone to buy your shirt if it is more than $4
  2. How am I supposed to wear this shirt when it's -14 degrees out. It's so cold out and this shirt should cost $4

[Image via]