Clothing catalog or pornography?
This is not a
pornography site. However, the materials that may
be accessed through this site may be inappropriate
for those under 18 and may include content that is
sexual in nature. Do not use this web site if you
are under 18 unless you have permission from a
parent or legal guardian. Thank-you.
There is a publication that seems drawn to
controversy each quarter. Its circulation numbers
(at $7 a pop with every issue nearly sold out in
record time and virtually no returns to the
printers) is the envy of the publishing world. Its
target demographic, 18- to 22-year-olds, is
amazingly loyal, ensuring continuous profits.
Upon flipping through the pages, it seems the
editors must have made a mistake when they named
this Spring Break edition "Bring it On..." Clearly,
the catalog should have been titled "Take it
Off...Take it ALL off."
The Quarterly features nude, semi-nude, and
suggestively posed photographs, such as threesomes
and orgies. Of the 280 page catalog, more than 120
pages represent these sexual images, while only 104
pages are actually devoted to selling clothing.
Abercrombie and Fitch model Sarah Parr is one of
the few female models in the catalog who remains
consistently "clothed" while frolicking through the
grassy dunes of the Hamptons.
"There wasn't huge pressure for the girls to go
nude, but it is quite obvious that the people who
did nudes got in the catalog much more than I did,"
Parr told the Mirror.
Parr said she felt the pressure to photograph
nude, but was unwilling to compromise her moral
beliefs for exposure in the publication.
"It's your choice as a model how you want to
represent yourself and your body," Parr said.
The first A&F Quarterly appeared in late
1997 or early 1998. As a marketing tool, it was an
immediate success. Its mix of feature articles,
pages displaying the product and page upon page of
nearly naked flesh struck a chord with young people
everywhere. Much like Vogue and Architectural
Digest, the quarterly served as a means of
aspirational (and inspirational) living for young
men and women all over the country. The girls
lusted after the handsome, nearly naked boys on the
pages and vice versa. The male readers, in addition
to lust, bought into the idea that girls would find
them even more attractive if they were wearing a
pair of A&F surfer shorts, and the unspoken
thought that sex (yes, sex) would follow. And of
course, the underlying concept of appealing to gay
men wasnt initially made clear or
highlighted; but make no mistake, nothing was left
to chance in mounting the rebirth of this
The racy catalogues stirred up controversy and
has been met with great resistance. In 2001,
A&F was required to prevent the sale of their
catalog to minors. Precautionary efforts were taken
to cover up the catalog, including shrink-wrap and
graphic overlays to obstruct any front cover
In response to public criticism, A&F
spokesperson Hampton Carney said the company's
point of view is that, "it is beautiful fashion
photography. It's clean, sexy, and we think our
customers will really love it."
Abercrombie and Fitch has continued to push the
envelope in successive catalogs, making it more and
more risqué in an effort to captivate
audiences. A&F must be doing something right if
they can keep selling clothes in a magazine that
doesn't have any clothes.
As Americans, we live in a time when teenagers
tell pollsters they dont consider oral sex to
be any form of sex at all. This generation knows
more about sex and other aspects of modern life
than we will ever know in our lifetime as adults.
Their curiosity for knowledge outweighs any and all
fear they may have that such knowledge can be
hurtful or change their lives in a negative manner.
And they are stronger than we give them credit for
being. Never mind the fact that their bullshit
meter is carefully calibrated to strain out
anything they view as phoney, overtly deceptive or
self-serving. Any sane and intelligent person
already knows (especially from their own life
experiences) that since the dawn of time, teenagers
have been projecting sexual ideals onto each other.
It is part of the growing up process.
We're not for corrupting the impressionable
minds of emerging teenage psyches. We strongly
believe that if you do your best as a parent to
pass on the values you deem important, then nothing
will override that. Kids, contrary to popular
opinion, retain the lessons learned early in life.
Picking up the A&F Quarterly wont corrupt
their minds any more that seeing an ad from the
Gap. Whats important for a parent is to have
confidence in kids today and just relax and enjoy
their soon-to-be empty-nest years. In the meantime,
lets protest things that truly matter like
global warming, child labour laws in developing
countries and the way in which our economic life is
going to hell in a hand basket.
Here are some of the photos appearing in
(Click on the photo for a
do you think?
A&F Guys - images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://david.hauslaib.com/pics/0abercrombie_and_fitch_guys/29_tn.jpg&imgrefurl=http://david.hauslaib.com/pics/0abercrombie_and_fitch_guys/&h=146&w=168&sz=15&tbnid=dM3Rt-NzZZUJ:&tbnh=80&tbnw=92&start=50&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%2522Abercrombie%2B%2526%2BFitch%2522%26start%3D40%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26sa%3DN
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