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What is A&F selling? (english)
11 Dec 2002
Modified: 13 Dec 2002
Whether you want to call the catalogue porn or not (yes, I have seen it), the question to me is why?? If Abercrombie wants to use sex to sell their clothes and make people think their clothes will make them look sexy, the same way car commercials try to make the cars seem sexy so they'll sell, so be it. But where are the clothes? The catalogue is set up so that if you didn't see the front cover, you might not even know that it was for a clothing store! Now perhaps Abercrombie did not mean the catalogue to advertise their clothes, but it certainly is an advertisement for their store, and it seems ludicrous to advertise for something without showing the product. If Abercrombie were interested in selling their clothes, maybe they should try putting clothes on the models. Hey, then they could even advertise to all those high schoolers who buy their clothes too! But since that doesn't seem like what they're doing, maybe they should just go into business making porn-they've already got a head start advertising.
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I agree, but is that what we're talking about (english)
13 Dec 2002
It strikes me that most people interpreted this as an open forum for debate on the merits of pornography and few chose to actually comment on the specific pornography in question. I'll do a little of both.

I think pornography is a bad thing and that it causes problems. I think that it is less of an "outlet" for sexually repressed men and more of something that tends to "fan the flames." I have no particular hard evidence to back this up, but people tend to dismiss statistics anyway. My impression is that if most people really thought for a while about the effects of pornography and looked at studies that have taken place, they'd realize that it is not such a good thing.

Why target A&F, however? Is it because pornography seems to be making its way toward the mainstream? Clearly there are far more offensive sources of porn out there. Although I have not seen it, I doubt that I am particularly more offended by A&F's use of nudity than I am by their normal catalogue. It seems very strange to have no objection advertisments realing 97% of a breast and to suddenly be extremely concerned about when the nipple or pubic hair is revealed.

This brings up an interesting questions: Why target porn and not the countless other artifacts of our culture that protray unhealthy body standards for women, treat them as sex objects, use sex appeal to market unrelated products, and otherwise encourage the culture of sex crimes? I am more interested in a fight towards more realistic and healthy depictions of women in all media, with or without clothing.

One of my main concerns with this protest (after general concern for censorship and a fear that it is misguided) is that I see puritanical shame over sex to be a terrible thing. I think that loving, healthy, consensual, protected sexual relations are a wonderful thing for people to share, even if they are not married or trying to produce children or if they have had many sexual partners. This puts me at odds with many of the groups that protest pornography. I am particularly frustrated with Christian groups, as I see it as truly horrendous how much shame and guilt is felt over what should be a wonderful thing. The world aids crisis is also something that could have easily been avoided if it were not for the moralistic, anti-brith control mentality of many people in power who did not want to be seen as advocating the use of condoms or promoting sexual promiscuity. But I've gotten furthest from the subject of anyone and written far more than my fair share, so I'll stop here.