Saturday, March 19, 2005


I did something today that I swore I would never do. I let my daughter buy clothes at Abercrombie and Fitch.

There was a big uproar a couple of years back about nudity and kinky sexuality in Abercrombie's catalog, but that wasn't really the big issue for me. After all, I don't have to look at the catalog.

For me, it's those huge photos in the Abercrombie store. The models in them radiate a vacuity that is both aggressive and vaguely malicious; a devotion to vanity so severe, and so lacking any hint of kindness or humanity, that I find them unsettling whenever I pass by.

The sexually predatory gazes on many of the models' faces -- some of them clearly just post-pubescent -- are designed, I expect, to disconcert parents like me, and thus to appeal to teenaged children in direct proportion to the adults' degree of discomfort. It works on both counts.

I let my daughter shop there because they had the clothes she wanted, and I've discovered that if we buy her clothes she doesn't like, she simply won't wear them. But she didn't get anything with Abercrombie's name visible on it. Thank goodness for that.


Billy Jones said...

You know, when my son was growing up there were lots of those discussions about what I would allow him to buy, wear, do, etc. In the end none of it mattered as his mother let him do anything I forbid him to do and his grandparents bought him everything I was hoping he would earn.

Sometimes a father just can't win, but we can always hold on to: "I told you so."

Chewie said...

You know, those pictures are going to visit me in my nightmares tonight -- "Bloodlust of the California Zombie Children" (Subtitle: They're Blond. They're Hungry. They Must Kill You to Buy More Clothes.)

jw said...

Bundle of Joy #2 was home last weekend and went out to by himself a new pair of athletic shoes. (NOT Tennis Shoes or Sneakers.) He came home and showed them off, proudly announcing they cost $25.00. Mr. Wonderful said, "Why is it that when I was paying for them they had to be some $125.00 Jordan something or other." Bundle's reply? "I grew up."

Anonymous said...

It's not just the models. I went in there to buy a gift card for the holidays and the kids working there creeped me out, too.

Anonymous said...

Are you seriously freaked out? Those models are just trying to have some sort of sex appeal. The REAL scary part about Abercrombie is their thongs for children, $100 t-shirts and obnoxious bandwagon effect on kids.

But still, who cares what your daughter wears? It's her body and most women associate their clothing with their indentity. Lighten up a little.