As a mom to a teenage boy, I’ve yet to step inside any Abercrombie & Fitch. (Let’s leave aside whether I meet the standards for the type of customers the jackassy CEO envisioned wearing his company’s clothes) I find the idea disconcerting to shop at a store that showcases relentlessly half-nekkid virile young men. “Hey, look at me! Do I make you randy? Now come in and bathe in the glory of my bare chest. And while you are at it, remember to pick up some clothes from here so your son can look like me.”
The same way I found it disturbing when I overheard a mom say to her preteen/teenage daughter, “Ooo. You look sexy. Do you want to get it?” Really? I understand the concept of treating sex and sex talk as a natural/neutral subject. But we’ve got to draw the line somewhere. Somehow in our eagerness to promote girl empowerment, we’ve found girl empowerment in places where there was none. [Advertisers surely have taken great advantage of our wishful thinking. The branding efforts by many products surrounding Hunger Games – Catching Fire are some of the most brilliant yet infuriating, ok, at least annoying, marketing campaigns. Nerf guns for girls – sized for smaller hands. About time! And they’re pink! Of course…] We’ve pushed the line way way way back. It is so easy to equate sexy = empowered, and call it a day.
Sex does not equal power. Sex became a means to power for women because we were left with few options and recourse.