January 23, 2012

in marketing at work

Is it just me or does he have boobs bigger than mine


(Disclaimer: This post was written at airport lounge while I sipped on my 2nd and 3rd Bloody Marys. Also, it is posted in lieu of the Chinese New Year of which I have nothing to blog about. I am NOT celebrating it as I am on a business trip for the next three days… #ChineseWeGetNoRespectAroundHere)

I want to go to there.

To inside the website pages of Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister. A la The Purple Rose of Cairo. (Incidentally one of my favorite movies that made me cry uncontrollably when I was going through my emo years…)

Yeah yeah yeah. I know the shirtless models from the teen store are old news for you hipsters out there. But I have never really paid attention to the brouhaha back when concerned citizens complained about the half-nekkid men in Abercrombie’s marketing campaigns and sometimes, if you’re lucky, inside their stores. As you can see, the protest has since died down and forgotten, and Abercrombie continues to use sex to lure in the real credit card holders (aka moms). Business obviously is thriving otherwise how can they command the kind of prices they do? Really. Why would any teenager need a hoodie that costs $200 or a winter jacket made of cotton and nylon for $600? (For that price, you’d better be wearing some dead animal. Just sayin’)

Even in my obsessive search for pants, I did not set foot in A&F. In fact, I made a deliberate effort to turn my head away when I walked with my son past by it in the mall. It was on the back of my head: I wanted to steer absolutely away from the potential accusation of being a leering dirty old lady. How wrong is it to lust after the models advertising clothing to your own children? It feels at the very least questionable. Aren’t you all surprised that I am a closeted prude?

Because I have never even taken a good look at the store, I was in for a shock of a lifetime when late one night I decided to check out A&F: I was desperate because the sweatpants from Aeropostale are now reportedly too short for my teenager.

So I opened up their front page…

Oh my. Come to mama!

I am sure my pupils were dilated and my mouth turned into a wolf snout. I quickly looked around to make sure my kids were not around even though it’s already past midnight. I felt… dirty.

Now did y’all know that in the world of these headless, shirtless models, “sweatpants” is a category on its own? SWEATPANTS. A category on its own!


Not only that, like fancy jeans, there are different styles that you can choose from. For your kids, of course. Of Course. Behold the glory from both A&F and Hollister (another store I have never set my foot in esp. since it is so deliberately dark and dance-club-hip, I just want to run in and go, “Where is the fucking bar?!”) Anyway, you are welcome.


Now that I have had a chance to stop staring and regain some blood back to my brains, it kind of made sense: sweatpants are a big deal for teenage boys. My son has been wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt and sweatpants ever since he became a teen, no matter the temperature outside. (He wears jeans when we ask him to “dress up”…)  But no worries Internet, I did not capitulate to the lure of headless shirtless men with their nether region almost showing. I was not about to pay $60 for a pair of sweatpants.

I hesitated before I clicked on Underwear, expecting to have nose bleeds from getting too excited. But was relieved, ok, fine, mildly disappointed that there is no image of models demonstrating the goods. Thank goodness though David Beckham came through (for H&M). And seriously, him? Fair game, imo. I have no problem ogling that old man.



By the way, how many of you, like me, chuckled at “Classic Straight”?

Straight fit. All the way down. Thou doth protest too much.

What is Classic straight anyway? Rock Hudson?


And… I am not done yet. At the end of day, I do have to admit: A&F website is a much greater pleasure to browse with a cocktail in hand than its competitors. I checked out American Eagles. All I can say is, Really, really?!


First of all, they are all wearing shirts. The nerves of those men! On top of that, what is up with that posture? Something wrong with your back and knees? Is that supposed to be sexy? Someone needs to call American Eagles and set them (and those legs) straight.


{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Lee January 28, 2012 at 9:25 am

To answer your question accurately as to whether or not his boobs are larger than yours would necessitate your adding a second photo for comparison purposes. Don’t! Just withdraw the question.

And yes, I do think A&F crossed the line long ago as far as having any business integrity. It isn’t just the half-nekkid men, it was also the padded bikinis they made for elementary-age little girls.
Mary Lee´s last blog post…Dolly Parton Wouldn’t Sing About These


Andrea January 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm


But what guy/teenager/dude wears SKINNY SWEATPANTS?

Not that I’m complaining. They can continue advertising them all they want. 😉

David Beckham. Sigh.
Andrea´s last blog post…Yogi


Justine January 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Hehe – I chuckled at “What is Classic straight anyway? Rock Hudson?”. Totally the reason why I love coming to this part of the Interwebs.

I dunno, I’m all about the younger guy, the cougar that I am (what with the crush on Ryan Gosling and all), but even I can’t get behind the A&F and Hollister ads/models. Now do you think they will affect the body image of young teenage boys everywhere the way Kate Moss did with teenage girls? Surely that’s not a stretch.

Btw, I also chuckled at the fact that your son wears jeans to “dress up”. Awesome.
Justine´s last blog post…Our whimpering dragons


BigLittleWolf January 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Who would have thought that Guy-Shopping could be so complex? (Eventually I just gave up with my 2 boys. It was a matter of “go to Target, try something, I’ll pay.”)

Um, as for the Man Boob above, if you look closely, it may be a matter of the shadow…

BigLittleWolf´s last blog post…Parisian Parenting: Should We Take a Lesson?


Jack@TheJackB January 26, 2012 at 2:05 am

Guy shopping is easy. We go in, grab a couple of things, try them on and check out. Boom, done, over.
Jack@TheJackB´s last blog post…Pray For Him


Justine January 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Clearly you’ve not met My Guy. He puts me to shame with all the shopping, picking and choosing that he does with his clothes.
Justine´s last blog post…Our whimpering dragons


Bob Lowry January 25, 2012 at 5:07 pm

How refreshingly honest and funny.
Bob Lowry´s last blog post…A 5 Year Old Teaches Me About Retirement


dufmanno January 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm

And thank you.
I’d like to reciprocate with this. http://justjared.buzznet.com/2011/10/14/henry-cavill-shirtless-on-man-of-steel-set/
dufmanno´s last blog post…The Long Haulers


Unknown Mami January 24, 2012 at 10:13 pm

You lusty old lady!
Unknown Mami´s last blog post…Advertising Works


Curious Forge September 17, 2015 at 10:59 am

I know right? Nothing like a little lusting while your son is right there. What a strange world we live in today. The sad promotion of teen moms (not teenage mothers, difference is the latter are actual caring mothers) who aren’t even finished with their sexually-overactive lifestyle and have to tug children around like it is an art project, versus cougar moms–the worst of all Cougars–as it is better for the gander that his goose be a sexy, older, never married woman without kids, at least for this thirty-something sex machine. Moms with kids salivating over young men at A&F with their kids in hand, it’s not attractive. We just look at you, us younger guys, thinking, “Man, I feel sorry for her.” So, in the end, if anything, it’s a “sympathy” bang, or a “hit it, split it, never say you did it,” type, or lastly, just another notch on the belt of a growing sexual desire solely for experience so that when we meet our actual desired partners, it’ll be more than words. But what do I know, I’m just a douchebag.


secret agent woman January 24, 2012 at 7:15 pm

My kids don’t do the sweatpants thing. Jeans and dark t-shirts mostly. No logos. They are vehemently ant- A&F. AE and so on. Saves me money, so I’m cool with that.
secret agent woman´s last blog post…So, baking has never been my strong suit…


Kathy January 24, 2012 at 11:35 am

Wow. When I glanced at the first image I assumed I was looking at a woman. Man boobs, indeed–but being a lesbian, I prefer the real thing.

Great post, Lin!

Kathy´s last blog post…7 Signs of Domesticity Displaced (including why we love a yellow rhinoceros)


Jack@TheJackB January 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I hear you. I am a lesbian trapped in a man’s body and I too prefer the real thing. 😉
Jack@TheJackB´s last blog post…I Told You She Is A Bitch


Irene January 29, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Jack, my husband is, too! Wow, that’s really amazing!
Irene´s last blog post…The Birds-Pennsylvania Style


Jack@TheJackB January 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Always good to have things in common with others.
Jack@TheJackB´s last blog post…Go The F*ck To Sleep Kids- The Sleepover Party Nightmare


Nance January 24, 2012 at 7:56 am

Two barely cogent thoughts swim up through the fog of norepinephrine, oxytocin and prolactin flooding my brain at the moment:

1) Why does David Beckham carry his skateboard in his jockeys?
2) I’ve forgotten this one already.
Nance´s last blog post…SC: The Trash Heap Has Spoken. Nyeh.


Irene January 24, 2012 at 7:49 am

OMG, I needed this this morning!! Hilarious! I actually wondered what you were doing besides handing out drink vouchers at the bar yesterday.

Yeah, the underwear models….if men can swoon and get boners over Victoria’s Secret catalogs why can’t us ladies get “nose bleeds” (LMAO) over A&F sweat pants and briefs ads

Lands End has some nice eye candy! Maybe not so much semi nude, but facially, WOW, Niiiiice!

My son went through the sweat pants stage when he was in middle school. For $60, a cardboard cutout of the model should come with them!
Irene´s last blog post…The Cover Letter


Vanilla north January 24, 2012 at 3:30 am

Oh mamma!! This made my breakfast. I hope you got ‘plenty’ of catalogs… For your kids of course!


KK January 23, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Abolutely brilliant. Just snarfed (highly technical term) wine all over my keyboard. I’ve got a 16-year-old who will NOT pull up the bloody pants. Ridiculous trend, but bless his heart, at least he wears Levis. And one gray ratty sweatshirt. ALL THE TIME. Go figure.


Nuage January 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm
Lies January 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Unnnff – if T had showed me those I would have been converted to the world of sweatpants MUCH sooner. For science. Obviously.


V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios January 23, 2012 at 9:42 am

I have two teens and we are strictly American Eagle People.

However, I was at a music festival in NC when I got the perfect photo of a woman with an A&F shopping bag. I had it printed, coated it with clear primer, and hand altered it. The result hangs on my wall. Check it out: http://www.v-grrrl.com/the-art-of-life/2011/5/27/art-journal-freedom-to-make-mistakes.html

Yes, the only acceptable place for women to ogle the male form is at the museums in Rome. Sometimes I just shut my eyes and think of those lucious Bernini sculptures. *Sigh*

Great post!
V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios´s last blog post…Nontraditional Valentines…


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