A Trip to the Mall

Yesterday I made a visit to my local mega-mall (The Death Star Mall at the butt end of the suburb to the west, not to be confused with The Mall of the Damned on the east side of town) to do a little shopping. Actually, my first plan was to see a movie, but then I didn't, which is another story altogether. The short version is that I didn't feel like spending seven bucks on anything that was showing so instead I had dinner at the all-you-dare-to-eat buffet and wandered around looking at a bunch of stuff I was never going to buy. In the end I stopped at Le Target and picked up some toothpaste and a bag of Storck Chocolate Riesen and went home.

Even though I'm not a big fan of mall culture, I do sometimes enjoy the advertising posters adorning the windows of some of the clothing establishments. Like most people, I have a love/hate relationship with consumerism. There were a couple of things I enjoyed looking at and one I just want to comment on.

1) The Gap. I think of The Gap as the quintessential 1990s clothing store. The last time I stepped foot in one was while Christmas shopping about four years ago. I didn't buy anything. One of the faces in The Gap's current campaign is actor Hugh Dancy, star of Ella Enchanted, The Jane Austen Book Club, and several of my most erotic dreams. He was also the face of Burberry for several years. I cannot convey how pleasing it is to walk by a shop with this poster, life-sized, in its window

2) The Hollister Company has been one of the biggest successes in retail of the last few years. It has recently surpassed Abercrombie & Fitch as the prefered brand of the teen set. ( I, personally, wouldn't be caught dead.) Don't feel too sorry for Abercrombie though. Hollister is Abercrombie. Just as The Gap has the budget-minded Old Navy, Abercromie has Hollister. Call me a fuddy-duddy, but I hate their clothes, most of which have the company name silkscreened in huge letters across the front, effectively turning the wearer into a walking billboard. No thanks. However, I do like the new guy who has replaced Christopher Gloc as the poster boy at the entrance to the Hollister stores and website. If any of you know this cutie's name, please share.

Now, let's talk about 3) Abercrombie & Fitch, shall we? I have only bought one item of clothing at an Abercrombie store in my life, a shirt with a sixty per cent markdown. Ask me how many times I've shelled out good money for their catalogues. " A lot", will be my answer. That's because (and I'm not proud of this) I can't resist the Abercrombie aesthetic. I've read a lot of stuff about how Abercrombie is bad for the gays, or at least exploits them. I somewhat agree with that, at least on an intellectual level. But I can't help it. I love those half nekkid jock boys, those perfect young demigods. Yes, I know; they do look like "joy through health" poster boys from Nazi Germany. I get it. But damn, they're hot. Does this make be a bad person? Probably.

So, I don't really shop at the loud, throbbing, overly-perfumed A&F stores, but I just can't walk by them without stopping to gaze upon the larger than life posters of the most gorgeous semi-naked men imaginable. Therefore, it is with some sadness that I strolled past the A&F store yesterday only to see this:

It seems as if A&F has taken the objectification of of young men to a whole new level. No face, not even a head, no hair...anywhere. I'm sure that if those jeans slipped down any further there would be no genitalia. Speaking of those jeans, what product are they selling here? Certainly not the jeans that we can barely see. What is the point of this? It is a nice torso, or at least it seems to be, but how would a person even know? He's so airbrushed that he could look like just about anything. Are they, perhaps, making a conscious decision to make him look like a piece of classical sculpture? Whatever they are thinking, I wish they'd think again.


steve said…
Just a quick note to tell you I've loved your blog for a long time - and not just for your exquisite taste in pictures! No, your PROSE is the main attraction here - your writing makes even the plainest goings-on fun to read!

OK, the pictures aren't bad either .. . and I agree entirely about Hugh Dancy! There are scenes in "Daniel Deronda" in which he looks so inhumanly beautiful that the only proper response is to hit 'pause' and SIGH!

(also, your blog reminds me of seven wonderful years I spent in your neighbor-town, Iowa City ...)
Vera said…
Awww. Thank you. I'm so glad you like my blog.

I first saw Hugh Dancy in Daniel Deronda. As I recall he was rowing a boat when I channel surfed to him and I dropped my remote control. What a beauty!

Yay Iowa City! Come back and visit us.
steve said…
ah, yes, the ROWING scene! By sheer coincidence, it was the very scene I had in mind! And you're right: there is simply no other appropriate response than to PLOTZ!
bufs said…
That's the most enjoyable trip to the mall I've had in forever! Thank you for letting me tag along.

[As I've told you before -- I hope! -- I'm in total agreement with the OP regarding your prose. Thanks for writing and for sharing.]

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