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.