Friday, November 04, 2005

Girlcotting Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch once again reveals its penchant for raunchiness, this time by selling t-shirts for young women with "Who needs brains when you have these?" strategically printed on the chest. In response, a group of high school girls in Allegheny County, PA are "girlcotting" (as opposed to boycotting) the retailer. Emma Blackman-Mathis, one of the leaders of the group, told Newsday, "We're telling [girls] to think about the fact that they're being degraded. We're all going to come together in this one effort to fight this message that we're getting from pop culture."

Unfortunately, those messages are sent to girls long before they reach high school. This summer as my wife and I searched for back to school clothing for our daughter, we were frustrated by how difficult it was to find t-shirts that didn't have some objectionable wording on them. If they weren't inappropriately suggestive, many communicated self-centered, anti-authority attitudes that we don't want our young lady identifying with.

That reminds me. One of the ways Christian retailers have tried to encourage young girls and teens to dress modestly is by producing t-shirts with their own message emblazoned on the front: "Modest is Hottest!" While I appreciate the motive (assuming that more than commercialism is at work), I think the method is worth questioning. It seems to me that there's something wrong with trying to persuade Christian young people to adopt modesty on the grounds that it is the superior path to "hotness." 

Regardless of how effective the Pennsylvania girlcott is, the young organizers are to be applauded for their willingness to swim upstream. I hope other bloggers will draw attention to what they're doing and let them know that they have our support.

1 comment:

Elinor Dashwood said...

Check out the Lands End catalogue. It has very pretty things for girls and nothing offensive printed on them.