The latest Abercrombie & Fitch catalog is one of the hottest around. Inside, a nude male model is seen frolicking in bed with four naked women. Another shows a topless woman riding an elephant. As you might imagine, the provocative poses are raising more than eyebrows, they are raising concerns among parents. One parent who is opposed to the issue is Boston mom Lisa Wisel.
"The upsetting thing is that their advertisements are geared for a very young crowd," Wisel says. "I've spoken to several parents whose 12 and 13-year-old children use their baby-sitting money to go to Abercrombie & Fitch. I think the problem is that's the crowd that they want to get there and it is just sending a very bad message."
Wisel, whose children are 11, 9, and 5 years old, feels photos that show young people lying down together in little clothing sends a message to children that it is okay to have sex. "These are young kids looking at these pictures and that is a very wrong message," she says, adding that she feels it will lead to behavior she wouldn't approve.
"I think by looking at these pictures, it is saying it's 'okay'. As an adult, these are things we tell our children - that it is not okay to do these kinds of things. This is a magazine that could easily have been on my table at home and not even knowing, because it is a clothing catalog, that it has pictures like this. It was very unexpected and shocking to see pictures of nude people, people engaged in very compromising positionsÂ… in a clothing catalog."
Wisel's children have helped her protest the catalog's photos: "My 9-year-old daughter had the best slogan, which was, 'You're advertising clothing. Put your clothes on!'"
In a statement, Abercrombie & Fitch says "the images in the magazine as well as in our stores are beautiful as well as fun and sexy. They're meant to evoke the exuberance and freedom that make being young so wonderful."
Wisel responds that freedom is not always good for kids, noting that too much freedom can lead to unwanted pregnancies.
"I would like them to stop advertising like that," Wisel says, and adds: "I think you can have great pictures of expressing freedom and playfulness but with your clothes on. There is no need to sprinkle these nude pictures in a catalog that sells clothes."
She says she is protesting by boycotting the store.
Abercrombie & Fitch responds that it is not targeting children under 18 with its catalog.
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