A couple of weeks ago we asked for your comments regarding our column on retailer Abercrombie & Fitch's controversial quarterly magazine, which features nudity and sexually suggestive situations. The publication, shrink-wrapped and sold to adults 18 and older, has sparked a boycott.
The company maintains that it's all within the bounds of good taste. Here's a sampling of what you had to say:
Your premise, that since other types of advertising and entertainment contain inappropriate or offensive material the A&F; Quarterly should not be singled out, is incorrect. If something is inappropriate or offensive, consumers should do something about it.
My family will continue to shop elsewhere, even though we like the clothing very much. We strongly believe that A&F;'s advertising policies are detrimental to our society.
Even though I have not seen the publication, from the way it is described, A&F; does a nice job of demonstrating the beauty of youth and the human body.
I wish we Americans would get over our hang-up with nudity. Done in a tasteful way, nudity demonstrates confidence and a healthy self-image. Viewing nicely shaped anatomy serves as a reminder of how beautiful the human body can be if we eat right, exercise, get plenty of sleep and have a healthy attitude.
More power to A&F;, and I hope they continue to challenge our comfort zones.
This catalog is just one more example of the envelope being pushed to make media more sexual. It is insidious. All ages of teens have jumped on the A&F; bandwagon as far as clothing is concerned. And the company knows that right now they are hot.
So it is unbelievably socially irresponsible to put so much suggestive nudity and images in a catalog which they know will be seen by young teenagers. It makes me sick.
Sex always sells, especially in fashion. Let's be realistic. Abercrombie & Fitch is marketing to those under 18. Both of my cousins were into A&F; clothing before they turned 18. They told me how popular the clothing was with their peers. College students will wear whatever falls out of the closet and smells clean.
I subscribe to the magazine and like it for the fashion and the pictures. I also buy A&F; apparel for its design and quality. Anyone who looks at the magazine can figure out what it's trying to do--market to teenagers as well as gay men. The magazine is simply using sex and provocative ads to sell one thing: apparel.
Playa del Rey
Let's hear it for Abercrombie & Fitch. Yes, they do feature moderate nudity in their catalogs, but it is neither gay nor straight. It is "body beautiful," promoting clothing for a younger generation.
Those who are protesting need to get a life. All the models are not engaged in sexual acts. There is a warning label on the magazine, which is not the case with Playgirl, Penthouse or numerous others.
The world has always showcased the Adonis form. Do these protesters want to paint fig leaves over the works of art of Michelangelo and Greek and Roman artists, or artwork in museums around the world? In the past it was marble and canvas. Today it's pictures in a magazine.
Just get over it! Put your voice and your dollar where it really counts: the homeless. AIDS. Hunger. Religious persecution. Let the magazine do what it does best--sell clothes and give people a harmless fantasy.
Long live Abercrombie & Fitch and their advertising gurus for making our world a much prettier place to live.
KEVIN JOHN CHARBENEAU
Write to Fashion Police, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles CA 90012, fax to (213) 237-4888, or send e-mail to email@example.com.