Would you want your tween girl sportin' a shirt that says, "The Twins Are Quite A Handful?"
Sprinkled with choice phrases like, "Legal-ish," "I *Heart* The Woody," "Save A Wave, Ride A Surfer," "What Tan Lines?" and my personal fave, "The Twins Are Quite A Handful," these tees depict the subtext of surf culture, and those who aspire toward it, as soft-core, jailbait porn.
Who wouldn't want to be young and hot? But then again, why waste precious time on subtlety? Why not just come out and say, "16 and Horny" or in the name of environmental awareness, "Save A Whale, Squeeze A Breast?"
With glistening, hairless bodies all woven together under the sun, Hollister parent brand Abercrombie & Fitch was the forerunner in using provocative means to market to tweens. They stirred the pot and did a damn good job of it. Various groups, mostly conservative, but some even consisting of their core target demographic, held the brand over fire for these practices.
Today, A&F sales figures show a marked decline. Are they hoping a little sexy action will entice the young and the hormonal into forking over their allowances for duds that advertise their "wares?"
Personally, as a teenager, I could see the fun in sporting a shirt with salty lingo, but was way too shy to sport an ad inviting action for my nether regions.
What if one of these tees were on your 12-year old daughter's back-to-school list? Would you spring for it?
|Vivian Manning-Schaffel has written for Babble, Parenting, The Advocate, The New York Post, Business Week and a variety of other publications and lives and works in the heart of breeder Brooklyn with her husband and two kids. She authors two pop culture blogs: The Mad Mom and A Hag Supreme, and is on the web at vivianmanningschaffel.com.|