A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!
This entry contains quoted language that may offend some people. If you're one, you may want to stop reading now.
The latest Urban Outfitters catalog arrived in the mail, and I opened it with trepidation. The compelling, beautifully photographed shots of sullen anorexic girls have been making me uncomfortable for some time, and I wondered what I'd encounter.
And indeed, the company has ramped it up. The term "soft porn" popped into mind, so I Googled "Urban Outfitters catalog soft porn?" Some 3,000 people have beat me to the punch, many of them in the last month or so.
Here's what Philadelphia CityPaper blogger Holly Otterbein had to say:
In days past, Urban Outfitter's catalogs were somewhat classy. Yes, almost every picture was of a half-stoned girl in an extremely elegant dress emerging out of the woods. But they were usually covered up and naturally pretty, and the graphic artists decorated the page with ink drawings of bird, trees and flowers. It was wonderfully whimsical, really.
All of that went to hell in the spring 2009 catalog. Philly-based UO have ditched their respectable advertising strategy and replaced it with American Apparel's. Which it to say, they're making porn now. The new catalog is full of side-boobs, side-bums and maybe even a little side-vagina. Yes, you read the last bit right.
If you click on the link above, you'll see one page spread from the catalog page. Decide for yourself.
The debate about kid catalog images has been going on for years, with Abercrombie and Fitch starting the move to make parents nuts and kids randy through sexually suggestive photos and situations.
I'm hoping one silver lining of the bad economy is people being unwilling to spend $70 on jeans full of holes and flimsy clothing designed to fall apart after the first washing. But I have my doubts.
Parents, you may want to check the mail. Intercept the catalog: it's a great prop for starting one of those sex-and-exploitation conversations with your kids.