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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Is It Naughty... Or Just Artistically Nice?



We in America can be just so narrow-minded when it comes to cultural norms. "Puritanical" at times, really. And it's quite ironic given the fact that we were founded on liberal ideals...

Apparently, Abercrombie & Fitch includes a controversial photo as a part of its current marketing campaign. Such is the opinion from one Minneapolis woman who claims that one particular image, inside Abercrombie & Fitch, is too racy. In the city's local news coverage, journalist Julie Nelson shares that she found the image (which you can see in the video above) as too inappropriate when she spotted it inside A&F during her Christmas shopping. And then she showed it to a couple of people at the shopping center to get feedback on the photo. One lady called it "pretty trashy" while another man called it "inappropriate." (Note that she asked only people likely to give negative feedback). Nelson posted it on her Facebook page which supposedly also got similar comments. (She has since deleted the image from her page). Nelson then got the opinion from a marketing firm CEO who called it "a little bit beyond the edge," but also mentioned that in other countries the photo wouldn't even get a second look and that Americans can be "puritanical."

Not to be mean, crude, and disrespectful, but Nelson is sooooooooooooo damn late. That image has been set as a fixture there on the right of the cash wrap for quite some time here in America. It was there in that same spot last Christmas 2010, and it was used to advertise 8 perfume (which happens to have the photo on the back of all of its bottles sold worldwide). That photo was also the main image for Gilly Hicks Christmas 2010. It was even plastered on the side, top-to-bottom, of a double-decker bus rolling down the streets of London promoting Gilly's opening shop. Honestly, it seems Nelson was just trying to get a story out of it (which is pathetic). And she is just now noticing the photo? That just makes her "news" irrelevant and weak at this point in time...

The photo captures the power of youthful human sensuality in a wholly artistic manner. It's by Bruce Weber, after all, and disagreements towards his work are usually from uptight ignorant people who fail to come out of their narrow minds to appreciate something they backwardly assume to be immoral. It is photographic art. How many times must it be repeated?

In regards to Julie Nelson's opinion, and any other artistically disinclined mind, we quote Gable from Gone With the Wind: "Frankly, my dear, [we] don't give a damn."

Stay FIERCE!

P.S. That image made its first appearance as a photo used to promote RUEHL jeans for women; it was featured in the 29 stores (as a display next to the fit's collection) and online ruehl.com. After the closure of the brand, A&F repositioned it as the image for its 8 perfume and applied it in various marketing.

Prints from ruehl.com.
The image (2008) circled in red is the photo in question now used by A&F.
Photo created and owned by C.E.R., 2011