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September 22, 2011

The One Million Moms Protest "Pornographic" Lane Bryant Ad

The One Million Moms had been a little boring for awhile there, but they've stepped up their game recently and are now outraged about everything from ice cream to vibrators. They're also very mad about the cover of the new Lane Bryant catalog, which was very inappropriate if their action alert is to be believed:

Lane Bryant Models Go Topless to Sell Clothes

It is nothing new for retailers to use skin in ads to promote their clothing line, but this is a first for Lane Bryant. Their new catalog features five topless models on the cover wearing only jeans. They have barely covered themselves with their hands or each others hands and arms to prevent this from being pornographic, but it could easily be categorized as soft porn. The models are intimately posed as well.

Lane Bryant chose this image for their cover, but the rest of the catalog is designed like most clothing catalogs with the models wearing the clothing line they sell. There is a small section promoting their Cacique Intimates line which would resemble a Victoria's Secret catalog.

These catalogs are coming through the mail to customers who signed up for them and reportedly to some who didn’t. This topless ad is also being used in their store front windows in malls and shopping centers. The catalog is available to view on their website as well. It is displayed at the bottom of their home page.
It's kind of entertaining that the Moms proclaim to be so offended by this ad, and at the same time they're very thorough in explaining every single possible way for everyone to get a good look at it. It's kind of like their action alerts about TV shows that mention every minor irrelevant detail about the show so that you know they're watching this offensive and inappropriate material very carefully.

Lane Bryant, owned by Charming Direct, Inc., is affiliated with Cacique Intimates, Catherines, Fashion Bug, Sonsi, and Loop 18. The ad is offensive, completely inappropriate, and should be removed from their store fronts and website immediately. Lane Bryant needs to abstain from using nudity or partial nudity in future ad campaigns if they value their customer's opinion and business.
So what does Lane Bryant do if they also value the opinions and business of the people who aren't offended? Oh wait, I forgot, the OMM and their precious and delicate special snowflake children are the only ones in the world who matter.


Please send an email letter to Lane Bryant (Charming) and request the removal of this topless ad campaign from their stores and website. Also, urge them to refrain from using this type of advertising in the future. An apology statement from the company for sending the soft porn catalog to people's homes would be appropriate and appreciated by customers and families as well.

As you might imagine, by this point we were dying to see this "soft porn" catalog cover for ourselves, and since the Moms were helpful enough to tell us that the image was available on Lane Bryant's website, we went and checked it out. Please make sure to brace yourself, clutch your pearls, and get any impressionable children out of the room before you scroll down to view this very explicit, highly offensive image.

Shocking, isn't it? The way you can see their entire...arms. All of those exposed elbows! What a bunch of whores.

First of all, and this probably shouldn't be first because it's kind of a sidebar to the main issues here, but it was my first thought because that's just how I roll, so here goes. The Moms must be watching some seriously boring softcore porn if they're putting this cover photo into that category. Actually, now that I think about it...is there not boring softcore porn? The phrase just makes me think of 14 year olds staying up late to secretly watch Cinemax, but even then I've got to believe that they're seeing a little bit more than women who are fully clothed from the waist down touching each other's upper arms. But I digress, and I blame the Moms for even making me think about this for so long.

I don't find this ad to be at all shocking or offensive, but at the same time I can say that it's obviously worthwhile to address the fact that there are plenty of ads out there that feature naked women for no good reason. I just don't think that this is the best example of that. In this case, you can even make the argument that the ad is selling the idea that "plus sized" women are beautiful and sexy and should feel comfortable showing off their bodies if they choose to. And yes, of course Lane Bryant is selling that message so that they can sell some jeans, and I'm not saying that there can be no valid critiques of this image. I just don't think that 'this catalog is porn and Lane Bryant should apologize for sending it to people's homes' qualifies.

I get that the Moms are allegedly all about protecting the children, but this is a catalog for women. Is it really that big of a parenting challenge to keep your kids from seeing it, or if they do see it, to tell them that it's not for kids? I just have a hard time believing that kids are going to be dying to get their hands on this "pornographic" catalog, or that they'll be horribly traumatized if they do happen to catch a glimpse of this photo.

The other thing that bothered me about this action alert was an issue that the Moms were surprisingly understated about for once. There's only one reference to the models being "intimately posed", but I suspected that they weren't just bothered by the fact that the models were topless, but also interpreted their poses as, like, totally gay. A quick skim of the comments on the OMM's facebook page confirmed that yes, the "lesbian touching" was a big part of the problem for many of the offended Moms. (There was also a fair amount of fat-shaming coming from some of the pious Christian mothers who commented.) I'm sure some of you might have to take a minute to come to grips with the fact that if you have ever touched another woman's bare hand or shoulder or elbow, you might be a lesbian. Please remember to think of the children and refrain from such inappropriate behavior in the future.

Once again the One Million Moms have cooked up a totally overblown panic over basically nothing, while ignoring so many other things going on in the media right now that might actually be harmful to children. I know better than to hope that they'll ever wake up and get it right, so I guess I should just be glad that wrapping brown paper around Lane Bryant catalogs and pints of Schweddy Balls ice cream keeps them occupied.


Anonymous said...

The only thing offensive about that ad is presenting those skinny ladies as "plus" size!

TxDayDreamer said...

I've started a Facebook page called "1 Million Moms Against One Million Moms".

I think it's sad and pathetic that these moms spend so much time on issues that don't really matter. If they really are so intent on saving the world, why not feed starving children or give books to needy kids?

I'm a Christian mom and I'm embarrassed by OMM. I thought it was hilarious that some of the comments on their FB page said these girls were lesbians because of their pose in the ad. Seriously? How sadly uneducated they must be. I've hugged another woman omg I must be a lesbian too!!! I must get to my pastor immediately so he can exorcise these demons from my mind!

It's also depressing to think there are one million moms with such closed minds and absolutely nothing else to do but write letters to companies to try to protect kids they don't even know.

Perhaps they should concentrate on raising their own kids and stop trying to force their views on everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Agreed! Size 10 is a plus size now. I'm glad to see any model that is "human" sized on any magazine! Those girls are hugging each other because they are so relieved to have work!

Anonymous said...

Agreed that if I was going to take time out of my day to care about being offended by the add it would be over the message that size 10 is "plus size".

As some one who is now two sizes smaller than a size 10 after being over a size 18....ignorant skinny bitches don't know what a "plus size" really is. But that's not a Lane Byant only message. I actually would be shocked if that was their intended message as when I was a size 10 I had to stop shopping there because everything they sold was 2-4 sizes to big for me.

FeministWhore said...

"All of those exposed elbows! What a bunch of whores."

I love this line way too much.

elgmalone said...

What would any of these women do if they went to France? They wouldn't be able to turn on the TV look at billboards or magazines or go to the beach.

Anonymous said...

Being a mother, I don't see what there is to protect kids from... images of happy women that look great?

Sorry OMM... this mother has two boys and two girls that won't be sheltered from nudity. If boys are to grow up respecting women and if girls are to grow up happy with their bodies, then we need to stop shaming and hiding away female bodies.

Anonymous said...

Some additional posts containing group attacks from the same individuals: