Child Porn on a Shopping Bag

So I went shopping on Black Friday.  I know, I know.  I swore that I was Just Sayin’ No to the usually crowded, smelly, sweaty experience that characterizes the Black Friday crowds, but it couldn’t be helped.

Jay got a dry socket from his ever-so-fun wisdom tooth extraction of the week before Thanksgiving.  Murphy’s law demands that if you have wisdom teeth extracted before a holiday whose sole purpose is eating that you must, indeed, develop a dry socket on said holiday.  Who is my son to break such a law of the universe?

So the surgeon wanted to see him first thing in the morning to fix it.  Great, I’m thinking.  Black Friday traffic.  Mobs.  It’s going to be a disaster.  Then, to top it off, the Doc asked me to stop and Lowes and buy some twine.  Really?  I’m thinking.  Twine?   Today?  But I’m a good wife, so I smiled and said, “no problem, honey.”

As I coasted off the exit, I noticed that the shopping area was eerily quiet.  Like any normal day’s traffic.  As if in some kind of magical dream we were in and out of the surgeon’s office and parked about four spaces from the front door of Lowes.  Could this even be possible?  Black Friday deals without the crowds?   The Hallelujah Chorus rang through my ears.

I got on the phone and in no time had planned to hook up with my sister-in-law who was, conveniently, on her way to Lowes.  It was meant to be.

But, alas, all of this is merely a digression.  What I really need to talk about is the child porn on the shopping bag.

At the mall (where I generally never shop), my sister-in-law suggested we go into Hollister to look for clothes for our teenaged boys.  Normally I would avoid that place like the plague.  First of all, the entrance looks like a secret cave.  You can’t actually see into the store from the outside.  The windows are dark and decorated with some crazy jungle palm stuff.

The inside of the store is characterized by darkness and pulsating music – the atmosphere of a nightclub jammed with clothes.  While the concept sounds like fun, for a forty-year-old mom with waning eyesight, it is not fun.  I had to walk sweatshirts across the store to find one of the two spotlights that were actually on and hold it underneath to try to find the correct size….repeatedly because, again, of that damn Murphy and his law that says if you’re looking for a specific size you will look at every item of clothing on the table before you find it, especially if you’re in a venue with poor lighting.

After I finally get my purchases and walk out of the store, I took a look at the shopping bag.  To my horror I see a picture of the naked torso of what I would call a boy.  The kid is (maybe) eighteen years old.  He looks like the same age as a couple of the kids who sit in my classroom.  He’s looking at the camera with a pensive, sexy, come-hitherish look.

“Holy crap!”  I say to my sister-in-law.  “Look at this kid.  He’s wearing no shirt.”

I suddenly feel like my 85 year old aunt Myrna.  But I also can’t help feeling uncomfortable looking at the image of this barely legal boy on my shopping bag.

“Is this a picture of a child?”  I ask my sister-in-law.

“Well….” she starts, “I guess he’s SOMEBODY’S child.”

“Do you call your students ‘children’?”  I ask her.

“They prefer young adults,”  she says.

“Would you get in trouble for having a picture of one of your students posed like this?”  I ask her.

“He’s got to be 18.”  She reassures me.  Still, I can’t help but feel like an old letch carrying this bag around the mall.

I hate to think of myself as an old prude, but I can’t help but feel like there’s a giant disconnect here.  We are a society that takes a very serious stand on what we call “child pornography.”  We warn our young people that if they send naked (or semi-naked) pictures of themselves to each other on their phones or forward said pictures to friends that they can be prosecuted for distributing child porn.  Then, we allow a major corporation to plaster pictures like these on their catalogues and shopping bags.  While the kid may be 18, 19, 20, whatever, he certainly looks like he’s barely of age.

But here’s the bigger question…why is this kid naked?  Doesn’t your store sell CLOTHES?  Shouldn’t he be wearing those if that’s whay you’re selling?  Or couldn’t he find anything he liked?

If that’s the case, why the heck am I shopping there?  I think that’s the biggest question of them all.

 

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2 Responses to Child Porn on a Shopping Bag

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    “But here’s the bigger question…why is this kid naked? Doesn’t your store sell CLOTHES?”—Isn’t that the truth! I’ve never understood it either. And the first time I realized I was “old” was when I walked into an Abercrombie and Fitch store with my nieces. Not a fun experience.

  2. The Hook says:

    A few stores have adopted this practise. They neeed to stop. Period.

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