Yesterday I blogged about Ellen Degeneres, Nicki Minaj, and the appropriateness of encouraging and celebrating the “Super Bass” worldview among eight and five-year-old kids. I question the appropriateness of the “Super Bass” worldview for anybody.

Yesterday long-time Philly sportswriter, Bill Conlin, stepped down from his job after being accused of sexually abusing children back in the 1970s. The accusations against Conlin are serious – very serious – and so they should be. Sadly, law enforcement agencies across our country are burdened with sexual abuse cases involving children. . . . and it’s getting worse.

And yesterday my adult daughter texted me this photo. She took it in an Abercrombie & Fitch store while shopping near Philadelphia. It’s a photo of a photo that sits on a fragrance display in the store.

This all got me thinking about just how mixed up and messed up we are as a culture. We stand up and intervene – as we should! – when children are violated and taken advantage of by sexual predators. But then we joyfully and without batting an eye let others prey on children’s hearts and minds through imagery, art, song, film, etc. At times, we even applaud it and call it “cute” (see yesterday’s blog). I wonder too, if a steady diet of this stuff during the “wonder years” doesn’t socialize, nurture, and even create the kind of stuff that law enforcement has to deal with when those children become adults.

The A&F ad should make us think. Kids of all ages paraded through that store the other day. Some were with their parents. Some weren’t. Who knows how many glanced at that photo. It’s become so common that few, if any (I’m guessing) even stopped to stare. Did anybody even care? But what would have happened if – let’s say – a man my age was sitting alone on a bench in the mall just a few feet from the entrance to the A&F store. . . and that man was holding a small copy of that photo in his hand. . . and that man was calling children and teenagers over to the bench to take a peek at his photo? See what I mean?

Perhaps the greatest irony of it all is that A&F has been filled of-late with scores of people buying gifts for others in celebration of the coming of Christ. . . the one who came to undo this mess and bring Shalom.

8 thoughts on “Cultural Hypocrisy. . . and Abercrombie. . .

  1. It’s amazing, yet sad of the things shown to us… through ads, supposed “role models” and much more. I work for a family (cleaning their house) and it saddens me to know that these kids walk into the A&F store and get clothes from there I see the Bags laying around (with the same influence) around the house. And I have seen some of this influence being taken from one of the kids. Thanks for sharing, it’s a true wake-up call!

  2. Yesterday I went to a mall in Pittsburgh… same thing. The hot topic window displayed several photos of young people making out entitled “Christmas Hook Ups”. Now, being a music lover, I like to shop at Hot Topic from time to time. But seriously? I’m not sure anymore.

  3. Wow, just wow about that picture. Your post yesterday and this pic today sure do make me think, as a parent, how seriously I need to take these assaults on my children’s minds! I feel like I need to be very intentional and discerning about what they are seeing – it is difficult to go against the culture, and I often feel like I’m taking life too seriously – but look what I’m up against!

    Thank you for your blog and for bringing these things to my attention!

  4. Very good point about the perception change that would absolutely occur if someone outside the store was asking kids to look at that same picture. I would love for someone to actually try that just to make a point.. not me, of course, but someone! 🙂

  5. But isn’t this what we expect from a depraved world? Isn’t the real hypocrisy the Christians who are outraged at this photo, but then go home to watch the same content on tv or listen to music that promotes the same thing?

  6. A&F has been sexualizing and socializing our children like this for years. Thanks for bringing it to others’ attention Walt.

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