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Archived Observation

This afternoon, Janet and I made the trek to Union Square to do some shopping. We hate Union Square… it's San Francisco's tourist central… and a vile place to spend an afternoon. But, there are some stores that are only in Union Square, like Comp USA, Crate & Barrel and Express. Today, we had a mission: replace a broken glass at Crate & Barrel, check out a new mouse at Comp USA, go to Express so Janet can use the free $15 gift certificate that they sent her last week, and then get the hell back to the Lower Haight. While at Express, which as we all know is a woman's clothing store, I spent a good amount of time looking at the in-store advertisements while sitting on the brand new white vinyl couch as I waited for Janet to finish trying on a skirt (which she never ended up buying). There was one particular ad which fascinated me… it was a six foot by six foot shot of a topless model, modeling the new Express jeans. She was clutching… I mean covering… her breasts with her hands in a failed attempt to cover anything other than her nipples.
As I was looking at this picture, I was thinking "Geez, if you took her out of those jeans and and just left her clutching her breasts in some underwear, it would be a perfect Playboy shot." But then the hypocrisy of the whole picture hit me.
Express is a women's clothing store. All women have breasts, so who are they hiding those naughty nipples from? Women shouldn't be offended if they see breasts in a woman's clothing store, should they? I mean, they see them every time they shower or get dressed or change in the locker room at the gym. So, are they covering the nipples so those dirty perverted men at the shop won't get turned on?
Number one, there are a number of more revealing, sexually evocative ads in the store… like the woman showing off the short-shorts, or the woman with the party-hat nipple erections showing off the new tricot mesh tank top. The jeans picture was just a picture of a woman only wearing the Express brand jeans. Calvin Klein ran an ad very similar to this about 10 years ago. Herb Ritts took the picture, Cindy Crawford (if I remember properly) was the model, and the only difference was that you could see Cindy's nipples… because the only thing more contrived that a topless woman wearing just jeans, is a topless woman just wearing jeans hugging her breasts, and Herb Ritts knew it. I mean come on… if you want to cover your breasts, use a bra or a shirt… maybe a towel, but hands? That's just silly.
On top of that, the only guys ever in the store are usually married to someone shopping (or at least in a serious relationship, because men casually dating someone never go clothes shopping with them)… so chances are that they have seen breasts before.
I guess it's part of the de-nipplization of the Limited Companies…. first they airbrushed the nipples out of the Victoria's Secret catalog, and now this. Is American society so prudish that it can't handle a couple of breasts?

Posted in Observations.

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