Thursday, May 05, 2005

'Don't Bother, I'm Not Drunk Yet'

So reads a new Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirt that makes SF Chron columnist Joan Ryan really angry.

I'll confess that the shirt slogans made me laugh when I read them, but when I think of 15 year olds wearing them I feel guilty for laughing.

Ryan's beef: with many teens killing themselves by binge drinking, teen meccas like A&F commit particularly heinous offensives when they glorify drinking. Do legal drinkers shop at A&F? Sure. But more often it's the teen - or even tween - set forking over mom and dad's hard earned dough for cheap, hole-ridden shirts and shredded jeans.

Does A&F owe any kind of fiduciary duty to teens as creators and purveyors of pop-culture?

Do parents owe any kind of duty to their children and the community generally to, um, parent? Who's footing the bill for these fashionistas? A&F can be pricey for me - imagine what a bite it takes out of the average teen's afterschool job.

Is it foolish to blame the free-market-lovin' Fitch?


redneck muppet said...

Dont' forget the (in)famous "Two Wongs Make it White" Chinese laundry shirt and the (GRRRRRRRRRR) "West Virginia: It's all relative" crap.

NOT an A&F fan, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Right, I remember the Two-Wongs shirts and the fallout there. You'd think they'd learn their lesson.

And of course - I hate all WV haters.

Go Mountaineers!

J'myle said...

No specific tee-shirt, no matter how bone-headed, bothers me as much as the general principles behind A&F. Not just "please let me pay you thirty bucks for one of your tee-shirts," or "make your logo as big as possible, I want to pay you to advertise your product," but the way it teaches teenage girls that "homoerotic is good, openly gay is bad." Or as my 13-year-old cousin put it, "eww."

And let's not forget simply playing bad techno at 50 decibles in the store. That alone is damnation-worthy.

All that said, in the final analysis, you have to simply let people make up their own minds. What are you going to do--Ban tee-shirts? That's so much worse it's not even funny.

Libertarian Jackass said...

If you have style and class, you don't shop at A&F. That settles the issue really.