MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

What Store Do YOU Avoid in the Mall?

December 5th, 2007 Visited 3203 times, 1 so far today

Shopping lifestyleWhen I ask if there’s a store you avoid in the mall, what immediately goes through your mind?  Is it the store that sells toys that are from movies that your kids have seen and you might not be able to say “no”?  The store that sells chocolates that will go right to your hips?  How about the store that sells shiny things that they want you to buy for your wife that will somehow make you love her more?

Getting Them in the Door

The truth is that some people avoid the mall altogether, knowing that everything there is packaged for sale and that few people can resist the urge of picking up something new.  It’s part of the way that we are wired, and they know that if they can get us in the door and we begin to see all the things that we can have– and look, it’s on sale!– then we may end up buying their product and they will make some money.

That’s why everything is displayed so nicely, and the storefront windows display their best wares or best deals depending on the store– and that sometimes is exactly the problem.

Not Keeping the Secret

Some, like myself, find that the store that we avoid is the one that features an oxymoron.  Whatever Victoria has, it’s not a secret.  It’s displayed, larger than life in her front most windows showing everything that she is.

Some have gone so far as to send letters to VS’s parent company to ask them to tone down their sexually charged displays:

Letters have been written to the store, Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, mall management, community officials, and business leaders. The letters object to what concerned citizens have labeled “unnecessary exposure to indecent sexual imagery” — such as mannequins sporting G-strings, bras, nylons, and stiletto high heels. The correspondence also requests a meeting with corporate officials to explain that area citizens feel more modest standards should be reflected in the displays.

The Product of a Sexualized Society

It’s gotten to the point that Victoria uses (effectively, I might add) her displays, her television ads and her shows all to peddle underwear, and takes no thought to the idea that they’ve taken a private thing and made it public.  They’ve drawn attention to the female form over who she is and are profiting off of it.

And they really don’t seem to mind that it’s as much men that buy things and subscribe to their catalogues as it is women.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with a married couple buying things for each other that are of this nature.  The problem I do have is when they use models in sexual poses to try to advertise for these things and when they target teens who should not be having sex in the first place.

However, my thoughts don’t drive sales in the current society– and their advertising has lost sales from at least this blogger, if not others.

Comments

18 Comments

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  • Lynnae @ From Under the Clutter says on: December 5, 2007 at 3:23 pm

     

    I won’t shop there. Beyond the mannequins are the huge signs featuring pictures of women wearing next to nothing in sexual poses. They’re placed right in the store window for all to see. And at our mall, Victoria’s Secret is right next to a popular place to buy cookies for your children.

    My 9 year old daughter doesn’t need to think this is an appropriate way to dress. My 5 year old son doesn’t need to grow up thinking that it’s OK for women to flaunt their bodies.

    I did write their corporate offices, and I never heard back. But I won’t shop there anymore.

  • Mrs. Brigham says on: December 5, 2007 at 4:55 pm

     

    We are weirdos who avoid *all* of the stores at the mall (and most corporate stores in general, when it can be helped anyway ;o)), but all of The Limited Co’s stores are particularly repulsive, thanks to their lax modesty standards, poor human rights records, and the list goes on. I do think it is very imporant to note that Victoria’s Secret is hardly the only store with scantily dress
    ed mannequins, though. Many department stores have iffy lingerie mannequins, and Frederick’s of Hollywood is far more risque than Victoria’s, IMHO. Abercrombie has also had questionable mannequins, products, and store displays on more than one occasion. Many cosmetic companies also have some sketchy ads and displays at their counters. (I once worked for a company that sold breast firming cream, complete with a demo & some *really* questionable pictures that we had to use to sell this product. That was awkward. *shudders*)

    On a funny note, and I *really* do not want to start any debate on nursing in public or anything like that on your blog, Min:o), but last spring there was some controversy about V’s Secret kicking a nursing mother out of their store for her “lack of modesty.” *dies laughing* If it were any other store, the situation really would not be so laugh-worthy, but Victoria’s taking a stand for “modesty”?!?!? Yea…

  • Rebecca says on: December 5, 2007 at 6:19 pm

     

    My husband won’t even go to the mall, for the very reason you mention. On the rare occasion that I need him to go with me, we avoid VS. Thankfully, there is a Christian t-shirt store nearby.

  • Jess @ Making Home says on: December 6, 2007 at 1:40 am

     

    I, too, quit shopping at VS because of this very thing.

    Like you, I have no problem with married couples buying these things, but I DEFINITELY have a problem with a company that would make my (then) four year old son’s jaw drop because they have women (I mean mannequins) in lingerie, crawling around on and in cages on display at the front of the store.

    It’s completely offensive and out of line. It’s one thing for a married couple to go seek these things out for mutual enjoyment– it’s an entirely different thing for my four year old son to be visually assaulted as part of their marketing strategies.

    It makes me sick.
    ~Jess

  • MInTheGap says on: December 6, 2007 at 8:15 am

     

    We’re very rarely in the mall, if it that it’s usually the anchor stores like JcPenny, Target and maybe the Disney Store or Children’s Place. Usually it’s a tactical thing rather than a browsing thing. The reason to pick on VS rather than Frederick’s is because there are so many more of them, and Victoria pretends to be acceptable. I mean, everyone knows Frederick’s is risque and I don’t think that CBS would give them a lingerie show (and they wouldn’t do that if it weren’t for the amount of guys watching (do you really think there’s that many women that watch that?!)).

    Rebecca, as I read your comment, I got this image of you buying Christian t-shirts to put over the mannequins in VS to make them more appropriate!

    I’m with you, Jess. There are definitely some things that were meant to be private, and this is one of them.

  • Carol says on: December 7, 2007 at 11:31 am

     

    I NEVER go to the mall. Just not interested.
    I think that as a “store” VS could do a lot better at “marketing” their goods. Mystery is the thing that drives our desires and a simple sign would do more for the people buying these “garments” and other people who feel offended by the displays. The TV commercials disturb me, I just think there is WAY to much sex being sold on all fronts. When I was a young girl, many years ago, I can remember the first time a toilet paper commercial came on TV. My older brother had brought his date home to meet his family and on came this commercial, we were all shocked and my Mother and my brother’s date both blushed. Compare that to the things that we are bombarded by each and every day — then ask yourself —
    “Where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?”

  • Jess @ Making Home says on: December 9, 2007 at 1:53 pm

     

    Oh, Carol– your tp commercial story puts the whole thing in quite a LOT of perspective. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing that!
    ~Jess

  • Laurie B says on: December 9, 2007 at 2:18 pm

     

    For what it’s worth, I am a feminist and not a Christian, and I am also bothered by the displays in Victoria’s Secret windows. They should tone it down.

  • MInTheGap says on: December 9, 2007 at 2:34 pm

     

    Laurie B, it’s funny because my wife and I were saying that there’s definitely a message that VS wants to tell young ladies– and that underwear is all about sex and that you have to look sexy. I don’t think that this is the message anyone wants to give young ladies. I believe it’s part of all the problems that young girls are having trying to match up to slinky skanky models.

    Jess and Carol– you’re right, there’s a lot of stuff that is advertised that you wonder “who makes a decision to buy that from a commercial on television!” There really isn’t much that’s still private.

  • Karen (Pediascribe) says on: December 10, 2007 at 9:02 pm

     

    I totally agree. VS displays are over the top. I avoid the mall, or that area of the mall at all costs.

    The bad thing is, this year my sister in law wanted flannel pj’s from VS for Christmas. I bought them and the matching slippers. Now I get their catalog which can only be described as “soft porn.” I’m trying to get VS to take me off their mailing list. Next time I’ll buy her flannel pj’s from somewhere else!

  • Katie Gillet says on: December 11, 2007 at 12:44 am

     

    What would be the ideal way to sell the higher-end, more adventurous, lingerie to those married couples using it? There’s an agreement that those products have their place, so how should they be sold/marketed/displayed?

  • Wendy says on: December 11, 2007 at 10:16 am

     

    Love your blog entry but found it interesting and ironic that the ad banner over the article was for Bare Necessites.

  • MInTheGap says on: December 11, 2007 at 11:05 am

     

    I’m sorry that inappropriate ads were displayed. I use Google AdSense for some of the ads on this site, and they’re good at catching keywords, just not always good at catching context. If you know what URL they used for the Bare Necessities ad, then I can filter it. I should have guessed that a post that had to deal with a store selling underwear would have triggered those kinds of ads.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the entry and hope you’ll come back again soon!

  • MInTheGap says on: December 12, 2007 at 8:22 am

     

    Karen– I think, if you call them, you can get them to stop sending you the magazines. One year I got my wife some lotion and clothes from the place, and we started getting the magazine and that’s what really made us stop even considering finding anything there.

    Katie– that’s a great question. On the one hand I could see a good argument being made that without promotion and high visibility the store couldn’t just do underwear. However, many department stores have the same kinds of things without the sexy mannequins and the porn television spots.

    I would suggest maybe some kind of in home thing might work, or even VS if they didn’t put the models in their underwear in the front. A store that just has the clothing isn’t as repulsive as the larger-than-life posters they show.

  • Jess @ Making Home says on: December 20, 2007 at 5:02 am

     

    There are Christian companies that sell things online… all kinds of marital “aids” for intimacy… and they try to keep porn-ish advertising away from their sites.

    For example, they use mannequins to display lingerie rather than real women; they cut off any photos off of packaging that are sent out, etc.

    There are rare companies that do this, though- and they don’t get much “play”. My friend had a business like this, and was doing well until a group of Bible study women decided that some of the things that she sold on her site (toys/etc.) were unbiblical. They essentially drove her out of business, but she had been trying to offer all of these things in a way that wouldn’t require someone to go into an ethically-questionable place and expose themselves to porn just to buy things that they wanted to use in their marriage bed.

    All that to say, I think the way she ran her business was very honorable and I wish more Christians would make use of places like that rather than VS.

    ~Jess

  • MInTheGap says on: December 21, 2007 at 3:59 pm

     

    Either Christian companies online or in homes I don’t have problems with. But the problem is that these bigger companies like VS get the attention because of the splash they create. It would definitely be better to go this route, but I don’t know how you popularize it. Especially since there are a lot of guys buying things for their girls…

  • Katie says on: December 24, 2007 at 2:43 pm

     

    Of course, Min, there’s a world of difference between a husband buying it for his wife and a guy buying it for a girlfriend, too!

  • MInTheGap says on: December 28, 2007 at 1:33 pm

     

    You’re right, Katie. Big difference between husband and boyfriend. I would suggest that a boyfriend has no business in VS or buying a girl underwear for that matter.

    You’ll find this amusing, but I didn’t even want to fold the underwear of the girls in my house when I was kid– it was gross in my mind!

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

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