Catalog porn?

Lisa Wisel has a suggestion for Abercrombie & Fitch, the clothing chain: Clothe your models.

Mrs. Wisel and a bevy of bothered parents and children picketed the outlet in Brookline, Mass., last Saturday.

Their beef? Too much beefcake - and cheesecake - in store posters and the Abercrombie magazine/catalog.

To whit: a naked girl on an elephant. Bare-bottomed teenage boys in various poses. Another sits in bed, waist covered by a blanket, flanked by four dressed girls - one holding his boxers.

There's nothing in the ads inappropriate to the target market, says A&F spokesman Lonnie Fogel. "We are a lifestyle company," he says. "We closely identify with the college lifestyle. To the extent that those activities and interests are controversial to some people ... that's the way it goes."

"This crosses a line," says Wisel, the mother of three. "Look at who shops there. It's not just college kids. Twelve- and 13-year olds go there with their baby-sitting money. It's very popular with that age group."

Our Resident Expert on Eighth-Grade Cool confirms that. As a parent, do I forbid my daughter to shop there now? Ignore it? Do we talk about what the Abercrombie ads stand for and let her decide?

Of course, the boycott could backfire. A store dissed by parents! The catalog/magazine ($5) (never mind the clothes) could become a bestseller among prepubescent teens.

Each Saturday until Christmas, Brookline parents plan to hand out fliers outside a local store. Will others join her?

* We're home. Tell us how we're doing. Write the Homefront, One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115 or e-mail us at

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.