Now at the mall: 'Fifty Shades' merchandise
Handcuff-themed bracelets and other items are being sold at Icing stores, causing some parents to worry about whether the material is appropriate for teens.
Items based on the bondage-heavy novel are being sold at Icing, a jewelry and accessories store owned by Claire's. According to a Fox news report, those items include handcuff-themed bracelets and t-shirts with the phrase "Looking for Mr. Grey." Icing's collection also includes a classical-music CD with songs selected by "Fifty Shades" author E.L. James.
Claire's would not comment to a Fox news reporter on the issue, but emphasized on Facebook (FB) that the Icing stores are targeted to women over the age of 18. Claire's namesake stores cater to younger teens and girls.
Icing's Facebook page received dozens of comments on the issue. One user called the move "very poor taste and decorum," while another asked, "Why would you promote this to young teens who shop at your store?" Other users defended Icing, saying it is not a store for children.
Claire's isn't the first company to try and capitalize on the success of the erotic bestseller. Hotels around the country have debuted "Fifty Shades" packages, and there is a board game where players earn "inner goddess" tokens.
The book has even made its way into college courses. American University is offering a class based on the novel that promises to discuss sexuality, health, public relations and marketing.
But hotels and college courses are not normally the territory of teenagers. An inexpensive jewelry store at the mall that offers ear piercing, however, most certainly is. "That’s bananas to me," said Missy Suicide, founder of the Suicide Girls website, in an interview with New York Magazine. "If the mall store is selling bondage-lite accessories, that’s a different sort of world."
It's a world that some moms of teens and pre-teens aren't too comfortable with. The One Million Moms website is urging members to email Claire's and demand that the "Fifty Shades" line be removed. "Attempting to make sex and bondage cool and profiting by it is wrong when teenagers are frequently visiting the store," the website says. "Older teens may be their target market, but many tweens enter their stores and are influenced by these items as well."
This is another example of people attempting to shift what is "parental responsibility" on to business owners. TO PARENTS: If you raise your children up properly, with respect for themselves and others, then you have nothing to worry about......
I am going to take both sides of the story on this one...
1. I am all for parents being responsible but you people are a bit silly. It is a mall. If I can't let my teen go to a mall by him/herself, where can I let them go? And if they are by themselves, I can only hope they listen and don't easily give into peer presure if one of their friends wants to go in. I can track receipts to an extent if they actually buy anything with a credit card but I can't control them looking. If a store is truly for 18+, then they shouldn't let kids under 18 inside without an adult. If you know you have tweens walking your store without adults, don't tell me you are an 18+ store because you aren't. You are "an anyone with money" store (nothing wrong with that except lying about it as so many stores do). I'm tired of hearing stores claim to be for 18+ when everyone knows they don't care how old they are.
2. Nothing described in this article is worse than what you can see at Victoria Secret and every mall I have been into has at least 1 VS or similar store with pictures of models in lace lingerie. If you are going to complain about "Icing" products, you should be all over VS too.
Now that I have successfully taken both sides, I'll get to my overall opinion. If you don't like it, tell your kids to stay out. If you can't trust your kids to do what you say when you aren't around, don't let them go to the mall without you. The fact of the matter is between TV, radio, books, stores, friends, etc, your kids will see and hear worse pretty much every single day. Rather than shelter them, teach them so that when they see things you disagree with, they know how they should react. They are teens and will make mistakes but that is how they learn. The more you teach instead of shelter, the fewer mistakes they should make unless they are just stupid.
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