Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Sally's 12: Time for Lingerie!

Something “a little more comfortable” a little too close for comfort

Myself and some friends are all at JC Penny’s in the mall on Saturday because I need a suit. We got the suit issue taken care of in short order but with my receipt was a ticket for a drawing for some free lingerie. This went to one of the lady friends and we went to the lingerie section to fill it out and drop it off. We get to the lingerie section and I can’t help but notice a weird juxtaposition. Squished next to lingerie is the young girls clothing section.

Perhaps I’m reading too much into this but I can’t help but think that this is intentional. I can see two motivations for this:

  1. The Impulse Buy: Mother and daughter come into the store for little girl’s clothes. Whilst browsing through the little girls clothes, mother sees something she likes in the conveniently close lingerie department.

  2. Conditioning: Mother and daughter come into the store for little girl’s clothes. Whilst browsing through the little girls clothes, daughter sees lots of things that shape her perception as to what a real woman is supposed to look like.

If only #1 is the case, I’m fairly cool with that. The store is in the business of making money and if they can cause a responsible person to purchase something they’re doing well. If #2 is the case, I have issue.

I’m comfortable enough with my masculinity to walk through the lingerie department and actually look around. For those of you that aren’t (or haven’t taken a good look around) I’ll share something with you: conservative and functional drawers are in the back, away from the customer walk ways. What are exposed to those not in the cottony jungle that is the lingerie department are the things that are for when a mommy and daddy really love each other… and not the things that are meant to actually cover something up.

So, it seems to me that the items the store wishes passersby to see are those related to sexual intimacy. Who sees them? A fair amount of the time its people looking for it, people passing through, and preadolescent girls. Is seeing this going to make a slew of young girls prematurely sexual? Probably not most of the time. Will it subconciously tell the girl that she’s supposed to be size negative two and half-naked? That seems a little more realistic.

I must not really think this is a big deal because I didn’t do anything to correct what I thought wasn’t quite right. What does that say?