Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Heading to the Mall? Check Morals at the Door.

I don't shop in the mall often. It's not that I go out of my way to avoid the mall;I just don't ever really find anything I need in there. This weekend however, I made an exception due to the fact that there wasn't much else to do where we were staying, and the mall seemed like a good option for aimless wandering, which I like to do.

Now, I know that many of these stores in the mall are not targeting someone like me. For one, I am over sixteen and don't have an allowance to spend on clothes. Even knowing this, I was so shocked by the advertising and marketing around the store Gilly Hicks. I would say I smelled the store from quite a distance away. I don't think there is anything worse than Cinnabon mixed with super potent cologne, possibly AXE. I am pretty sure they are blowing fragrance out of their vents.

Now, Gilly Hicks wasn't a store I was familiar with; it's the first time I had actually seen one. It has the overall same look as Abercrombie and Hollister with a beach and cabana feeling as you enter, followed by an abyss of blackness and loud, loud music. This doesn't bother me, because if you are targeting preteens and teenagers, then something mimicking a dance club is probably appealing to them. What I do have a problem with is the pictures of topless girls on the walls. Girls, mind you, who were not a day over sixteen. In these same rooms were G-strings, lace bodysuits, and corsets. You know, because when you are thirteen that's what you should be wearing...

Here's why I hate this: Someday, I plan on having kids and I don't want them feeling like they need to look twenty five when they are just hitting puberty.

Trying to hide my disgust, I walked quickly trying to get out of the dark, cave-like maze yelling to my boyfriend so he could hear me above the music "Get me out of here!!" I walked past young girls holding hangers of black lace training bras, low-ride thong underwear, and the shortest shorts I've ever seen. I don't want to be part of this; this loss of innocence, loss of childhood, just for a buck.

I think the worst part was seeing a young man, probably seventeen at most, walking around SHIRTLESS. Why? What is the point? Who is running these companies, and do they have no value of childhood innocence? Being an adult isn't all that its cracked up to be. I can't tell you how many times I think back to my middle school days and wish I could get back there, even if for a moment.

I'm aware that I sound like an old lady and you're probably waiting for me to say, "When I was young..." I just felt moved to express my sadness about this particular scene, in a mall, just like any other in America. At times like this I grab onto the memories of my youth and what shopping was like for me. Jeans at the Gap, skirts with built it spandex (remember those?), and desperately seeking the perfect Esprit sweatshirt. Times have changed, no doubt about it. I guess I am having a hard time accepting the change, especially when it affects our youth. It just seems to me that morals have been checked at the door, and that is just a shame.