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Racy Images from Abercrombie and Equinox Gym Rile Conservatives

Afobscene

UPDATE: Virginia Beach police DROP obscenity charges...

Police seized two murals from an Abercrombie & Fitch store in Virginia Beach over the weekend, citing local obscenity laws. One is the image above. The other is of a woman with her hand over her breast.

Hampton Roads reports: "Adam Bernstein, a police spokesman, said the seizure and the issuance of the summons came only after store management had not heeded warnings to remove the images. The citation was issued under City Code Section 22.31, Bernstein said, which makes it a crime to display 'obscene materials in a business that is open to juveniles.'...The manager was not arrested but faces a fine of up to $2,000 and as much as a year in jail, if convicted. Bernstein said that in a meeting last week with store management, the officer - who is assigned to routine patrol of the mall - said he understood it was a corporate decision as to what would be displayed in the stores. But he explained that that didn't exempt the local store from complying with the city code. Bernstein said management was told specifically: 'We want those advertising signs taken down.'"

Meanwhile, some Catholic groups are up in arms about the latest Equinox Fitness Club ads that depict a group of nuns drawing a well-built nude male as if in a life drawing class.

Equinox

WCVB Boston reports: "C.J. Doyle of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts said the ad shows contempt for the Catholic religion. 'It says a great deal about this perverse obsession in both the fashion industry and the advertising industry of exploiting and mocking and sexualizing Catholic religious imagery,' Doyle said. The fitness company responded with a written statement saying, 'Our ad campaigns are based on personal motivation and fantasy and throughout history the body has been considered a form of art.'"

Catholic League go-it-aloner Bill Donohue, of course, was aroused roused by the ad as well. He said: "...this patently stupid ad that Equinox is floating suggests that it must hype its edgy image in order to compete. That’s too bad—apparently their targeted demographic group isn’t lured by the prospect of more barbells and fruit bars. Hence, the need to rip off Catholic imagery in a sophomoric soft-porn ad. Of course, Equinox could have asked Fallon to replace the nuns with Islamic women covered with veils. But that was probably too edgy, even for these trendy types. Guess there are some envelopes that no one wants to push these days. How telling."

Donohue should just settle down. The photo could have been captioned: "Suck it Jesus, this man is my God now."

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Comments

  1. It's good to know that Virginia Beach's finest are tackling the city's serious crack problen.

    Posted by: nic | Feb 4, 2008 3:07:40 PM


  2. MATT,

    I'll be happy to 'live and let live' just as soon as the Catholic Church stops advocating for governments to deny me and mine the same marriage equality enjoyed by others. I'll be happy to 'live and let live' just as soon as the Catholic Church sees fit to stop protesting the adoption of needy children by GLBT parents. I'll be happy to 'live and let live' just as soon as the Catholic Church ceases telling poor women in third world countries ravaged by HIV that the use of a condom to protect themselves is a sin. Until that point the Catholic Church will continue to enjoy my unending scorn, hate and derision.

    xo,
    peterparker

    Posted by: peterparker | Feb 4, 2008 4:14:49 PM


  3. I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW THAT HAVE NO REPRESENTATIVE AGENT ON EARTH. MY BELIEF AND RULES CAN BE FOUND ON MY BIOGRAPHY, THE BIBLE.
    REGARDING ALL OF MY FOLLOWERS, PLEASE UNDERSTAND STUPIDITY GOES WITHIN THE GENS.
    PLEASE DONT GET ME INVOLVE IN SUCH SILLY MATTERS AS NAKED PEOPLE. NEVER RECEIVED ANY COMPLAINT WHEN ALL OF YOU BORN NAKED....HOPE DONT START A MOVEMENT TO GET DRESS UP BORN BABIES.

    WELL HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO ON EARTH. GARAGO, PROBLEMS IN AFRICA NEED MY ATTENTION...WONDER WHY MY FELLOWS CHRISTIANS DONT INVEST MORE ON REALLY IMPORTANT MATTERS?

    Posted by: JESUS | Feb 4, 2008 4:47:21 PM


  4. Amen, Peter. (From an ex-Catholic boy.)

    Posted by: John C | Feb 4, 2008 4:51:08 PM


  5. Regarding Michelangelo, there are a couple of nude studies of his for The Risen Christ. One of these is owned by our very own Queen, Elizabeth, as part of the Royal Collection in Windsor Castle.

    http://www.humanitiesweb.org/human.php?s=g&p=c&a=p&ID=7611

    Posted by: John C | Feb 4, 2008 4:59:15 PM


  6. Seig Heil! Das Gestapo ist hier!

    Posted by: James | Feb 4, 2008 6:17:01 PM


  7. They teach life drawing classes with nude models as Catholic Colleges and Universities. These Catholic crusaders need to get a grip.

    Posted by: TroyTooner | Feb 4, 2008 7:52:32 PM


  8. Yeah, my friend and I saw this while shopping at the mall. I'm not a catholic nor am I conservative... But I do believe that the pictures are quite pointless in terms of advertising. IF you're Abercrombie and Fitch then why do you need almost totally revealing photos to sell your clothes? Isn't the point of selling clothes for the sake of wearing them not taking them off? I'm surprised someone has talked about a lot of the photos that are in the store... there's one guy who is just covering his groin region with a towel, but showing his leg and v line. It's all very hot and I really don't mind it, but I think there comes a point where partial nudity becomes too much and pointless especially when it comes to selling clothes.

    Posted by: Aaron | Feb 4, 2008 8:21:14 PM


  9. Almost every "Catholic League" and "Catholic Action League" are small organizations, sometimes only one person. You hear them a lot, because they usually use the typewriter in an Archdiocese. But it's usually a lot of hot air from one hole.

    Posted by: Steve in Denver | Feb 4, 2008 8:22:02 PM


  10. "But I do believe that the pictures are quite pointless in terms of advertising."

    This is why you haven't made millions in advertising and Sam Shahid has. Personally, I don't wear A&F and never have, so the advertising hasn't worked on me (although I enjoys me the hot vacuous people as much as everyone else does) but there's no denying they are one of the most successful youth brands and the "racy" ads had much to do with it.

    Posted by: Fin De Fichier | Feb 4, 2008 9:11:26 PM


  11. To hell with the A&F Clothes...where can I buy the poster? I'd also be more than happy to do nun drag just to be able to feast my eyes on the anterior of the model prime meatus.

    Posted by: ustiwatali | Feb 4, 2008 10:03:30 PM


  12. Ummm, why is deriding Catholics for their beliefs hypocritical?

    My beliefs do not infringe on their lives one bit. Their beliefs, on the other hand, seek to deny me my rights, therein lives the difference. Given the harm that the Catholic church has done in the world, it's rather hilarious that they get their robes in a twist over asscrack and nuns' legs. As if sexualizing Catholic imagery in print is more offensive than Catholic priests sexualizing youths in reality. Now that's a bit hypocritical.

    Posted by: Ernie | Feb 4, 2008 11:59:38 PM


  13. Amazing that as high as the crime rate is in VA Beach this is the shit the cops are worried about! Well, I guess that explains the high crime rate.

    Posted by: shane | Feb 5, 2008 8:52:44 AM


  14. as to #2, good thing Michaelangelo wasn't called a pervert for doing nudes.

    Posted by: Giz | Feb 5, 2008 11:27:10 AM


  15. Look at the expressions on the "nuns" faces. you know what they're thinking, the same as me. Iwant him. Beautiful rear. Yum!

    Posted by: BUTCH | Feb 6, 2008 11:08:00 AM


  16. There seems to be a US-wide "crackdown" on such matters:
    http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/005369.html

    Posted by: Mike | Feb 6, 2008 5:09:13 PM


  17. Can somebody please give me the website address for the photographer Ella von Unwerth?

    Posted by: Jeremy Noble | Feb 9, 2008 3:15:45 PM


  18. I think what is so offensive to the Catholic groups in the Equinox add is that the nuns are represented by good looking women showing "a little leg," and that one of them at least (on the right) is seemingly staring at the naked model's penis. I don't think the man's butt is the problem, although it doesn't help matters.

    Nonetheless, it is disturbing to hear that any Catholic group would seemingly go so far as to deny that any of their ordained servants (nuns, priests, etc.) have sexual feelings, or that sexual feelings are a sin when felt by these people. The point of ordainment is not to deny one's humanity. Ordained people are indeed expected to curtail acting upon certain of their instincts, but to erase them is impossible, and the Catholic Church as issued statements to this effect.

    This all being said, I would also like to add to the groups' hypocrisy that in the medieval period, several devout women used to engage in mystical practices (prayer and meditation focusing on a spiritual union with Christ) which would later be described in apparently sexual, and certainly highly physical, terms -- as if these experiences were closely a form of erotic ecstasy. There are entire books about these ladies, known as Beguines, and their experiences. The best are by Carol Walker Bynum. Also see http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~epf/1995/beguine.html

    Posted by: Michael | Feb 9, 2008 4:55:07 PM


  19. I'm another who suspects the problem with image #2 is the sexualization of the nuns, not the model. When was the last time you saw nuns showing leg while wearing Doc Martens? Also, if they're all about drawing, what's with the one hanging on/ogling from the door grating?

    Posted by: RedCedar | Feb 10, 2008 2:01:43 PM


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