Sometimes, I feel like a prude. Like when I see advertising showing very young people baring a lot of skin and rubbing their parts together and I wonder, "Am I just an old fart, or is this gross?" Some of my seventh grade students suggest that it is indeed gross and demeaning.
But refusing to take the dare, choosing to eschew promiscuity, requires courage of a young person. Giant retailing companies have the power of King Henry V to form public opinion. (Shakespeare's Hank5 steals a kiss from his maiden with this kingly power play: "O Kate! Nice customs curtsey to great kings....We are the makers of manners, Kate.")
BUSINESS WEEK brings us a great column from an "all-girl" design agency called 3iYing. In "When Sex Isn't Sexy," the "girls" at 3iYing say no to sex for teen advertising. That's better than me saying it, but I say the same thing. Just because a retailer has the wealth of Croesus doesn't mean that my daughter wants to see lewd display of clothing. It might sell clothing (3iYing says it doesn't)...but I certainly don't appreciate the gross-out.