Shoppers are hitting the malls in droves, seeking the perfect gift. Kids are dropped off to find items -- kids who might not be there otherwise. More people shop at Christmas than at any other time, so it's the time to make your voices heard about the objectification of women that, this year, seems to have gone beyond the beyonds.
Victoria's Secret mannequins dressed in G-strings, bras, nylons and high heeled-shoes pushed the indecency envelope too far for some Livingston County residents, and they're fighting back with a letter writing campaign.
Hamburg Township resident Robin Blaszak, who is part of a grass-roots group writing letters to protest the store's window display, said she was offended by the scantily-clad mannequins when she recently went shopping at the mall.
Blaszak said this is a "family-friendly community."
"We don't want those things exposed to our children," she said.
Another resident said that this year's display was offensive.
Hamburg Township resident Patrick Flynn said he and other residents have a right not to have those images "in your face."
Flynn, who is married and has seven children, said he wouldn't feel comfortable walking by the display with his children. He said he talks with his children about healthy attitudes and sexuality, but it's more challenging if they see the displays at Victoria's Secret.
"Women who are displayed in this way, I just don't believe it's a healthy thing to put before the public," he said.
And yet what is degrading in the eyes of some is honourable, in the opinion of others.
Blaszak and other members of the letter-writing group would like the lingerie store, located in the new Green Oak Village Place mall, to tone down the display, which can be seen by pedestrians walking by. Blaszak, who is married and has a grown daughter, also took exception to a large photograph showing a "very well-endowed" woman dressed in bra and underwear.
When she first came across the window display, Blaszak became so upset that she went inside the store and talked with an assistant manager who, she said, expressed the view that the store glorifies women.
Right. (cha-ching) Glory. (cha-ching) Glorious to men, profitable to the company (cha-ching), and every woman is reduced to cleavage and curves. I can do without that sort of glorification, thanks.
This letter campaign was a parish-wide initiative that has already caused the display to be taken down. Keep that in mind when you drop off your kids, and don't take the offenses without a fight. (And take note of who owns what):
Limited Brands owns Victoria's Secret as well as Express, Bath & Body Works, C.O. Bigelow, The Limited, The White Barn Candle Co. and Henri Bendel.