Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fun With Shirtless Protesting!


Ever feel like your body was being over sexualized and objectified in order to sell a product? Ever feel like protesting all the half-clad unrealistic representations of what your body should be? Well, some men have been having some fun with the Abercrombie all-shirtless male models campaign (A & F even puts shirtless greeters in the stores) - and it is hilarious. Going to promote naked bodies on the billboards? Well, then you must be cool with real men's shirtless bodies in the flesh - wandering around your store. Operation Shirtless Shopping went down like this:
There are four floors in the Abercrombie, so I divided everyone up into four groups by birthday month, to ensure we’d have an even number of men on each floor. Those on the second floor were out of luck, as they’d be shopping on the women’s only floor. I instructed them to claim to be shopping for their girlfriend. I then divided the group up by birthday year and had them enter the store at staggered times, to prevent an obvious line forming at the entrance. At exactly 4:37 everyone was to discreetly remove their shirt on their assigned floor and hide it in their pocket or pants. (We figured that if we had 100 people trying to enter the store shirtless, they’d probably stop letting us in after the first 20 or so slipped by.)...

After about 15 minutes, the Abercrombie management decided it was time to kick us out. Security employees started approaching all of our men and asking them to either put a shirt on or leave. They informed us that the model was a paid employee and his state of undress didn’t justify ours. So despite the fact that the store constantly bombards you with the image of the shirtless male, Abercrombie still maintains a “No Shirts; No Service” policy. Some agents protested that they were trying to buy a shirt, but the staff countered with the not-so-logical, “If you put on a shirt then you can buy a shirt.” Many agents just politely agreed to leave and then walked to another floor to shop some more, getting asked to leave several times before finally heading out.
Go read the whole thing. Really, go look now - it is hilarious.

Ladies, I feel a protest coming on... how about we all descend on Southwest Airlines dressed as their own vintage flight attendants? Anyone else have any other targets in mind? We recruit women of all shapes, races, and sizes to go to Victoria's Secret in high heels and underpants...

Via Conspiracy Factor

6 comments:

Casmall said...

Great post! Everyone should follow the links and watch the videos.

Although, is this improv?

La Pobre Habladora said...

Yeah, I know you fear improv - and this stunt was pulled by a site called Improv Everywhere. But I feel like the usual problem with improv comedy is that it is hokey, where as this is good satire. The guys are very aware of the irony of kicking partially unclad men out of a store that makes its money by plastering its walls with images of partially unclad men. If you listen in the first video, they chose the target as A&F because of all the nudity in its ads. They were aware that the location of the Shirtless Shopping made the prank feel relevant, and that is why I read it as protest - and tremendously funny rather than just obnoxious.

Another Anonymous Poster said...

What makes me sad is that I've had a gray and yellow-striped hat like that one for a few years now. And now some A&F teens are going to be wearing them all around town. I feel so sad.

La Pobre Habladora said...

What can I say, AAP - the kids want to be like you, you trend setter.

Just make sure you use your influence for good, not evil...

Casmall said...

Hey, I thought that was you! Maybe I'm not as familiar with your naked back as I thought...

La Pobre Habladora said...

One of the funniest parts is one woman's interpretation of events, which you can see at the end of the first video of the Improv Everywhere post. She believes that the stunt happened organically - than one guy took off his shirt just to rib the paid model, and then tons of guys thought it was funny and followed suit.

Oh, and that is a picture of Another Anonymous, but he wasn't there to protest or to participate in inprov. We just can't get Anonymous to keep his shirt on.