This past Saturday the LDS-owned Deseret News published a partial list of the retailers that will be in the controversial LDS-owned City Creek Mall. Property Reserve, the LDS Church’s commercial real-estate arm, has funded the multi-billion dollar project. This company functions like the LDS Foundation, which gets its money from the profits of church associated companies like Bonneville Communications and Beneficial Life as well as dividends and interest from other investments.
Although tithing money collected by the LDS Church is not funding the project, we believe the church still has the moral responsibility to its members to act in line with its teachings on modesty and chastity, which brings us back to the Deseret News article. Today we read that the ever-offensive, abhorrent, blatantly over-sexualized teen clothing store, Abercrombie and Fitch, will be renting a space at the City Creek Mall (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865550910/Whos-coming-to-City-Creek-Take-a-look.html?pg=2). This angered us to no end.
If you are not up to speed on the controversies that Abercrombie and Fitch occasionally finds itself in, read this 2002 CNN article about thong underwear for 7-year-old girls (http://money.cnn.com/2002/05/22/news/companies/abercrombie/). In a 2011 study on the sexualizing of girl’s clothing, the study found, ” ‘Tween’ stores like Abercrombie Kids had the highest proportion of sexualizing clothing” (http://www.springerlink.com/content/1v535414815328t8/). Are you upset yet?
We do not believe the church is acting responsibly. As active,”card-carrying”, tithing-paying members of the LDS Church, I have the responsibility to voice my concern. If you too see the hypocrisy, go to the following link and voice your concern: http://www.downtownrising.com/index.php/city-creek-public-comment. We also encourage you to send a letter to the editor of Deseret News. We attempted to find an email address for the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the Church, but failed to find one.
Feel free to copy and paste one of the following letters. Cathy and I will be sending out a letter everyday to City Creek for the next week. If you feel the letters could be better written, please e-mail us your version.
Mike and Cathy Barker
Here’s the letter:
I wish to voice my concern over the recently released list of retail stores at City Creek, specifically the clothing store Abercrombie and Fitch. Abercrombie and Fitch has shown itself over and over again to be the antithesis of decent teen clothing. Their overtly sexualized advertising geared toward teens as well as the inappropriate clothing it at times carries (thongs for girls as young as seven years old) has led me to raise a loud voice of concern.
It is inappropriate for a Christian organization such as the LDS Church to lend credence to and profit from such an abhorrent retailer as Abercrombie and Fitch. This retailer has shown little concern for the objectifying and over-sexualizing of teens. The LDS Church will appear duplicitous if it condemns immodest dress, but receives rent from a tenant who actively seeks to sexualize our society.
Please reconsider your decision to have Abercrombie & Fitch as a tenant. They have consistently tried to hyper-sexualize our youth, including the sale of thongs for 7 year-olds. It would be unfortunate for Property Reserve to be receiving income from such a retailer. The appearance to the rest of the world would be that we say one thing and do another. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Don’t forget to put your name at the bottom of the letter
That’s… Wow. I don’t know what that is.
Several years ago the LDS Church started construction for an upscale apartment complex, business district, and mall called City Creek. The idea was that the church wants to keep the area around Temple Square “upscale” and safe. The hope is that by doing so, downtown Salt Lake will not deteriorate as we see occasionally happening with major downtown metropolitan area. We do not have a problem with this as it seems to be justifiable and did not use tithing funds. Our problem is with the church making money from renting a retail space to Ambercrombie and Fitch
mike and cathy
Oh I completely agree with you. If my 6 year old got underwear from A&F some how I would… I don’t know what I would do. Loose my mind for starters. I’m certainly not about to take her in there to find her some “hip” clothes.
I don’t see anything different between Abercrombie and other stores that will open at City Creek. How about Forever 21, bebe, ect? Have you seen their merchandise? Don’t make generalizing comments about people who choose to shop there. Personally, they have some cheap clothes that fit well (and very modest if you care). Maybe you should consider the other retailers before you single out one and one demographic.
cough, cough (pretty sure Abercrombie is never this bad).
This might be the main advertiment at H&M which is steps from the SL Temple.
So far you have been the only one to disagree with us. What a breath of fresh air. Thanks for writing. I hope you come back.
No one made any assumption about the people that shop at A&E. The problem is with their advertising and with some of their clothing. You took a logical leap that we were making an ad-hominum attack which was not being made.
In regards to Bebe, that store is not geared towards teens, nor do their ads have teens running around half naked. Correct me if I am wrong. Your link doesn’t seem to contradict my assumption.
The same goes with the advertisement with Beckham. He is an adult, not a teen.
Forever 21 might be geared towards teens. I honestly do not know. I have never heard of them being called out for their lewd advertising, while A&E has been fined for theirs.
Aw ok, I didn’t know your argument was specific toward teens (I should have read more thoroughly). Forever 21 is more so a teen store, specifically girls ( I don’t think it fits in with the other stores anyway, same goes for American Eagle). Technically, Abercrombie is not a store targeted toward teens (unless you consider 18-19). They state they target 18-22 year olds (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abercrombie_%26_Fitch).
Hollister, another brand from the same company does target teens, but they are going to stay at the Gateway. I think they have also cleaned up their act since they discontinued their magazine, which was definitely sexually suggestive. Personally, I wish they would go to City Creek, but if they don’t its not like Gateway is far and they are going to need all the stores they can get. Yes, Abercrombie is suggestive, but it is targeted toward college aged people. Sad as it is, sex sells, but really who wouldn’t use it to their advantage from a business standpoint. Unfortunately, in the end, it doesn’t matter who they target, all advertising will be seen by under-aged people.
Yep, sex sells. That is why to date, this post is our number one viewed post – followed by the one Paul did on modesty. I think Paul’s post will surpass this one pretty soon. It only had 50 less hits than this one, but they all come on one day.
I am being serious, we love people that don’t agree with us and are willing to argue. We don’t just want a bunch of “yes ma’ams” coming on here. It makes the discussion way more interesting.
Check out our other posts. I assume, Steve, that you are LDS. If so, we do a weekly post on the upcoming Sunday School lesson that you should come check out and debate with us. If you think you have some insight that was not brought up in the Sunday School lesson post, bring it up. Another thing, how did you hear about us?
If you are not LDS, but are a theist, a Non-LDS Christian, or an atheist, come check out my post I am putting up on Monday. It is part one of a 3 part post.
Hey Barker, the entire mall is inappropriate. The high end stores hardly make a cohesive argument for living a frugal life. All I see and hear are justifications. More Justifications and even more justifications. I think 1.5 billion dollars could have built a kick ass women’s shelter or helped with hunger in any corner of the world. But this mall is the very great and spacious building so many “card carrying” members think theyre too smart and swift to be ensnared in. Lucifer definitely is a crafty one. He’s convinced most of the members that this is God’s Mall! And look at masses eat it up…I think Abercrombie & Fitch is the least of your worries here, Brother. So be sure and stop off at Tiffany’s, buy a pen for $275 and then go to your regular pew on Sunday and pray for all of the poor people in the world who are being deceived by false priests and prophets in the world. And if you don’t want to go to Abercrombie…use your god given right to make a decision and don’t go into Abercrombie. Durh!