Be both.

"What If We Really Love All Humanity?"

"What If We Really Love All Humanity?"
by Steve Roberts Fine Art

If Thine Eye Offends Thee... Oh Really!

Sometimes I see something that is worthy of a skit on SNL's "Oh Really! with Seth and Amy" (bring back Amy!).  This is one of them.  KIRO Radio's Linda Thomas, AKA The News Chick received a petition from Monica Cole, the national director of  It seems Mrs. Cole was horrified to see this poster displayed at the Bath & Body Works store of her local mall:

At least that was the image portrayed in Linda Thomas' blog, followed by several comments expressing their disgust at Mrs. Cole's Victorian age sensibilities.  How could anyone be offended by THAT, I thought.  So, I took a little trip to my local shopping mall.  When I arrived at the store, what greeted me before I even entered was this:

Okay... I don't have a problem with the image.  I walked inside to talk to an employee about the controversy.  She said they were well aware of the issue and some of them were also offended.  Some of the employees had covered up part of the image but were told by their corporate office to uncover it.  The employee was agitated because several customers had complained to her, apparently for this image at the very back of the store:

Gasp!  She's... naked!  "Don't look, Ethel!"

"Why are you offended by that?" I asked.
"Because," she stated, "You can see her butt."


I've seen more butt on a beach.

According to the one millionth mom, Mrs. Cole, on her website:

This is not somewhere you would want to walk by or visit with your children, your teen son or your husband. To be bombarded with a poster of a nude woman pictured with her privates meticulously covered while you are shopping is not okay!

Malls, where teens hang out and families go for an innocent outing, have retailers whose window displays poison our children with 10-foot posters that are nothing but soft p*rn. In particular, Bath & Body Works has a new ad campaign with a naked woman with certain areas covered up by her hands and legs. (An asterisk '*' is used to bypass internet filters.)

Soft P0rn?  Really?  REALLY?  I have seen p0rn, and that is not even remotely p0rn, soft or otherwise.  A woman's nude, but modestly covered body is NOT p0rn.  I supposed Mrs. Cole would consider this p0rn as well:

Yes, Mrs. Cole would rather we go back to the Victorian era where showing a woman's ankle would be scandalous.  And I'm not alone in this view.  Some of the comments posted on Linda Thomas' article:

what th'--
"To be bombarded with a poster of a nude woman pictured with her privates meticulously covered while you are shopping is not okay." So... Mizz Cole would prefer the model's privates to be _exposed_? Whatta perv. ;-) Yo, Monica, turn it into a teachable moment, like, "See that model? The poor dear; she probably hasn't eaten in two days. See her lack of muscle tone? And that skin: Maybelline and Photoshop."

Um, it's a BATH and BODy store!!!
What else are you going to see? This poster is totally non-sexual. The image I get is that she just got out of the bath or shower and is enjoying the new lotion she just got. I mean, if it were a girl in pasties pole-dancing, it'd be another story, but this image seems to me to just be about feeling and smelling good with this stores products. My wife shops there quite frequently and I have no problem with my son seeing this picture. Heck, I don't mind him seeing even more sexual images, as long as it is in the proper context of a loving (preferably married) relationship without one party exploiting the other. People need to get a life.

Perhaps this comment is my favorite.

Your story about this subject resulted in a WIN/WIN for BOTH Bath&Body Works and Million Moms because you just gave BOTH a lot of FREE publicity and I suppose that's the purpose of your article.  Peoples opinions are already cemented on this type of subject as I'm sure your aware of.

For those readers who are not aware, I am both a woman and a mom.  I certainly want to protect our children from things that are harmful to them, but I do not see this as harmful.  Teenage girls will see this image and sadly wish they looked like the model, not realizing her perfection is a result of airbrushing and PhotoShop.  Teenage boys will see it and get excited.  But then again, teenage boys will get excited over this:

Victoria's Secret has much more sexualized images right at the front of the store or viewable from the entrance.


On a humorous note, I observed several moms in the VS store with their children in tow.  

Is Mrs. Cole going to demand that these posters be taken down as well?


I will use Mrs. Cole's information on her own website to  TAKE ACTION.

Please send Bath & Body Works an email urging them to KEEP these posters in their store locations and website.

Take it one step further by calling Bath & Body Works at 1-800-756-5005 and SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THEIR TASTEFUL, ARTISTIC POSTERS.

I know I have a few moms out there who read this blog.  I would like to hear from you.  Or dads.  Or... anyone, really.

But I especially would like to hear your opposing points of view.  All comments are welcome.  Thank you.



Great post Carli! Thanks for postin' it over at Gates! Hope they LINK to you!


Thanks! Me too - would be great exposure with their popularity!


Stopped over here via the Gates, too. Nice post. I wonder what Mom Cole would think of the Candi's ads, or would their abstinence program make them OK?

The ad in question, although artful, does show quite a bit. No ignoring that poster. But, I agree with you that it comes across more as an "interrupted moment" rather than the more sexualized Victoria's Secret types of poster.


History Goddess,

Interestingly enough, I just discovered that VS and B&BW are owned by the same parent corporation, Limited Brands.

I'm unsure what Cole would think about the Candies foundation as they send out such a mixed message. Be sexual, but don't have sex! Crazy!


What a GORGEOUS model with a beautiful, youthful body and porcelain skin! It's a damned shame we only get to see the same portions of her body that we would see on anyone who is 'completely dressed' with the exception of perhaps a little more leg/glutes [wearing a mini-skirt that short during the late 60s and early 70s, I showed at least as much glutes upon bending, dancing, walking]. There is only one way this poster could be offensive to any woman [Cole] and that is if the person who thinks it's offensive is a TOTAL VICTORIAN PRUDE WHO IS JEALOUS BECAUSE SHE IS PROBABLY OVERWEIGHT AND UGLY.

Carli, thanks for sharing the fabulous article so as to keep us abreast of the thinking of 'Victorian women in the 21st century'. I can't imagine that any mother of a 2 or 3 y/o child has not been semi-nude due to stepping out of the shower with the child in immediate need her attention, and due to the circumstances, seeing the mom in even more nudity than this poster could begin to suggest. Would her actions in that case be considered 'soft porn'? I doubt it! Sounds like Cole desperately needs to get her thoughts out of her self-defined gutter [or the guilt trap fundamental of religious sects/Catholics cultivate], and get a life because there is absolutely nothing suggestive of porn in this glorious poster and that exquisite female model! It also sounds as though Cole is using her children as a shield [palinizing her children] for her own beliefs. Children generally never look at posters in stores as they are too busy trying to keep up with parent[s] or busy trying to find the toy dept. All women should be so fortunate as to model for such a poster!

Once again Carli, your article was beautifully researched and written. It's such a joy to read everything you write, so thank you again.

I have been under the weather with some surgery, so have not been on my mac much for the past week plus. Hopefully will talk with you again soon. Take good care of you and yours.

Love your reply to History Goddess - Candies endorses asexuality, but don't have sex???? Yee gads!!!! That seems to be true any time the Palin name is attached to all things!

As ever,


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