The 2014 '30 Under 30'

Congrats to this year's 30 -- check out the full list here!

Teen jewelry store features inappropriate “Fifty Shades of Grey” collection

There’s no doubt the sexually graphic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” has permeated all areas of pop culture – the popular “mommy porn” book is a New York Times best seller and the fastest-selling paper back of all time. But the erotic and controversial page-turner isn’t just being sold in stores or possibly made into a movie. It’s being marketed to teen girls.

Icing, a well-known mall jewelry store that attracts teen girls, is proudly advertising their new “Fifty Shades of Grey” collection – complete with handcuff earrings and similar bondage-style jewelry.

The store, part of the Claire’s retail chain, boasts a “collection” of accessories based on the controversial and explicit novel which contains passages depicting sadomasochism and bondage. T-shirts, jewelry, sleep masks, wallets and iPhone cases are among the items featured in the collection. “Laters baby,” a line from the novel said by Mr. Grey to his virgin female sex partner, is printed on t-shirts and eye masks.

Icing claims its target demographic is for young women 18 and older, which would appear to absolve them of any wrong-doing since the book’s mature content and Icing’s target demographic are both adult women. However, Icing cannot in good conscience, claim negligence about this inappropriate marketing campaign reaching a much younger audience. How do I know that? Common sense and observation tell me that girls much younger than 18 are shopping in their stores. I know this because many years ago, I was one of them.

Icing’s website is down for repairs, but they are still catching heat from those brave enough to raise issue with the provocative paraphernalia. Some concerned patrons have commented on the official Icing Facebook fan page and although the comments were deleted, Icing’s response to their concerns remains, stating, “Thanks for sending us your thoughts. We love our customers and always want to hear what is on your mind. Our Icing stores are targeted to appeal to young women ages 18 and up. We choose our fabulous jewelry and accessories carefully and hope we can inspire her, cause her to smile and help her say something about herself. We do hope to see you in our stores soon.”

This “collection” is not just promoted in stores – it is a vital part of their recent marketing strategy as it has permeated their Facebook page and Twitter account.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is considered so explicit that one Florida library temporarily banned the book. If Icing’s stated goal is to “inspire” and “appeal to young women ages 18 and up,” what message is the store trying to send to impressionable young women by selling them BDSM material based on a “soft porn” novel?

(This sign appeared at the author’s local Icing store. Photo courtesy of the author’s friend who wishes to remain anonymous).

 

Comments

Comments

  1. Crissy says:

    As big of a fan as I am of Fifty Shades of Grey, I’m not sure this was a good marketing move. Even if they wanted to move into the adult market (as in woman instead of teens), then this wasn’t the best start.

  2. Noelle says:

    ICING is targeted towards a 23 year old fashionista. So its appropriate for their target market. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. If you you don’t like that they sell it, don’t shop there. By the way, Claire’s, which is geared towards 5-18 year olds, does(or did) also sell handcuff adorned jewelry.

  3. Michael Long says:

    It’s mostly just a fad. The Fifty Shades of Grey book propelled the culture into the spotlight, much as did Topping From Below, a book written by Laura Reese back in 1995. A mainstreamed S&M-based murder mystery, It too sparked a ton of outrage and articles… and then when all was said and done, the scene slipped back into shadows from whence it came.

    See Topping From Below at Amazon http://goo.gl/WZlAv

Polititainment

Jon Stewart ridicules John Kerry

Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" Monday made fun of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for his inability to negotiate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas after a 12-hour ceasefire between the two expired.

'True Blood' star takes on Sarah Palin

Kristin Bauer van Straten, who plays vampire Pam Ravenscroft on the HBO program, hit back at the former governor of Alaska for criticizing a recent episode.

Cher rants against Rand Paul
Thrown in between tweets about toothaches, costumes and pool time, Cher decided to rant about Sen. Rand Paul on Twitter Friday night. It was not clear what prompted the Twitter tirade. Cher had just finished giving an update on her toothache and five new “unbelievable” costumes when she switched gears. Mediaite postulated that she may […]
Joel helps explain GOP view on jobs
Apparently John Boehner’s press team is made up entirely of Billy Joel enthusiasts. The Library of Congress announced on Tuesday that this year’s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song will go to Joel. The prize “honors artists whose work has left a lasting impact on audiences and inspired new generations of performers.” And John Boehner’s press […]
Joan Rivers rips media over Israel

In which Joan Rivers takes a sledgehammer to the media.

White House

Golfer finds Obama’s golf ball in the woods, says president’s game is ‘off line’
President Barack Obama is “off line again.” Or at least his golf game appears to be. Instagram user larrydoh posted a picture of a Titleist 44 golf ball labeled “POTUS” on Saturday. He found the golf ball at the Congressional Country Club, one day after POTUS played the same course himself. “Obama played at Congressional […]
Polls: Obama White House incompetent at managing, worse than Darth Vader

The job of the administrative branch is to, well, administer the laws. According to a new Fox News poll released on Wednesday, most Americans think that the Obama administration is failing dismally at the task.

Obama wants ‘idealism and optimism’ for millennials in face of Congressional ‘crisis,’ refuses to recognize he is part of the problem
Now that “hope and change” seems to be played out, President Barack Obama has come up with a new catchphrase for millennials – “idealism and optimism.” In a speech at a Democratic National Convention fundraiser in Seattle, Wash. Tuesday night, Obama asked young people not to give up their natural idealism and optimism because of […]
President Obama admits he does not watch the news

During a speech during a Democratic National Committee event in Seattle, Washington Tuesday night, President Obama confessed that he doesn't watch the news. Throughout the speech, Obama predictably complained about the incompetence of our "broken" Congress and urged his liberal audience to get enthusiastic about voting for Democrats in the midterm elections this fall.

Congress and the President actually take action, Obama says ‘it’s so much fun’
“Girls just want to have fun,” Cyndi Lauper belts in her famous song. Apparently President Barack Obama wants to join her. “Let’s do this more often. It’s so much fun,” Obama said at a bill signing on Tuesday. Obama gathered in White House with members of Congress to sign the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. This […]

Congress

Boehner calls impeachment talk a Democrat 'scam'
Politicians from both parties have been talking a lot about the “I-word” — impeachment. Although everyone from Harry Reid to Sarah Palin has mentioned impeachment, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) made it clear Tuesday that House Republicans don’t intend to impeach. “This whole talk about impeachment is coming from the president’s own staff — and coming from Democrats […]
Rand Paul and Cory Booker continue their bromance
Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) have formed a bipartisan bromance in the U.S. Senate. Now, they’ve taken it to Twitter. Both senators were honored as one of the The Hill’s 2014 50 most beautiful list, which was released Tuesday. Paul wasted no time extending congratulations to Booker via Twitter. Congrats to my […]
GOP Rep introduces marijuana medical oil bill
A Republican congressman announced a bill Monday that would legalize therapeutic hemp and a marijuana oil for medical use. The Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014, introduced by Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), would remove cannabidiol (CBD) oil and therapeutic hemp from the federal definition of marijuana. Anecdotal evidence has shown that children with severe seizure disorders […]
Bridenstine on the #WarOnYouth

Oklahoma Republican Rep. Jim Bridenstine took some time Sunday to tweet about the #WarOnYouth, touching on the economic plight of Millennials today.

Congresswoman's 'miracle baby' turns one
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R- Wash.) and her husband Dan recently celebrated the first birthday of their “miracle baby,” Abigail Rose. The couple learned early into the congresswoman’s pregnancy that their baby had Potter’s Syndrome. The condition causes a lack of amniotic fluid which prevents the baby’s growth and development, especially of the kidneys. Jaime […]