Monday, April 20, 2009

(Possibly) unintentional hilarity

For a while now, Abercrombie and Fitch shopping bags have had on them vivid photographs of the near-life-size head and torso of tanned, blond, body-hairless, flawless (well, of a certain type) male models. The bag leads to some pretty amazing images. For one thing, one implicitly compares the person carrying the bag to the sun-kissed man on it. Just now, in the rain, I saw a haggard-looking woman of about 45 carrying such a bag. Everything about the situation - her age, the rain, the activity of schlepping - made her seem from a different world than the muscular boy in his late teens or early 20s at her ankles. A woman who'd have otherwise seemed upper-middle-class and unremarkable now looked, by comparison, like a bag lady who'd invaded her young son's beach-volleyball tournament to ask him if he'd be home for dinner.

But the best is when someone's on the subway, holding one of the bags. It will, depending on how the bag is being held, either look like the torso of the man is the torso of the person carrying the bag (which, depending on the physique and gender of the shopper, and on the season - say, someone in an overcoat - can look more or less ridiculous, but guarantees ridiculousness in any permutation), or like the shopper is in a sexual encounter of some sort (which sort, again, depending on the angle of the bag) with our chiseled friend.

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