Having failed to dislodge Ellen DeGeneres from her gig as JCPenney's pitchwoman, the hyperbolic organization known as One Million Moms has trained its wagging fingers on Urban Outfitters, whose latest catalogue features two women awkwardly kissing on only the second page. The Moms, predictably are outraged that the popular purveyor of commodified urban chic would send such a sapphic message to its teenage consumers and released a statement that succinctly conveys its collective dismay:
On page two of this catalog is a picture of two women kissing in a face holding embrace! The ad and catalog are clearly geared toward teenagers. The content is offensive and inappropriate for a teen who is the company's target customer.
The organization has alerted its followers to cancel their catalogue subscriptions and start buying ironic t-shirts and frayed jeans elsewhere, a move that leaves Urban Outfitters in a desert of social politics. Richar Hayne, the company's CEO, drew criticism from the LGBT community after donating quite a bit of money to Rick Santorum's moribund campaign. The great Miley Cyrus even called for a similar moratorium on Urban Outfitters shopping adventures, tweeting last year, "Every time you give them money you help finance a campaign against gay equality." That hadn't been the first time Urban got into trouble with the LGBT community either — in 2008, the company started selling "I Support Same-Sex Marriage" t-shirts, only to pull them from stores after fielding a ton of complaints and maybe realizing that stodgy social hangups are incongruous with modern urban living.
If the new catalogue is Urban's attempt to rehab its image as an company helmed by a man who, to say nothing of the validity of his political beliefs, is bad enough with money that he'd actually spend it supporting a Rick Santorum campaign, a closed-fist half-hug between two women isn't going to cut it. The next catalogue has to feature tongue, maybe a little hand-action too. The cover should feature a muscular man waving a rainbow flag, wearing only combat boots and a Speedo that's too small and read, "My other penis is Richard Hayne." Until then, it's probably best for all of us to regard Urban Outfitters' attempts to pander with the utmost suspicion.