One Utah mother is fighting what she determined to be “indecent” t-shirts with just one weapon, a wallet, according to a report today from Yahoo News.
While shopping at the University Mall in with her 18-year-old son, Judy Cox of Orem, Utah, came across a t-shirt display at a PacSun storefront that offended her to the point of spending nearly $600 to buy out the store’s entire stock.
The $28 shirts feature models dressed in skimpy clothes posed in provocative ways, according to the report.
“These shirts clearly cross a boundary that is continually being pushed on our children in images on the Internet, television and when our families shop in the mall," Cox told The Associated Press in an email.
Cox said she did bend the ear of the PacSun store’s manager, though the display couldn’t be taken down without permission from the chain’s corporate office in Orange County, Calif.
PacSun CEO Gary Schoenfield said in a statement obtained by the AP that the company prides itself on its merchandise but also values customer feedback.
"While customer feedback is important to us, we remain committed to the selection of brands and apparel available in our stores," Schoenfeld said in the statement.
Cox said she plans to return each of the 19 shirts she purchases at the end of PacSun’s 60-day return period, though she hopes her actions inspire others to “speak up.”
“You don't have to purchase $600 worth of T-shirts, but you can express your concerns to businesses and corporations who promote the display of pornography to children," Cox said.
The mall’s manager of four decades Rob Kallas said this case was the first time he had received complaints about the PacSun outlet, but he did agree that the t-shirts in question were inappropriate for the store’s demographics.
“This is a store that caters to junior high and high school age kids,” Kallas said. “ Some of the poses were provocative and were inappropriate for a store catering to young people.”
However, Kallas did say that he’s received complaints about the displays at the mall’s Victoria’s Secret outlet before, even once being asked by Orem city attorneys to remove some of the images, but he said the lingerie store appeals to a different customer base.
Orem, which resides 40 miles south of Salt Lake City, constitutes a large base of conservative residents, most of who belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
City code, according to the report, prohibits displaying “explicit sexual material” in public, which is defined as “any material that appeals to a prurient interest of sex and depicts nudity, actual or simulated sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse.”