Sunday, October 3, 2010

You have got to be kidding me.

I have been meaning to post this forever.
Seriously forever!
Last Summer, before Juan returned to his family in Columbia, Shoshi and Kaish thought we should get him a skateboard as a going away present.
ZumiezStore( image)
Of course I thought that of was a brilliant idea as well, so we headed off to Zumies in our local mall.
I had never had the opportunity to visit this store. I am pretty sure I won’t be going back any time soon. Everywhere I looked there was something disturbing.
There were shirts with Marijuana leaves. There was music with curse words playing loudly. And,there was a game called this :game 2  displayed in the back of the store where the seats and Play Station were set up.
I quickly ushered Kaishon and Shoshi outside and had them sit on a bench while Juan got his skateboard.zumies biters
At the checkout I saw more marijuana stickers and some I Heart Boobies bracelets as well as bumper stickers that said F*ck.
I normally am not confrontational, but when the salesgirl rang us out, I stated I was displeased that my child had seen all of these things in the store. I stated I was disappointed that a store would be promoting marijuana use and cursing. Oh, and I also could not believe they were having young kids wear bracelets that said the word ‘boobie’ on them.resortfuck2
The cashier looked at me disdainfully and said, zumies boobies
‘Oh, those aren’t marijuana leaves.
That isn’t a curse word.
And these bracelets are for breast cancer awareness.i heart boobies
Do you want to buy one?’
I declined.
alien-decks-09( image)
Immediately I noticed posters on the wall with this writing:game
So many things about this store make me sad.
Truly sad.zumiez1(1)
I don’t think skaters are bad kids, but stores like this make them seem bad. Or, maybe they don’t make the kids seem bad, but they make them seem hard. And not what you want your sweet child to grow up into.
This year many of Kaishon’s friends in the neighborhood and at school are wearing I Heart Boobies bracelets. I see them daily. I won’t let Kaish wear one. I love the cause. I believe in the cause. I just don’t want my kid wearing a bracelet with the word boobies on it.
Am I overreacting?MarijuanaThumb
And P.S. Yes I did call Zumies Headquarters and complain. I know that some people might say ‘If you don’t like it, don’t go in.’ but I decided to call and complain for all the kids that have parents that just send them off to the mall. For all the kids that want someone to put boundaries and limits on them. For all the kids period.
And my call might not have made any difference at all to anyone at Zumiez.  I am pretty sure they didn’t stop their orders of inappropriate t-shirts. I feel better knowing I voiced my concern.
What do you think about all of this? I really want to know! Even if you think I am a CRAZY over reactor.  Please share! XO

All images found here.


Ami said...

I don't think you're crazy, but I hope you have a comfy saddle, 'cause you're tilting at windmills.

I agree that it's not necessary or okay for this sort of crap to be out where little people see it, but as long as people buy it, it's gonna be there.

Best we can do is instill a healthy dose of cynicism in our kids and teach them how to be good consumers... by which I mean teaching them what NOT to buy into!

stephanie garcia said...

I for one applaud you.

Terri said...

I also applaud you! I will be honest in saying that if you asked me a few years back, I would not have minded as much. But now things like this makes me sick. I also think you should have to be a certain age to enter that kind of store and they should not have it in the mall. Maybe a call to the mall manager?

Mari said...

I applaud you too! We don't have that store near us and for that I am thankful. Too often w figure it will do no good to complain, but at least you've given your opinion. Good for you!

theTsaritsa said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with stores that sell the kinds of things above, but they shouldn't be sold in the same place that is marketed towards young kids.

When I was a kid there was a store called Spencer's that sold party items and joke gifts, but also had a lot of merchandise depicting drug use and profanity. It weirded me out when I was a kid because I knew those sorts of things were considered "bad," but I was still curious. They're gonna learn one way or the other, but it's better to have an adult who is cool with explaining things.

Cole said...

I'm so glad that you called the corporate office and complained!! It's actions like that, that got one of our local malls to start keeping children (14 and under) out of certain stores without parental supervision as well as keeping all of the items you mention from being prominetly displayed or visual from the store entrance.

Kristina P. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristina P. said...

I haven't been in Zumiez in a long time. I would expect to see this stuff in Hot Topic, but not there.

And as someone who works with adolescent drug addicts, I really don't love the marketing to glorify drug use to them.

I don't necessarily agree with Ami. I think if enough people complain, they may look at how they are selling these things. I have a couple of friends who complained about the racy magazine covers in the grocery store aisles, and they were able to get those covers put over them. It's worth a shot!

Tracy P. said...

I couldn't agree more. So sad.

Tracy P. said...

Hmmm, I like the thought Cole had about letting the mall know what you think as well as the store.

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

I think you are NOT overreacting and NOT crazy at all. What's crazy is parents who act like all this stuff is okay just because its out there and "kids are gonna see it anyway". I detest that argument.

You also just gave me more clarity for the next time my child wants some freedom to roam around the mall alone. It is so comforting to know that the number of safe places my child can go are dwindling. I want to know, where CAN a kid go to feel like they can be trusted, while at the same time not be assaulted by adults who have poor judgment? Where I ask? WHERE????

Busy Bee Suz said...

I can't stand the four letter words and the pot signs...not cool.
The 'I heart Boobies bracelets'? Both of my girls wear them...they have for a while...'boobies' does not bother me though, cause we all have them. :)

Brian Miller said...

nah you did not overreact..its a scary world out there...and they market it...and kids dig it cause it makes them seem older..and some parents are clueless...glad you are not.

Baloney said...

I don't believe Zumiez has made it to the bible belt yet.
I hate all of the stuff our kids are exposed to. The ads on TV are just as bad.

Ky said...

First of all I want to say that I love the title of this post. It struck a chord because I say it A LOT!
Second of all...we don't have that store in Australia, but I'm sure there are stores here that sell that type of merchandise. It's just appalling that children/teenagers are allowed to buy this type of thing.
Good for you to post about it and to call the head office.

Wanda said...

RIGHT ON!!!You did the right thing. And don't think it went unheard. If we can get more people to just respond - say something - it will get noticed. I have had similar things happen lately too and I might do a post about it too. Makes me really mad!!! Period.

Good for you Miss B!!

Farmgirl Paints said...

Good for you for saying something. The world is one screwed up place...where everything that is right is deemed wrong and wrong right. Well I don't buy it and my kids will know the difference. Thanks for the warning. Won't be heading in to that store anytime soon.

Anita Johnson said...

You did the right thing. We have a similar store in the mall near here. For years I thought it was a kid friendly store, until I went towards the back. Apparently there is a small sign that says 18 years and older. It is totally inappropriate for a store like that to be in a mall. And I'm totally tired of the "F" word. I don't want to see it...spelled out or not. Way to go!

Skeller said...

Good for you for saying something. Of course saying something AND telling them you were taking your business elsewhere would probably be more powerful. But, I know you're way too nice to disappoint a sweet boy who's getting a goodbye-skateboard. ;-)

stoopid store.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

The sad thing is that even if there were a disclaimer in the store about it having offensive products, it would only make the kids want to go in just to be curious. It's just like Spencers. I don't understand how they get by with having that in a typical mall because a majority of the stuff is adult rated.

Good for you for complaining. Maybe others will do the same.

kasey said...

that's scary! just plain scary! I have never ever heard of this store, but I would never want my kids exposed to all of that! Good for you for complaining! I know my kids are super young now, but wow, makes me think twice to just drop them off at the mall when they are older! When I was in highschool spencers was the store that had all of the trashy stuff. Haven't been in spencers for years, but spencers from back in the day was mild compared to this store! although spencers is probably just like this one anymore! who knows? point is though, can't believe all of the junk out there! Makes me want to lock my sweet babies in our house and never be exposed to this junk!!!!

y2krust said...

You're not overreacting. You're a loving, and rightfully concerned mom. What our kiddos need today though are good conversations. They will be confronted with drugs and profanity and "boobies" anyway. I live in Berlin, Germany and it's MUCH worse here! Nudity and pornography is everywhere. Many of the billboards in town depict pieces of fruit with condoms on them. Every little kid in Berlin knows what a condom is. Sex is everywhere. Sin is everywhere. Talk to your kids. Teach them values. Raise their morality bars. Teach Kaishon to be a gentleman who treats women kindly. You are the answer. Well, you and a good dose of the Bible which is full of advice on how to deal with life here on corrupt planet earth. Kaison will remember your disdain for such things and will be a better young man for it. :-) "Be excellent at what is goood. Be innocent of evil" (Romans 16:19).

Marilyn said...

No, you are NOT crazy. What a horrible store to have anywhere especially in the mall where kids can go into it. I'm proud that you stated your views to the sales clerk and the corp. If more of us would stand up for this type of thing maybe something would be done about it. I just can't believe they'd let something like that in a public place. That is as bad, in my opinion, as an adult store. Can you imagine one of those in a mall?

Formerly known as Frau said...

I agree with you, you are 100% right to complain. I have never been in that store nor do I plan to. Yikes what is our world coming to.

Raymonde said...

I don't think you are crazy at all.

I really have big issues how marketing is taking over. I hate how the kids' market is invading by depraved stuff.

I am entirely with you on that one.

Take care. xxx

Colleen: said...

I am so with you on this one. We need to be careful about this sort of thing for sure.

Mighty M said...

That is CRAZY - they shouldn't be allowed to sell any of that stuff to minors. Dislike, dislike!!

photowannabe said...

No I don't think you are crazy either. The subtle and those not so subtle ideas, pictures and words being feed to us are damaging a whole generation. Conscience is dulled and hardened. I would not let my kids wear any of those things. Do parents approve? I think sometimes parents are afraid to be the parents and have some rules.
End of my soapbox.

Baloo said...

All the injustice in the world, for which people are dying, and this is what riles you up? You don't want your kids around it, sure, that's your prerogative as a parent. But if this is the worst evil you've contemplated in the world today or any other, you might want to reconsider your priorities.

Thanks for the lulz, though. And I'm sure Zumiez (which I didn't even realize still existed... seems like I haven't seen one in years) enjoys the free press that does nothing but build the very image they like to cultivate to appeal to youngsters chafing under their parents' yoke, as youngsters are wont to do.

Also, assuming you mean the country and not the river, it's spelled Colombia. How long did this kid stay with you? You'd think you would've picked that up.

Brooke said...

i know its a very popular campaign but i think the "save the tatas" is in poor taste. and anything with a kid wearing the word "boobies" falls into that catagory.

Fire Wife Katie said...

Not over-reacting at all!! I can't believe they're marketing that stuff to kids. :( So sad!

Adrienne in Ohio said...

My first thought is "Man, am I sheltered or what?" I had no idea there was a store like this. I think I would have found another store that sold skateboards. But as a customer that actually purchased something, your phone call should have carried some weight. As a parent of boys who want skateboards, it would be nice if they could shop in a store without all the offensive and inappropriate materials. I think you were right to call.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Seems like Spencer's around here. Not a place I've ever been a fan of. And your point is very valid- that type of store catering to skaters makes skaters look ignorant and like imbecils.

I posted today about what I saw at our local Ren Faire. In the comments I poitned out what I didn't like about it. What I didn't share was my friend Christy's "find-" one of the vendors had a back wall of S&M leather and such. And this is touted near and far as a family event. I've always loved the Ren Faire but this year, I felt prudish leaving because I felt like they'd pushed things a bit too far. I'm not going to take my kids to meet princesses and the queen and fairies if she's going to end up eye level with a stuffed penis and have to ask questions about leather collars, whips, and gags in the store that had kid toys out front.

Cheryl said...

I understand 100% we have a store in our local mall that sells the same merchandise even sadder they now added a childrens section where they sell tshirts in kids sizes and even onsies with the middle finger and all types of vulgar language. Even Michael, at 9, looks at me when we walk past like are they seriuous.

Freckles & Dimples Photography said...

I think you made a comment on one of my posts (the fence??) that great minds think alike. this just affirms it! good for you, for sticking to your values & principles and expressing your concerns. you rock.

Trudy said...

I also applaud you for your comment in the store and for calling in as well. I have never been in the store but now I know I definitely will never be going in with Benjamin! I think that's appalling and they should definitely have some type of warning saying adult or explicit language/materials!

Stop by and check out my weekend photos if you have a chance!

Have a great day Becky!

Jabacue said...

Good for you in telling them your feelings. A lot of companies are using charitable organizations to 'get' kids into their establishments. Especially with the 'boobies' one....what better way for them (companies) with this 'double entendre' would have a ball with this.
A little education for the kids may enlighten a few of them so that they would be more aware of what is driving this kind of commercialism.

Maddy said...

Oh oh...I think I'm part of the unpopular vote here, but I have to respectfully agree to disagree on this one. Maybe I don't "get it" because I'm not a mom yet, but as a twentysomething year old adult with no children, I want to be able to shop for things I want, listen to the music I want and enjoy the many freedoms we are privileged to enjoy in this country without being censored. If I want to get a funny/novelty gift for a friend, I'm glad there are places like Zumiez, Spencers, Hot Topics and Urban Outfitters where I can make my purchase. I find that as a parent, it's your perogative what you will allow your child to take part of. However, that doesn't mean the rest of the world has to live by the same moral code. For example, my mother didn't allow my sisters and I to wear jewelery growing up because she believed it was sinful. Does that mean Claire's should be banned from malls to adhere to her sense of right and wrong? I think not. My opinion is that people in general need to learn about acceptance of others and their lifestyle choices. Different strokes for different folks, that's what I say. We have over 6 billion people in the world today! There's NO WAY we're all going to agree on every single thing. But if we practice a life of love and acceptance, we might see less hate crimes, less suicide by misunderstood teens, less war and destruction in general. But that's just my humble opinion. I hope we can still be friends though :)

Kelly said...

I've found that most people who shop at places like this (esp in malls) aren't "real" skaters. They're people who want to wear skate culture and play at being "cool" but they aren't the real deal.

If the store is marketed at children, it's a problem. Parents need to know what their kids are doing and where they are spending money. It's always on the parents.

the complex blog said...

Each generation gets weaker and wiser, nonsense like this is going to continue to spread, this is why churches need to get down with what God and the bible says truthfully and stop telling people what tickles their ears

the complex blog said...

Hello, this is Complex, took a while for me to get my blog set up, Im glad you liked my rubberband man video, I look forward to following your blog as I hope you do mine ! - God bless.

cynthiagirl said...

I read your post earlier and then just saw this on my twitter feed:

Apparently, you are not the only one alarmed about the inappropriate things going on with our children.

These Three Kings said...

*mouth still wide open* wow..
Honestly I would have done the same thing and afterwards like now..sad because this is just the reality of our culture...this type of stuff will be the norm for our kids..sad

Hilary said...

I understand your feelings but I can't say that I totally agree with them.

This store appears to be geared toward the older teen/young adult. A store full of novelty items. I suppose had you known though, you wouldn't have shopped there with the kidlets.

I would be a bit uncomfortable but not too bothered if my 20 year old son wore any of these things. I'd be be quite upset though if he was around Kaishon's age.. all except for the bracelets which I think are innocuous and clever.

Sonya said...

I think you need to do whats right for you and your family. Since moving to The Netherlands I have relaxed a bit. To the poster above who mentioned that Germany had tons of nudity pics all around..god forbid a child should learn about sex and how to protect themselves. Over here it's not such a big deal and you see the results of things like that aswell..and they are good results.

Getting back to what I wanted to say is yeah young kids probably shouldnt be in there but if someone wants a gift like that they should beable to walk in there and buy it. Whats good for someone else isn't always good for you and you need to stick to what you think is best : )

mamamia said...

You are not an over reactor. Not at all about this.

TechnoBabe said...

Stories like this need to be out in the public and on billboards. My hubby started using pot at a young age and he used it every day for so many years but has been clean and sober ten years now. But the pot and then the other drugs off and on consumed his life. For a store to encourage young people to be tough and smart mouth and use drugs is a sad commentary where our country has gone. I feel so sorry for young people today and the pressure put on them to be cool in a much different way we were trying to be cool when I was a kid.

Dorian Susan said...

Good for you! Standing up for your truth is always right. I have no children, but wouldn't want my little nephew and niece into this.
I remember Spencers when I was a young teen at the mall....and all the sexual inuendo stuff they had. We couldn't help but ogle it, but it did not favors for my sense of self as a woman.
The drug thing is even worse. The kids are bombarded with it way to young.
Stand tall....and stand up for what you think is right.
Thank you.

Jennifer said...

I am so glad that you brought this to my attention. I've been seeing the "boobies" bumper stickers lately too. I also support the "cause" but feel that those bracelets and stickers are in poor taste.

I think you should feel good about taking a stand and voicing your opinion. We have a responsibility to our children to set boundaries and lead by example. We need to walk the talk and show our children we live by the values we profess. Way to go!

Mrs4444 said...

Oh-oh...Kendall has had an I Heart Boobies bracelet for a while now. That said, I respect your decision to set a boundary for your son. Let's still be friends, okay? JK--I know we get each other on this one.

We have a store here like that, too. I won't shop there, and I've never let my kids go there, either. (Kendall's friend bought the bracelets on line.)

Artemis Clover: The real L.A. love story. said...

i NEED to subscribe to your posts since i don't go through my google reader often and then i miss out on stuff like this! i dont think you are over reacting at all but i can see the argument both ways. i think the u.s. censors so much that when we actually see material like this, it is a huge mental disruption. i hate all things like that and i think it is disgusting and vulgar but i think it kind of goes with a certain skate culture, at least for that brand, and they assume that people going into that store know that. i personally will not expose my child to this at a young age but when he is old enough to understand, i want him to know what is out there and for him to make the decision what kind of a lifestyle he wants to lead. ugh!

Dorie Howell said...

Good for you! I stepped foot in a Spencer's the other day and was shocked. I could have been at any adult store that used to be in Times Square, but no, I was at my local mall surrounded by teenagers. People need to stand up and say that some stuff is NOT ok for kids to have open access too. It just isn't. You have every right to sell it, but not to my kid or my friend's kids. Save that for the grown-ups.

The cancer awareness stuff, well, it isn't my cup of tea and I would prefer to not see it on young kids but I hope that the message is clear and they know why it says what it says.

Stephanie said...

I think it's AWESOME you had the courage to say something.

Ilka Flood said...

I totally agree with you. It's very sad what this world is coming too and what our kids are influenced by these days.

Good for you to stick up for what's right!!