Yesterday I wrote a letter to Barnes & Noble on my personal blog. Today I’m writing this one for the Reno Moms Blog, in hopes that the more times this info is published, perhaps Barnes & Noble will feel inclined to do more than a shoulder shrug at this nonsense.
Anyone been to Barnes & Noble recently? Doesn’t matter which one in which city or state. Any of them? Were you with kids or without? If you were without kids, you probably didn’t notice the Playboy or Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition type magazines at your hip level displayed throughout the checkout aisle. If, however, you had anyone small with you, you were undoubtedly asked a plethora of questions, from “mommy, why is she covering her boobies with her hands?” to “why is she pulling off her undies?”
Why would your littles be asking these questions you ask? Well, it’s because corporate Barnes & Noble has decided that Playboy is best sold at 3 feet off the ground, perfect kids eye level, on the checkout counter. After posting my article on their site, several other moms followed suit, posting their frustration with the display and/or pictures of the display. Want to know Barnes & Noble’s response?…
“We apologize for any disappointment regarding the new location of Playboy Magazine by the checkout counter. The publishers of Playboy made dramatic changes to their content. They have eliminated all nudity in a commitment to provide a more conservative men’s magazine featuring the outstanding journalism, interviews, and fiction they have built a reputation around. However, we do understand your concerns and appreciate your feedback.”
Saying that Playboy can be at kids’ eye level at checkout because its known for its “outstanding journalism” is like saying that strip clubs are known for their awesome music and modern decor. At no time should sexually explicit magazines be displayed at child’s eye level at the book store.
So if this is being marketed as a “conservative men’s magazine,” why is it being displayed at kids’ eye level?
Let’s be clear. This is NOT a Reno store decision (and as I’ve heard, employees there have already brought up the subject as well). This is a corporate decision, dictating that all stores display these magazines in this location. Where these magazines were once displayed BEHIND the counter AND covered, they are now ready available for children to browse through at checkout.
Our children need to see LESS of our over sexualized culture. Can’t we just let them be kids a little longer? Can’t my 4 year old stand in line excited over his new book without having a hundred questions running through his mind about what the heck is going on with that magazine cover?
Moms have an incredible power to bring change in situations like this. Pressure from masses of moms often leads to positive changes in marketing, ingredients in food, and more. Can we all band together and call out Barnes & Noble on this marketing decision to bring about a positive change? The bookstore should be a safe and fun place where our children can enjoy some of the most wonderful stories our world has to offer. Mom-ing is hard enough already without explaining Playboy cover pictures to our kids while we’re checking out. Let’s get this to change! Share this post, post on Barnes & Noble’s Facebook wall, write them your own letter, etc. We can make a difference!