The test of nudity

A storm blew up in a very small teacup as police in Virginia Beach VA dropped a misdemeanor obscenity charge against the manager of an Abercrombie & Fitch clothing store that displayed this picture among others in his shop.


The manager was cited for displaying “obscene materials in a business that is open to juveniles,” and for not taking down the poster when asked to do so by the police. However the Deputy City Attorney said that although the photos might technically be the basis of a prosecution, they did not meet the tests in law that they appeal to prurient interests, lack redeeming artistic merit and be offensive to prevailing community standards. Meanwhile, daily papers reproduced the image in full and other stores displayed the poster without challenge.


After I stopped laughing, I remembered the Pear’s ads of long ago. I wonder whether viewers of this old poster were shocked?