Fans of mommy-smut novel Fifty Shades of Grey can now purchase related merchandise at their local mall.
Controversy is dusting up over Fifty Shades themed merchandise which is now being sold by Icing, a jewelry and accessories store owned by Claire’s. According to a Fox report, Fifty Shades themed merch includes handcuff bracelets and t-shirts bearing the phrase “Looking for Mr. Grey.”
Claire’s did not comment on the issue, but their Facebook page says that Icing stores target women over the age of 18, while Claire’s stores are meant for teenagers and young girls.
The Icing Facebook page has received dozens of complaints over the Fifty Shades themed merchandise. One commenter wrote that the merch is in “very poor taste and decorum,” while another wondered, “Why would you promote this to young teens who shop at your store?”
MSN reports that Claire’s is hardly the first company to try to capitalize on the success of the erotic novels penned by E.L. James. Several hotels now offer Fifty Shades packages, and a board game based on the novels is available as well.
Some college courses are offering classes based on the book as well. An American University class uses Fifty Shades of Grey to discuss sexuality, health, public relations and marketing.
Claire’s and Icing have drawn controversy outside of social media, we well. The One Million Moms website urges members to email Claire’s and demand that Fifty Shades themed merchandise be removed.
“Attempting to make sex and bondage cool and profiting by it is wrong when teenagers are frequently visiting the store,” the website says. “Older teens may be their target market, but many tweens enter their stores and are influenced by these items as well.”
Would you buy Fifty Shades themed merchandise?