Abercrombie & Fitch, Shower


These naked guys are drying off from the shower and having a fun time together, as at least one fellow apparently has a wandering eye. This image lacking any actual clothing, as many A&F ads do, is from the Fall 2002 issue of A&F Quarterly, the company's own "megalogue."

A&F Quarterly has regularly experienced controversy in its megalogues over depictions of nudity and the use of alcohol, due to the brand's popularity with youth. The publication is now sold in its retail stores with a plastic covering only to those over 18 years old.

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User Comments
Michel Russell
I think it is up to the individual to transfer what is actually going on in the shower. If you want it to be homoerotic then that is your choice. Young men having fun! You decide whether it's for real or just play acting?

Louis Lopardi
Food for thought: Surely it is simply an art director's needs, but how interesting that it is one of six faces that is seemingly engaged with something other than horseplay. We have long accepted the old statistic of the "sixth male" being gay/bi as true for all societies and cultures in history. But has anyone asked why this proportion is seemingly universal?

I think it's important to realize that the only faces shown are those of the ones 'playing.' The fact that the man being stripped is having his arms held - with his hand outstreched, muscles straining all over his body - could also imply a much more 'negative' situation. This could range from simple humiliation (of a man who doesn't WANT to be naked in front of other men) or even eventual rape. Unfortunately, those kinds of situations occur in real life, more often than people care to admit. So is it consentual or not? His face would tell, but we aren't given that luxury of knowing.

Christopher Lee
This ad toys with the notion of the All-American boy hitting the proverbial locker-room showers. The locker-room, a place associated with the brute masculinity of football players, has taken on a strange twist here. It begs the question: could all of that horseplay in the locker room have meant more or could it have just been horseplay? The photograph poses the question powerfully, the reader decides.

Rodolfo (Rudolph) Vides
I would love if they could be without those towels. But then there would be no question about if it's gay or not. I think that it is NOT a thing about sexuality; it is about what's beautiful and what's not and our appreciation of it without any shame. Anyone can say if another person is beautiful or not, regardless of sexual attraction. Everybody is confused about what is what.

Farraro Sutton
Personally, I don't see what's so gay about this picture. Athough it's a great picture, what exactly is the ad about? What's being marketed here?

Excellent observation doctor. As Freud said "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." If so, this one is "smokin."