Fifty Shades of Sears?

 A racy image showing a woman in a purple lingerie slip with her nipple exposed on the Sears website has been  republished by amused internet forum users, adding to a growing backlash  against the retail giant.The embarrassed department store quickly  removed the product, which was filed under its Exotic  Apparel, and Lingerie and Sets sections for $25.99, however not fast enough for  users to take screen grabs of the original link.

While reactions from users swayed from  nostalgic amusement over old Sears catalogues, to outraged consumers who found  the ‘inappropriate’ material offensive, the nudity slip-up comes just months after the  American Family Association accused the retail giant of ‘selling smut.’

While many family-oriented commenters have  shown their outrage, several customers, both male and female, have said they  find it ‘refreshing’ that the sheer lingerie product was shown accurately as  being see-through.

One male user wrote: ‘I  hate it when they airbrush out  the nipples. I accidentally bought  something  that was see-through for my girlfriend and she was less than  amused and did not  believe it was an accident.

‘I didn’t know “sheer” was, I thought it  meant smooth or something to do with wind sheer,’ he added.

Another female user wrote: ‘I always have to  wonder  why we think nudity is such a big deal. It’s a breast, half the  world  has them.

‘It really just goes over my head as to why  (specifically in the U.S.) we are cool with graphic depictions of death and  torture (eg Saw) but a video with two people having sex is totally unacceptable. It boggles my mind every time.’

The  offending lingerie slip is not actually a Sears product however, it came from a  reseller named Fright Depot.

Sears, which uses the same concept as other  e-commerce sites like Amazon, allows marketplace sellers to list their own stock  through the department store’s website.

One user explained: ‘I seem  to recall  something inappropriate [from a reseller] with Dora the Explorer popping up a  few months back.’

And according to the American Family  Association, Sears has been selling ‘giant posters of total nud**y’ under its  home section of Wall Decor and Art, as well as books on bestiality and  pedophilia, from outside vendors.

The  Association  wrote: ‘Generations of Americans have grown up with Sears,  through the  catalogs, retail stores and, of late, website. But a family  organization now is  raising a protest because alongside the appliance,  electronics, jewelry and  fitness categories… one line of items for  sale features explicit  nudity.’

Embarrassed: The department store quickly removed the product, which was filed under its Exotic Apparel, and Lingerie and Sets sections for $25.99, however not fast enough for users to take screen grabs of the original link

Embarrassed: The department store quickly removed the  product, which was filed under its Exotic Apparel, and Lingerie and Sets  sections for $25.99, however not fast enough for users to take screen grabs of  the original link 

After a ‘Sears  Action Alert’ from the AFA and One Million Moms (the group who loudly spoke out  against recent gay marriage advocacy ads from JC  Penney and Forever 21), Sears  apparently assured it was  updating filtering equipment and enforcing strict  guidelines to prevent  sexually explicit products being available on its  website.

However Monica Cole, the director of One Million Moms,  wrote in July this year: ‘Less than two  months after Sears’ latest promise in May 2012, the  pornography has returned.  Sears continues to offend their customers with nudity in ads for the posters  they sell and the naughty lingerie.’

After customers  complained directly to Sears in July, they were told that the offending items  were being removed. A customer service email response said, ‘Our agreements with  our vendors prohibit content that is pornographic or sexually explicit in  nature.

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