Credit: By Daniel Lee on Flickr, under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC 2.0)
(WOMENSENEWS)--It has been a year since the publication of the last sequel to the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy; yet, the frenzy continues.
Following the recent casting announcement for the anticipated blockbuster movie release on Aug. 1, the Fifty Shades' franchise has moved into merchandising mode.
Beginning Sept. 26, Target Australia--a separate entity from the Minneapolis-based discount giant, but with the same logo--will offer an exclusive collection of lingerie inspired by the international best-seller about a billionaire businessman with an affinity for dominant, kinky sex and his erotic relationship with a college student.
British author E.L. James has been working with Target Australia to create a collection of sexy and erotic lingerie styled on the luxury pieces that Christian Grey gives to Anastasia Steele in the novels, News.com.au reported.
Target Australia Underwear General Manager Sally Shing said it is designed to appeal to all women, according to the Herald Sun. "It delivers a high quality line of lingerie that reflects our affordable and accessible prices."
One person who does not find the whole idea appealing is Australian antiviolence campaigner Melinda Tankard Reist. "This is part of the mainstreaming of Fifty Shades of Grey in which the woman is a victim," she said to Australia's 3aw Radio. "There are many harmful aspects to this pornographic genre and, now, Target is turning it into a money-spinner."
Reist, an author, Fairfax Media columnist and media commentator is also co-founder of Collective Shout For a World Free of Sexploitation, a grassroots campaign movement based in Australia that espouses a "world free of sexploitation."
"So many people don't realize that Anastasia has to sign a contract agreeing to submit to any particular sex act that Christian Grey wants," she said to Australian's 3aw Radio. "This is a normalizing of what are harmful practices which keep women subordinate in our culture."
Reist has not seen the lingerie yet, but argues the collection could lead to an early introduction to bondage and sadomasochism themes to children.
"Target might want to have a re-think," she said.
On Sept. 12, a critic posted on Twitter, "Oh so wrong . . . Hate these marketing ploys. Fifty Shades of Grey lingerie for Target??" and on Sept. 9, another tweeted, "Seriously. We worry about our society being promiscuous!!! now target does this. Gee."
Items will include G-strings, bikini briefs, balconette bras, suspenders, bustiers, and a sheer chemise all in shades of powder blue, oyster, black and scarlet, including "Affaire" underwear in pale blue, based on the first gift Christian buys for Anastasia. Unlike the steep prices Christian Grey pays for them in the novels, Target's mass-market prices will range from $15 to $49, Australian RESCU reported.
In a press statement, E. L. James said the pieces in the collection "tap into the fantasy world from the trilogy."
A fan posted on Twitter Sept. 10, "We can't wait for the launch of Fifty Shades of Grey lingerie at Target. Bring on September 26!"
Darina Naidu is an editorial intern for Women's eNews. She graduated with a degree in Journalism from SUNY Plattsburgh in May 2013. Follow her on Twitter @DarinaNaidu.
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