By Ray Stern Local media shops jumped all over Lush Cosmetics' national campaign in which cute, young store employees strip naked except for an apron that leaves their butts bare.
The Arizona Republic, East Valley Tribune and several TV stations promoted the lunchtime promotion for Lush's Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall location, but all the articles and broadcasts lacked an interesting side-angle: what local police think of the campaign.
Scottsdale, after all, is the city with the city council that tried unsuccessfully two years ago to ban lap dances at topless clubs. The city's mayor protested publicly the ribald name of a local Mexican food joint, the Pink Taco.
At least one U.S. cop shop threw cold water on Lush's event. Police in Natick, Massachusetts, a small town just west of Boston, reportedly warned a manager at an area Lush that employees risked arrest if they participated in the promotion, which was billed as a "protest" against excessive packaging.
Officer David Pubins, a spokesman for Scottsdale Police, says he didn't know about the campaign beyond what he read in the newspaper this morning, and he'd check to see if police had ever inquired about it. (He checked back later to say no complaint calls came in about Lush, and that police don't believe the bare butts broke any laws).
Arizona law, in any case, is specific about what it takes to make a case of public indecency:
13-1402. Indecent exposure; exception; classification
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A. A person commits indecent exposure if he or she exposes his or her genitals or anus or she exposes the areola or nipple of her breast or breasts and another person is present, and the defendant is reckless about whether the other person, as a reasonable person, would be offended or alarmed by the act.
B. Indecent exposure does not include an act of breast-feeding by a mother.
C. Indecent exposure to a person who is fifteen or more years of age is a class 1 misdemeanor. Indecent exposure to a person who is under fifteen years of age is a class 6 felony.
This makes it seem like bare butts on Lush employees is fine -- as long as no one bends over the soap.