I had a free day today in the City of Sin, so I took a drive. I bought some food for my room and a new pair of leggings. I visited two malls and a local Target and I now know one thing for sure about the Las Vegas retail scene: slut-wear is in.

As I walked the Boulevard Mall looking for a short sleeved button up shirt in a tall size (JC Penney–bless), I saw the familiar mall stores like Foot Locker, Hollister, Bath & Body Works and the Sleep Number store.

However…

Other stores were interspersed between these well-known brands such as Flawless Fashion, Gizelle Fashion and Lavish Fashion. Note the repetitive use of the word fashion just in case the average clothing consumer in her early 40’s thinks she’s in the wrong place. I’ve never seen so many strappy spandex dresses in all my days. Is this fashion or fetish? Club wear or slut wear? Plunging necklines and crotch-defying hemlines are one thing, but the sheer repetitive nature of the same dress over and over again was noticeable. As in, this is the fashion now, girls, because Gizelle said so. This stuff is Flawless and you should Lavish yourself in stretchy material and cheap bling. To add insult to injury, there was an entire store dedicated to over-the-top jewelry paired with barely-there tops and bottoms (?). When I spotted the variety of gold/silver/clear plastic 6″ platform heels paired with various outfits, I could not help but think to myself, we’re not in Minnesota anymore, Dorothy.

Oh, but wait. I haven’t gotten to the billboard.

Later, I ventured across town to the Meadows Mall (because I thought we’d be working on this conference prep by now, but no). I used to work at the Dillards here so I thought I’d pop in. On my way there, fighting Vegas traffic as I-15 and Hwy 95 intersect and dodging non-Midwestern drivers, I spotted it. Neatly tucked between two personal injury attorneys was the billboard to end all billboards.

Imagine a woman’s lower half from the back–waist to mid-thigh–wearing nothing but a tasteful pair of white underwear. On the clean white background was printed in clear, block letters the words: VAGINAL TIGHTENING. I believe there was a phone number and maybe a clinic name below. It also said “no downtime.”

Which occupation are they targeting, here?

Now, look, I’m not a prude. I’m not against plastic surgery. I had a breast reduction last summer, so this is not an anti-plastic surgery post. I’m in the if-I-lived-here-I’d-not-want-my-kids-seeing-that-billboard-on-the-way-to-school camp. My intense 10-year old would certainly ask, in her investigative journalist voice, “what’s vaginal tightening, mommy” while she scrunches up her top lip and looks at me with confused, skeptical, innocent eyes.

Are there so many women here that need vaginal tightening that you need to put it on a billboard? I mean, I saw the literature for surgery to correct this area in the doctor’s office this summer, but a billboard? Surely this is overkill.

Surely.

Right?

I wondered, as I trolled the Meadows: is slut-wear is now prom-wear?  Would the juniors department at Dillards, where I spent many a night folding Girbaud jeans, hanging ugly sweaters and chasing shoplifting teens, carry these dresses instead of ones that actually cover your butt AND your boobs? I never got to Dillards because they were remodeling the store, so I guess my observations end here: the next time my 7th grade daughter is conscious about showing a bra strap, I’ll give thanks.

Thank you, Las Vegas, for reminding me that bodies are sacred.