Do you know any mall girls?

manke

basket case
Feb 16, 2009
298
0
I never heard of the term "mall girl" before (despite seeing The Girlfriend Experience), but I have often wondered where some young girls who do not have wealthy parents get a constant flow of luxurious items without stealing them. I'm sure there must be mall girls worldwide (maybe under different names than "mall girls") since consumerism is everywhere. Do you know any mall girls? Have you seen any while you were shopping?

(If you don't know what a mall girl is, the following is the text of an article from the New York Times that describes a film recently made about mall girls in Poland:smile:

Dark Film on Teenagers Echoes From Mall to Church
By DAN BILEFSKY
WARSAW — They loiter at the mall for hours, young teenage girls selling their bodies in return for designer jeans, Nokia cellphones, even a pair of socks.

Katarzyna Roslaniec, a young filmmaker, first spotted a cluster of mall girls three years ago, decked out in thigh-high latex boots. She followed them and chatted them up over cigarettes. Over the next six months, the teens told her about their sex lives, about the men they called “sponsors,” about their lust for expensive labels, their absent parents, their premature pregnancies, their broken dreams.

Ms. Roslaniec, 29, scribbled their secrets in her notepad, memorizing the way they peppered their speech with words like “frajer” — “loser” in English. She gossiped with them on Grono.net, the Polish equivalent of Facebook. Soon, she said, she had a network of dozens of mall girls.

The result is the darkly devastating fictional film, “Galerianki,” or Mall Girls, which premiered in Poland in the autumn and has provoked a national debate about moral decadence in this conservative, predominantly Catholic country, 20 years after the fall of Communism.

It is difficult to quantify how many real mall girls there are since they do not identify themselves as sex workers and call their clients “boyfriends” or “benefactors” to maintain the illusion that they are not prostitutes. But Polish social workers say the phenomenon is growing, a side-effect of the collision of Western consumer culture with Eastern Europe’s post-Communist economy.

The film that started the discussion tells the story of four teenage girls who turn tricks in the restrooms of shopping malls to support their clothing addiction. It has attained such cult status that parents across the country say they are confiscating DVDs of the film for fear it provides a lurid instruction manual.

The revelation that Catholic girls, some from middle-class families, are prostituting themselves for a Chanel scarf or an expensive sushi dinner is causing many here to question whether materialism is polluting the nation’s soul.

In the film, the character Milena, the queen of the mall girls, explains to Ala, her innocent protégée, how to single out an affluent sponsor: “Look at a guy’s shoes, his watch, and his phone and you can tell if it’s expensive. It’s a start, right?” she says. Love doesn’t exist, she adds.

Mall girls interviewed here say that after choosing a benefactor, they follow him into a shop, and seduce him by trying on clothes. Sex is exchanged only for an agreed item like a blouse, never for cash. It usually takes place in the stalls of restrooms at the mall or in a car in the parking lot — a fact that has prompted intensified security at malls and forced mall girls to seek alternate locations, including nightclubs.

On a recent night at Space, a dance club that is a favorite of mall girls, dozens of teens in body-hugging black outfits gyrated to Polish hip-hop, accompanied by much older men, buying them $13 cocktails. “Life is expensive in Warsaw,” said Sylwia, a jobless 18-year-old who declined to give her last name, as she caressed the leg of a 31-year-old man she had just met.

Ms. Roslaniec called mall girls the daughters of capitalism. “Parents have lost themselves in the race after a new washing machine or car and are rarely home,” she said. “A 14-year-old girl needs a system of values that can’t be shaped without the guidance of parents. The result is that these girls live in a world where there are no feelings, just cold calculation.”

According to a recent study commissioned by the Ombudsman for Children in Poland, 20 percent of teenage prostitutes in Poland sell their bodies for designer clothes, fancy gadgets or concert tickets. Girls on average enter the sex trade at age 15; boys at 14.

Some critics complain that the film offers an idealized, glamorized version of the sex business. Monika Siuchta, a social worker, noted that real-life teenage prostitutes were often sexually abused, abandoned by their families and looked disheveled and neglected, despite their incongruous gold accessories.

Adam Bogoryja-Zakrzewski, who made a documentary about mall girls, said the phenomenon had laid bare the extent to which the powerful Polish Catholic church — anti-abortion, anti-gay and anti-contraception — was out of touch with many members of the younger generation, for whom sex, alcohol and consumerism held more appeal. “The shopping mall has become the new cathedral in Poland,” he said.

So fearful is the church of losing souls to department stores that a few years ago one church in the southern Polish city of Katowice installed a confessional booth in a shopping center, offering shoppers absolution between their Christmas purchases.

Marcin Drewniak, who counsels teenagers in Krakow, noted that malls had become the new community centers in Poland, providing teens with both refuge and temptation. “They can try on clothes and perfume without having to spend any money,” he said. “The mall has become a sort of fairy-tale land. All this would have been unimaginable during Communism.”

He said the typical mall girl was between 14 and 16 and came from a family with a single parent. They often abused drugs or alcohol, and sold their bodies in a search for self-esteem.

Many teens here said that mall girls were to be pitied, not emulated. At Zlote Tarasy, a sprawling mall in central Warsaw, Nina Chmielewska, 15, a high school student chomping on a Big Mac in the food court, said she knew some mall girls at school. She said they disgusted her, but she acknowledged the pressures.

“If you want to be cool and accepted at school, you need to have a good cellphone, designer shoes and a boyfriend. You are judged by how you look,” she said. “For sure, I don’t want to end up with a sweaty ugly guy.”
 

breeinthesky

Member
Jan 2, 2010
48
0
That's frightening. But honestly, you don't have to be wealthy to own designer. I don't think many people on here, unless they were completely pretentious, would call themselves wealthy.
 

Loquita

Member
May 16, 2008
16,244
13
It is truly sad to see young girls defining themselves largely in terms of what they own, particularly since it drives them to engage in such damaging, dangerous behavior. To me it reveals a great deal about the society in which they have come of age - and I certainly don't believe that this mindset is exclusive to Poland, either.
 

BomberGal

O.G.
Aug 25, 2009
1,662
625
South Korea
Thats nothing new... Its called Enjo Kosai in Japan. And is pretty much EVERYWHERE. The USA, Korea, England, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Phillipines, ect.

Though often, its a Sugar Daddy arrangement. Most of the Japanese girls I've spoken with who have done "compensated dating" haven't had sexual relations with their older "dates".

So in that context, its more like an under the table form of Hostessing. Being paid for your companionship and the illusion of dating a beautiful young woman (or girl in this case) who admires you and is interested in you and what you do. Rather than being paid for sexual acts.

Either way though, not something kids should be involved in.
 

Bitten

Chic, not cheap.
O.G.
Feb 6, 2007
5,892
373
Contented
I haven't heard of this and yes, it does shock me. For goodness sake, when I was 14, 15, 16 years old, I spent my mornings either doing sport or at the gym and my afternoons either coaching younger grades in sport, having music lessons or homework.

My highschool boyfriend was a guy one year older than me, a friend of my brother's from his school (single-sex schools for both of us). We lived across the train lines from each other. We used to catch the train home separately (in uniforms, you'd get reported if you were fraternising with boys by some bored person on public transport). Then he would come over, we would go for a run together, then we would cook noodles or something and do homework, I'd tutor him in English, he'd help me with science.

What on earth has happened that school children aren't spending their days in school and then afterwards in school-related extracurricular activities? And no, I'm not that old, I'm 27 so I was in high school as recently as 10 years ago. What has happened to the world?
 

An4

Ana
O.G.
Aug 16, 2009
3,471
10
Where is my mind?
thanks for the article, it's very interesting.

Bitten, these things existed since forever, but you weren't aware of them because it's not something that is well known to wider public, these girls keep quiet about it and you weren't hanging with that sort of crowd. I remember when I was 14 there were girls who had sex, went out, had boys over etc. it all depends on what kind of a person someone is, how they were brought up - peer pressure can be hard, but someone who knows who they are won't yield to it.
 

Anna_525

Mom to 2 great kids
O.G.
Dec 27, 2006
1,303
3
NY
OMG I originally thought you were talking about mall rats who are simply teens who loiter around the mall for hours because there's nothing else to do. This is sad! Thanks for sharing. I don't know and hope not to know of any (or observe).
 
Wow, this is sad. I have never heard about anything like this.

I did however once notice two very young girls in Victorias Secret buying a TON and I mean a TON of items. They didn't look wealthy. And if they were wealthy, I don't think they'd be shopping at this mall. It's a so-so mall. I was so curious as to how they were able to afford at least a few hundred dollars worth of merchandise.
 

An4

Ana
O.G.
Aug 16, 2009
3,471
10
Where is my mind?
Wow, this is sad. I have never heard about anything like this.

I did however once notice two very young girls in Victorias Secret buying a TON and I mean a TON of items. They didn't look wealthy. And if they were wealthy, I don't think they'd be shopping at this mall. It's a so-so mall. I was so curious as to how they were able to afford at least a few hundred dollars worth of merchandise.
maybe they were gonna resell it?
 

irish_clover

Member
Nov 11, 2007
1,388
0
Vancouver BC
I haven't heard of this and yes, it does shock me. For goodness sake, when I was 14, 15, 16 years old, I spent my mornings either doing sport or at the gym and my afternoons either coaching younger grades in sport, having music lessons or homework.

My highschool boyfriend was a guy one year older than me, a friend of my brother's from his school (single-sex schools for both of us). We lived across the train lines from each other. We used to catch the train home separately (in uniforms, you'd get reported if you were fraternising with boys by some bored person on public transport). Then he would come over, we would go for a run together, then we would cook noodles or something and do homework, I'd tutor him in English, he'd help me with science.

What on earth has happened that school children aren't spending their days in school and then afterwards in school-related extracurricular activities? And no, I'm not that old, I'm 27 so I was in high school as recently as 10 years ago. What has happened to the world?


I agree, I'm close to your age and I never heard of this growing up.

it's disturbing
 

alatrop

Motor City Kitties
O.G.
May 2, 2006
3,530
6
Has the desire and perceived value of designer goods gotten this out of hand? I'm not really surprised that this happens, but I was taken aback by the article. It's sad :sad: