Hey Marc Jacobs, you are scaring my kids

Have you been by the Marc by Marc Jacobs store in Bucktown lately? Yikes, do they have a scary window display up. I would describe the overall theme as “psychotic clown massacre.” It features about a dozen clowns with scary, bloody faces. Other highlights include a decapitated clown head and an impaled torso. There is a sign that says “Navy Pier” so I am guessing this is a promotion in conjunction with the haunted house going on there.

 My kids are totally terrified by this display. Frankly, I also find it quite unnerving.

We live just a few blocks away from the store and regularly drive up and down Damen on our way to school. Every time we pass by, there is some comment from the back seat like, “Mommy, I don’t like those people” or “Let’s duck down so we don’t have to see the scary people again!”

I get that Halloween comes with a certain scare factor. Haunted houses and scary movies are part of the celebration for many folks. People can choose to participate in those types of things if they have the stomach for it.

I think that this window display is different because it is in a public space and it isn’t appropriate for the general public. The only way for my kids to not see it is to avoid driving on Damen — which is hard to do because it is one of the main streets in our neighborhood.

There are a ton of kids in Bucktown and Wicker Park. I am guessing that I am not the only person having to reroute their car or stroller because of this display.

I called the store yesterday to let them know that their window display was scaring my kids. A polite employee told me that these types of decisions come down from corporate and there is nothing they can do about it. He assured me that he would “pass my concerns on” (although to whom I am not sure).

I am looking forward to November 1 when we will hopefully be looking at something in the window that doesn’t give my kids nightmares or cause my five-year-old to ask me, “Why is that clown holding another clown’s head in his hand?”

Click through the jump if you want to see a small portion of the display (WARNING: this is a bad picture because I took it from my car in the rain today. Plus, it is pretty scary and not appropriate for kids.).


The window display at the Marc by Marc Jacobs store in Bucktown. So not kid-friendly.


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  • I think this insensitivity is an issue in a lot of publicly accessible places. Even at Kmart in the candy section they have a really scary moving "Jason" type figure that scared the crap out of my kids.

  • In reply to CarrieKirby:

    It's Halloween - get over it. I think it's much more damaging to grow up with parents that try to shield you away from the world. Crazy

  • In reply to ajcpda5:


    If not wanting my three year-old and five year-old kids to see bloody, decapitated clown heads is "shielding" them from the world -- so be it.

    This stuff isn't for kids because they don't have the perspective and tools to understand and process images like this.

  • In reply to ajcpda5:

    It might be an inconvenience to avoid the street, but you do it if it's that important to YOU to "protect" your kids. But...I also believe you should "get over it" and I suggest that you use this as a learning experience. It's never too early to teach children about fantasy and reality, about art and expression, about truth and lies. I think many of you want to live in a pale pastel world. Forget it...it's not gonna happen, teach your children to deal with all the bright colors early and they'll be much stronger and happier and able to get through their lives without the help of psychiatrists or psychologists. You want to take all of the fun out of the world!

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