This is truly frightening. I have heard rumors of things like this here in the states but I don't think that I've ever encountered it, but then again I don't spend a lot of time at the malls in town.
The story is hereKatarzyna 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.