We all have heard of Abercrombie & Fitch. They are that store in the mall with palm trees and loud music. They usually have a large poster of a blonde haired, light eyed, long haired model right in front of the store. All of their employees wear flip-flops and jeans or khakis. Yeah, that’s the store. I have never had a desire to shop at their store before. I never see anyone other than white, preppy kids in there. Their clothing does not appeal to me or my fashion desires. However, for those who did shop there I did not judge. Hell, one of my ex-girlfriends use to work there back in the day. I did not know the history nor did I know who the CEO was. That was until last night. Mike Jeffries, CEO of A&F, has been in the spotlight for more than one negative situation.
A&F sets out to bring in the ‘cool’ ‘all American’ kid to light. Their entire marketing strategy is to appeal to just that, to appeal to the young, popular crowd. In the latest drama regarding this clearly disturbed person, he has come out saying that his stores will never carry any size over a size 10 for women. He does however carry XL and XXL for men to attract the larger athletic man. He doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he only wants ‘thin and beautiful’ people. You can read about the fatphobic drama at the following links -
During his interviews Mike Jeffries does not hide his discrimination. “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.” He continues in saying this, “It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.”
So… let me see if I have this correct Mr. Jeffies. Anyone who isn’t fair skinned, light eyes, under a size 10, doesn’t wear flip-flops 24/7, or says ‘dude’ all the time is uncool and unattractive. I see.
My reaction, good luck with that.
Being a plus size woman (according to current standards is anything a size 12 and over) is not a niche anymore. Over 60% of America’s population fits into this category. I have never spent one single dime in their store, simply because the preppy, poser look isn’t for me or those I associate with. However, think of all the young girls you have influenced. This is a bully tactic. This is how girls harm themselves to fit into a box. There are so many young girls who starve themselves, binge and purge, and use laxatives in a very harmful way in order to lose weight to fit into what society has deemed sexy, alluring and beautiful. I was once that girl. And I was a size 10 at the time! It really hurts my spirit to think young, beautiful girls are going to read into his statements and make horrible decisions because they feel they aren’t enough. This needs to end.
In addition to this, we all have friends, family, and loved ones who we shop for on a regular basis. Whether we are ‘fat’ or ‘skinny’, we all shop. Period. It is clear A&F doesn’t want OUR money. So let’s not give them our money. None of it. H&M, one of A&F’s largest competitors has plus sizes AND they even have features a plus size model as the face and body for their new swimwear line. They also use plus size mannequins in their stores. They casually released their summer campaign without making a big deal out of the fact they ‘stepped outside of fashion norms’. Why? Because it is the right thing to do. Also because they know most woman are not a size 2 and shaped like a shaved down twig. Am I knocking women who are naturally that slim, no. But I am applauding H&M for including everyone. We should give our money to H&M and other companies who include all body sizes, shapes, and looks.