Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Abercrombie and Bitch

Earlier this week, Mike Jeffries, the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch went on record saying "A lot of people don't belong in our clothes, and they can't belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. 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."
Ok. I guess that seems a reasonable belief system given the fact that this is the company that pretty much prints porn on their shopping bags.
But then wait....have you seen what this Hitler of mall fashion Mike Jeffries looks like? You probably are picturing a ruggedly handsome man, his Greek god sculpture looking youth fading into a dignified and tanned silver fox-like Alec Baldwin.
Well, let me turn up the dim Abercrombie store mood-lighting and as all fog from the layers of cologne fade from the air, you can get a good look.
This is ugly and fattie hater Mike Jeffries-

So this dude with his Lisa Rinna drag queen lips and face lift that hurts to look at only wants attractive people to shop in his stores. 
I'd be outraged with this man and his statements if he himself wasn't so tragic. This is a man who clearly has great issues with his own appearance and body and has taken his obsession with youth and beauty to the extreme personally and professionally. 
The bottom line is, he can't control who wears his clothes and who shops in his store. Sure they only make up to a size 10 and the clothes are actually only reasonable to wear if you are in high school, but as the consumers, we are really the ones in power. Girls larger than a size 10 can buy shirts from the men's line, because at this store there's hardly a stylistic difference as exemplified by the fact that my gay male roommate (who in full disclosure works as a "model" at this store) and I have the same pink Abercrombie shorts. Homeless people can be Fitched and wear their sweatshirts to collect cans out of the trash. Computer geeks who still live at home at 32 can wear their t-shirts and drown themselves in the cologne Fierce to have dinner out with their moms. It doesn't matter. Jeffries and his monster-from-the-Goonies looking face can't stop you. 
From the blog Abercrombie Popular.
And when you think about it, Abercrombie saying they are marketing to popular, pretty teens, is no different than Chico's marketing to middle-aged women, or Lane Bryant marketing to plus size, or Anthropologie marketing to Zooey Deschanel, or Forever 21 being called that?

We don't blame or start angry blogging about all these other "specialized" retailers for marketing to their  specific targets, so who cares if Abercrombie wants to market to the cool kids so CEO Mike Jeffries can live out some fantasy Dawson's Creek teenage life that he clearly didn't have.
The real problem with Jeffries belief is that it feeds into the fact that we are living in a fat and ugly shaming culture. 
On top of all this discussion about Abercrombie, a study was released from University of Leeds in England that revealed that young children have picked up on society's stigma against overweight people. The study read 126 children aged 4-7 a picture book about a boy named Alfie who in different versions appeared as normal-weight, overweight, or in a wheelchair. After hearing the story, the children were asked if they would befriend Alfie, and only one in 43 said they would befriend him if he was overweight. I guess the good news is the children had no problem with him being disabled. 
So Fat Alfie can't shop at Abercrombie, and apparently is not someone you want to be friends with either. This study shows us that it is not Abercrombie or Mike Jeffries that we should be worrying about, but rather how we, and consequently children, are perceiving and treating each other. 
And now I'm off to start an angry blog about how those bitches at David's Bridal only want girls getting married to wear their pretty dresses.

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