As many of you have seen in the news over the past week, Mike Jeffries has come under fire for his comments about so-called “not cool” people shopping at his stores. He is the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch and many people think because of his statements of not cool people that he is a certifiable asshole. Well, I can’t say that I disagree with that statement. But when he is talking about what it means to be “not cool” and “unpopular….”
………..he is talking about what he deems to be “fat people.”
According to him, anything for a woman bigger than a size large is “not cool.”
According to various articles, the one I clipped this from was in the Orlando Sentinel and can be read here, Jeffries says:
“We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends,” Jeffries said. “A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
As someone who studied media and ethics, I understand that he is going for a certain branding technique. But since when is decency a sacrifice for branding?
One of my 36DD breasts would not fit into a shirt that comes out of Mike Jeffries store and it’s why I don’t shop there. However, I do remember being a teen girl and wanting so desperately to fit into their jeans when it was absolutely out of the question for me to even squeeze my calf into the pant leg. So I pose a question to Mike Jeffries and ask him, “What kind of message are you actually sending?”
Eating disorders are a serious problem in the United States and I’m sure they are in other parts of the world as well. I do not understand why he feels that it is okay to make clothes so small that you would possibly need to result to those measures to fit into. Nothing screams I’m cool more than ,”I threw up countless times to wear this tee shirt” right? NO. It’s wrong. It’s wrong to brand yourself to the point where you’re morphing people’s minds. Eating disorders are not cool.
I don’t shop at Abercrombie and Fitch because I’m “too fat” to do so. And even if I was thin, they are ridiculously overpriced anyway. If this store still exists when I have children, my children will not be shopping there or supporting that store. And when I googled a picture of Mike Jeffries, he looked like someone who was judged harshly as a child and is trying to get back at the universe by making a clothing line for what he deems to be “beautiful people.” He also looks like he shoves a crap ton of botox into his face in the efforts to look more attractive, and sadly, it’s morphing his face. Your definition of beautiful is pathetic. Beauty isn’t something that can be attained by the clothes on your back. Beauty comes from within, and THAT is what you should be telling all of your “popular” people. That’s the message you SHOULD be sending to the rest of the world.
With that being said, I feel like I should write a letter to this CEO.
Dear Mr. Jeffries,
I am an American. I work almost every single day of my life. I am a daughter, granddaughter and sister. I am a niece and a cousin. I also am a girlfriend.
Yes, a girlfriend. You will probably be surprised to hear that considering I tinker between a size 12 and 14 in pants. My boyfriend is quite handsome as well, even though according to you he isn’t because he doesn’t have washboard abs.
But he did spend five years in the United States Marine Corps defending your right to say what you want to say.
But according to you, I’m not beautiful and neither is he.
I work out on a daily basis and have numerous health problems. I love with my whole heart. I donate my time and money to causes that I care about. I try to give more of myself to others than what I give to myself. I try to make the world a better place.
But according to you, I’m not beautiful.
I graduated from high school and college. I kept a very high grade point average. I survived a lot in my childhood bullying wise. My father was a drug addict on top of that bullying. I remember when a boy I liked called me a whale. I remember not having dates to dances by people who had worn a lot of your clothing. They too believed what you believe, that I am not beautiful.
You must change your appearance quite frequently. I think it’s because you don’t feel beautiful. You think by branding yourself into this clothing line that you can be beautiful. But, you’re wrong because beauty comes from the inside; beauty isn’t about your clothes.
Beauty is a personality trait.
And you are not beautiful on the inside. I feel sorry for you. I hope that someday you feel beautiful because it is apparent from how you brand your clothing and act that you do not feel beautiful at all. Maybe people bullied you when you were in high school and you need to talk to someone about it.
You see, none of us are really that different. We all have trials and tribulations independent of the size of our clothing. You’re no different from a girl who has anorexia or a guy that weighs 400 pounds.
We are all beautiful.
I only hope that someday you can see that.