Abercrombie and Fitch, America, Beauty, Controvery, Feminism, Health, Ideals, Life Lessons, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Weight Loss, Women

Dear Mike Jeffries

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….”

Plus-sized models in Glamour Magazine
Plus-sized models in Glamour Magazine

………..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?”

Male models for the "popular" type of people
Male models for the “popular” type of people

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.

Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch
Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch

…………………………………………………………………………………………

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.

"Let the beauty we love be what we do."
“Let the beauty we love be what we do.”

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.

Maybe.

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.

Sincerely,

Ali Prescott

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Beauty, Health, Heartburn, Life Lessons, Migraines, New Year's Resolutions, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Women

The Secret of Life, Part Two

The next part of my series will focus on fitness goals. Everyone needs to be healthy and sometimes that requires sacrifices and determination. The harder the goal , the more people will get let down. People sometimes see fitness as an unattainable goal but it should not be. Health should always be a priority. Start small, but make your goals ever changing. Then you can make the change to a better you.

Part Two: Taking Your Health Into Your Own Hands

“You have a severe upper respiratory infection. You also have strep throat.”

But what about the migraines I have been getting?

“They seemingly get worse around the time of your menstrual cycle, so there isn’t much to be done about them. I would suggest Excedrin with caffeine.”

Okay

~Two Months Later~

“You have a severe upper respiratory infection, but what else is the matter?”

Well. I’m having problems with food. I get heartburn a lot and I eat a lot of dairy to cover up the acid because pills don’t really work. And I get a series of migraines for five days right before my menstrual cycle.

“So it’s your PMDD, but there isn’t much to do. As far as the heartburn I need an upper GI exam to determine if you have acid reflux.”

But I don’t have insurance.

“Well. It’s up to you then. I can tell you what I think you should do, but it has to be your decision.”

Okay.

About a year ago is when this game started. A series of upper respiratory and sinus infections with strep throat. Followed by a week of migraines that came precisely on schedule with my pill pack. Since I got strep throat that one time, which I had never had it before, I began a road of health problems galore.

My sinuses were so clogged and inflamed that the doctor prescribed be a steroid nasal spray. That spray changed everything.

I had been on an over the counter nasal spray for a little bit before I went to the doctor. He recommended that I use this steroid nasal spray to clear the congestion as well as fix the swelling. Unfortunately for me, the spray did nothing but make my nose bleed and burn. And thus, made the clogging and inflammation worse. I gave it the ten day duration with no avail, until finally, I gave up on it and switched back to the over the counter. I began using a neti-pot to help, which does, but much to my surprise and still until this very day, I cannot breathe freely without the help of nasal spray and decongestion medication. The strep throat itself made me feel extremely weak, even for weeks after the antibiotic ran it’s course. After that bout with strep, I have had five other upper respiratory infections. The same thing happens, the weakness and pain, and I find myself chronically longing for my bed rather than doing other activities I enjoyed.

I had had the migraines before because they came like clockwork the week before I was scheduled to have my menstrual cycle. Whether or not the nasal spray that was prescribed me made these migraines worse is yet to be determined. However, much to my dismay, after the bout of strep throat, they also became worse. And if anyone of you has had a migraine, especially one that lasts for at least three days, you know that you can barely function. I find myself taking massive amounts of pain killers, having blurred vision in one or both of my eyes and vomiting at least one of the days of the migraine. After the vomiting, I would end up ultimately going to sleep because no amount of pain killers would numb the pain.

My final symptom was that of chronic heartburn. Every single day I would eat and every single day I would regret it. The gurgling would start in my stomach and make me feel like I have to vomit. It would churn and churn until it made it’s way to my esophagus. Then at night if I was laying down, it would gurgle up into my throat and choke me. Using heartburn medication alone did not help, so I tried to off-set the acid my eating dairy. I got gallons of milk and would drink as much as I could until the pain stopped. When I ordered meals, I would try to get cheese with what I ate to stifle the burning sensation. I stopped drinking pop for a brief time. It became a constant struggle because I wanted to eat, but it was painful. So I would binge when I could to try and avoid the pain. Whenever the pain started I would eat something dairy related to put out the fire. As I write this, my esophagus is burning and I haven’t even ate anything.

The collection of these events has led to one ultimate thing: I am in poor health.

I’ve gained approximately twenty pounds in my battle with all of these symptoms. A good portion of the weight gain has to do with the binge eating because of the heartburn. Along with that it has to do with adding an unnecessary amount of dairy to my diet to make the pain of the heartburn go away. I’m chronically getting these infections that make it damn near impossible for me to breathe on my own without a burning sensation. So, doing hard, physical activity was becoming difficult, thus I stopped doing it regularly. Finally, the migraines put me down for a week every month; with two of those days ultimately leading to me being in bed.

This leads me to today. Last night, I made the decision that despite it all, it’s time to get back onto the fitness saddle, even if it kills me. I would probably be able to take care of these various issues if I had health insurance that covered all of the problems, but I don’t have that option. Everything I would need: a GI exam, a nose and throat specialist and possible neurologist, would come out of pocket. Thus, I am trying another route:

Lesson number two: Don’t let your situations determine your health, even if those situations are health related. I have given myself 60 days to lose 20 pounds in the hopes that a healthier, physical body will force all my other problems to sort themselves out.

I challenge all of you to do the same. The journey will be hard, but we can do this, together. If any of you are trying to maintain your resolution to get fit, I will be there to help all of you in any way that I can. Together we can do this.