ďI donít want our core customers to see people who arenít as hot as them wearing our clothing.Ē
ďIn every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,Ē he told the site. ďCandidly, 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 donít belong [in our clothes], and they canít belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You donít alienate anybody, but you donít excite anybody, either.Ē
The quotes above are attributed to Michael Jeffries, Chief Executive Officer, Abercrombie & Fitch clothing retailer.
In case you were not aware, the She Beast is a bit militant at times and ALWAYS an activist fighting against what is unfair and unjust. Fair warning - there is a naughty word here and there, not too many, but one or two.
Unless you don't have facebook, don't read or watch the news on tv, internet, or in print, or have been hiding under a rock somewhere, you have no doubt heard the disparaging comments made by Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Michael Jeffries towards those he deems not cool enough, attractive enough, thin enough, nor popular enough to wear A&F clothing. After reading numerous articles about the company and the man, I've discovered that their hiring practices also are hateful and discriminatory.
It's all good that they only will sell clothing up to size 10. Specializing is nothing new. We have numerous clothing stores dedicated to size 12 and over, so why not a store for the thin? What is no bueno is the attitude behind it all. You have to fit into the clothing to work there. You have to fit into the mold they deem is attractive, All-American, popular, cool. I've been to Lane Bryant many, many times over the years, as well as Catherine's and Avenue. The mixture of people working there ranges from petite to tall, thin to heavy, dark to light, young to middle aged and beyond. Many of the women at Lane Bryant are too thin to wear their clothing or anything in the store except for scarves and jewelry. They practice nondiscriminatory hiring. The same cannot be said for A&F.
I think what burns my butt more than anything else about this whole situation is that the attitude being put forth by the brand brings back a lot of hateful, hurtful moments to a lot of people. Those who were told in school, by either look or verbally, that they couldn't sit at certain tables for lunch because they didn't fit in can identify with this. Those who didn't get asked to the most popular girl's slumber or birthday parties, to prom, to be a part of a certain clique - those who were made to feel less by the actions of others are certain to be dredging up memories from the past (or even present) by the recent flurry of publicity about the awfulness of Mr. Jeffries' attitude.
I'll leave you with a few articles you may or may not have read that really made me smile. People are standing up to this Hate Talk and letting Mr. Jeffries and A&F know they won't stand for it. Here's two of my favorites, both open letters to A&F CEO Michael Jeffries. The first one is from a self-described "fat chick" from my birth city of Columbus, Ohio, which is also where the headquarters for A&F is located.
The second is from a mom of three daughters, all of whom fit the Abercrombie and Fitch definition of the clientele they seek out, who is teaching her daughters by example to stand up for what is right even when they are not the ones being singled out or bullied:
And if you are on facebook, please save this meme and post it on your facebook status. I'm hoping it will go viral. I copied something my brother posted and turned it into a meme. He is calling for all people of size - employed or not - to apply for jobs and A&F and when none get hired he is advocating for a class action discrimination lawsuit to prove that their hiring practices are unethical and illegal, something many have been saying for years!
Now, to be a little bit bitchy, I just have to post this picture of Mr. Jeffries and ask you - doesn't this hideously over botoxed and extremely eye-lifted fool look like he might be the secret love child of Ms. Joan Rivers? Is THIS what he deems as "attractive"? I'm all for plastic surgery, but it looks like he got his plastic from Mattel!
and a kind of naughty meme I found:
And I leave you with a little smile from Saturday Night Live character Stuart Smalley, because we are ALL good enough. As always, I love you all.