Monday, May 27, 2013

The call out - Abercrombie & Fitch style




In 2006, Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries made the following statement to Salon Magazine:  

“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cools 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.  Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny.”


I’m not exactly sure what events let to this 7 year old statement to come up, but I know it sent a uproar in the plus community as well as in the souls of people in general that have a heart.  I’m glad that this came back to light though because it brought back the conversation of size and beauty back to the headlines.  Not everything that has been said has been positive about us plus beauties and I think if people would take 5 minutes to even attempt to look at the world for our perspective, they would have a change of heart.  I’ve been thinking about how I want to deal with this and how I want to tone of this post to be, but I’m just going to be honest about it.  I’m not a writer that afraid to get dirty with my work.  Sometimes the subject isn’t always easy, but if I can start a positive conversation, that is what I plan to do.  However, let me have my negative moment first.  


The above photo is of Mike Jeffries.  Now, if you were back in high school and if you were having a shallow moment and basing the newest addition to your clique by their looks, would you really add this person?  Even as adults, when we (yes, we - I'm not ashamed to included myself) are having those shallow moments and only looking at looks, would we really want to be seen around this person?  Now, I'm sure his pockets are fully lined and I am a fan of the color green, but I can assure you that I would not like to wake up next to that every morning.  Yes, I went there.  

Please note, I tried to find a good photo, but this is the best one (in my opinion) that I could find with a smile.  According to all sources that I looked though, Jeffries is 68 and these teeth look totally false.  Now, I understand elderly people will probably eventually need false teeth and I may myself, but both of my grandfathers died at age 75 or older and neither of them had false teeth.  I make a big deal about teeth because I take care of mine and I do whitening treatments twice a year.  So, if you are having a shallow moment and you base entry into your clique based on teeth, would Mr. Jeffries make it?  Just wondering...

Next piece is that hair.  Now, I don't know if he was sitting prior to this photo and he was up against a chair, but doesn't it look like there are a few pieces of hair out of place at the back of his head?  And don't even try to tell me that is the style to wear it spiked in the back because we all know that is not cute and if you are going to wear it spiked, the entire head needs to be spiked or at least the top of it.  Now, if you are having a shallow moment and basing clique entry on the style of hair or just on nice hair in general, would Mr. Jeffries be allowed to join you and your friends?  Just wondering...

Let's move on to the smile.  Personally, that is not a cute smile and maybe he was mid laugh when this photo was taken.  However, the smile is not flattering and the bottom lip looks a little strange.  Some would might even say he looked scary in this photo and should maybe consider doing a closed-mouth smile.  You know that smile where you don't show your teeth? Yeah, maybe he should consider practicing that.  Now, since I love to smile and I love it when other people around me smile and if I was having a shallow moment and letting people come into my clique based on their smile alone, Jeffries would not make it in.  I'm just saying...

My point it the very people that he put out of his stores might be the ones that are most welcoming to his flaws.  I know that I went a long way to say it, but I can tolerate the false teeth, the messy hair, and I can even tolerate the strange looking smile because he at least took the time to try to smile.  So, Mr. Jeffries, if people are willing to accept you with your apparent flaws, why won't you give us curvy ladies a chance to showcase your clothing?  I will even dare to say that if you design it right, it might even look better on us curvy ladies.  In fact, if someone gets in contact with him or if Mr. Jeffries, you see this blog yourself, I will challenge you to design a top to fit me and I will gladly put my natural DD chest in the shirt and flaunt your logo proudly.  

However, I think the thing that hurt me most about his comments is that it does not appear that he thought about members of his own family.  I find it hard to believe that everyone in his bloodline can shop in his store.  I know he probably didn't care about the millions of feelings he hurt because he will never meet up, but did it ever occur to him that he genuinely hurt the feelings of someone in his family? 

Say what you want about me, sir, because we will probably never meet, but please think about your choice of words and what it did to those nearest and dearest to you.  Also, I have you to know that while I was in high school and still considered plus size, I was a varsity cheerleader (looked good doing it too) and had plenty of friends.  Now, has my friend selection gotten smaller since then?  Of course, but it is because as an adult, I am more careful about who I put in my circle and no, it is not based on what they look like.  

I cannot lie, I wanted to bash Mr. Jeffries in this post.  I had these great jokes at his expense and even at the expense of his store.  However, when I really thought about it, would that make me any better than him?  Nah and I wasn't trying to stoop that low.  I know it's hard to believe, but even I have boundaries.  

So, if by chance someone that knows Mr. Jeffries reads this and pass it along to him, I hope that he sees one thing out of this - big girls have hearts too and even though it may not be in your clothes, we still have cute moments in those designers that are giving us a chance.  Also, our money is green too.  I don't know if you can undo the damage you have already done, but I just thought that I would let you know that some of us would have given your clothes a chance.  My last point - we are all cool, just in our own way.  

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