Wow. My mind was blown today. A friend sent me this article about Abercrombie & Fitch.
Do you remember shopping there when you were in college? I sure do. (Do they still smell like a junior high dance where the boys put on waaaay too much of dad's cologne and they play the music so loud you might get permanent hearing loss?) In fact, I think I still have my classic Abercrombie sweatshirt in my closet. Well, apparently, we shopped at A&F back when they were selling "fuddy duddy" clothes. (That sounds about right for me. I have rarely been on the cutting edge of fashion.) Nowadays, A&F has this total jackhole, Mike Jeffries, running the company and he's doing a really kick ass job (stock price is up, sales are up, new stores everywhere, blah, blah, blah) and he has a secret to his success: He only hires beautiful, thin "cool kids" so that they will only attract other beautiful, thin "cool kids" to shop at his stores, because he doesn't want losers even setting a hairy, fugly foot in his hallowed halls. And just in case the message didn't get through to the uncool, the ugly and the fat people that there is nothing here for you, Mike wants to make it clear that you're not welcome and so he has decreed that the women's clothing line will not carry clothing bigger than a size L or 10.
"In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids," he told Salon.com. "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."
When I first read this article, I didn't know if I was more impressed with the fact that Jeffries owns his asshole ways or if I was more disgusted that he's such a f*cking d*ckhead who is desperately trying to hold on to his glory days of high school. (Actually, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Mikey was a total la-hooo-zer back in the day. Look at how hard he's fought for those bulging biceps and how much he's paid for those sun-kissed locks -- and eyebrows WTF? -- and bee-stung lips. He looks like a genetically engineered geriatric douchebag.) He's an absolute creeper and I don't care how much he owns his actions, they're unacceptable.
When we have young women all over this country suffering from poor body image, I am disgusted that companies like this exist and are flourishing. A size 10 is big?! And it's not just the girls, either. I've spent enough summers at the public pool to know that the average teenage boy doesn't have the chiseled body featured in A&F's steamy ad campaigns. (Luckily, they do make men's XL clothes, though, mostly to cater to the beefier athletes.)
For Jeffries to come right out and say his company philosophy is to be "exclusionary" makes me want to scream and burn my (Size XL) Abercrombie sweatshirt in effigy and break things (preferably a display of polo shirts at my local A&F). I am trying to raise children in this world who have a sense of self-worth (that doesn't come from their stupid fucking jeans) and he continues to do whatever he can to make children feel excluded. Yes, teenagers are still children. And when a major company tells a teenager that they're not worthy of shopping at their store because her ass is too big, what does that say to her? Believe me, she's already self-conscious about that ass, she doesn't need Abercrombie & Fitch telling her that she's too horrible to buy a pair of their jeans. Nice work, d*ckhead.
In the 1990s, Jeffries took over a dying company that sold "fuddy duddy" clothes and turned it into the Mecca of Morons. Reading the articles and looking through the photos of Jeffries and his young employees made me feel sick to my stomach. This company embodies everything I despise. Ignorant, selfish, entitled, foolish, arrogant, elitist assholes who sit around with their fellow douchey "dudes" in their perfectly (identically) ripped jeans and their stupid f*cking racist/sexist t-shirts with gems like "Tig Ole Bitties" and "Two Wongs Make a White" and yuk it up about raiding mommy's medicine cabinet or maxing out daddy's credit card while their asshole parents neglect them to spend time on the slopes or at the beach.
These are the same type of kids who tweet racist shit and tell their sorority sisters to stop being so f*cking boring when frat boys are around. These are the same type of kids who received Participation Awards for every f*cking thing in their lives and have that shit lined up on a shelf in their room, because that reminds them that they're precious snowflakes. These are the same type of kids who kill referees at soccer games. I hate these people more than you know.
My children are not old enough to grace the abs-infested aisles of A&F just yet, but the first time either of my kids asks for anything from this store, I will say Hell F*cking No. I realize that won't matter much to Mr. Jeffries. After all, I'm way too old, fat, short and ugly to be allowed in his store. (I'm surprised he doesn't have bouncers at the door to turn away people like me.) He doesn't care what I think, because I'm not his clientele. Well, that's too bad, because he should care about me and other mothers like me. I am a mother who will influence and educate my kids about shopping consciously. I will raise kids like these girls who "girlcott" places like A&F. I will explain to my kids that we don't support companies that sexualize teens or marginalize people. We will put our money where our mouths are and we will buy our perfectly distressed $100 jeans ANYWHERE else, but A&F.
A&F can kiss my fat ass!