If you’ve ever shopped at Abercrombie & Fitch, you know that they do not cater to the plus-sized adult. I don’t care how cool you think you are, ladies, if you wear over a size 10, Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries does not want your business or even want you in his stores. You fat girls are bad for business. Simply stated, Jeffries doesn’t want overweight women wearing his label.
According to some comments he made recently about the brand, fat women will never be part of the "in" crowd. It’s not subtle and it’s fat-shaming, and Jeffries' comments are completely discriminatory and sizist. The kicker is that they do, in fact, offer XL sizes for the boys because a boy can wear a larger size and be athletically built -- like a football player -- but not girls. If you are over a size 10, you are obviously obese, end of story. I’m thinking a chubby girl may have dumped him sometime in the past.
Mr. Jeffries and Abercrombie & Fitch have every right to make their target market thin, beautiful, popular people. My gut reaction to this situation was to be completely outraged. How dare he be so bold as to say this horrible thing out loud? But that’s the thing. He only said what many retailers think. I worked in retail for my entire high school and college career and I remember how it usually went. We hired attractive people to attract other attractive people who wanted to be like them, wear the clothes they wore, be popular, be thin. Bottom line, you are not selling just a product or a brand, you are selling a lifestyle. Abercrombie & Fitch is selling a status.
My issue is how in-your-face he is about the whole thing, like he had no regard for those he was alienating because they are not his people. In his mind, they are worthless losers because if they weren’t, they would be thin, cool, and shopping in his store. This is discrimination, and worse, there is some "heavier" teen girl out there who wants to be popular and pretty and fit in, and his statements make that girl feel worthless.
His way of thinking is perpetuating the myth that happiness and thinness go hand in hand. They do not. If you are overweight to start with and slim down later, that only solves the issue of being overweight. It will not magically make you cool, popular, or pretty. You will still be who you were when you were overweight, only in new clothes. Wearing Abercrombie & Fitch of any size does not make you more attractive or better than everyone else. It just means you fit the clothes and your parents could afford them. And maybe, just maybe, you base your worth on the label in your clothing and not who you are -- and that is just plain sad.
What do you think about Mike Jeffries not wanting overweight women to shop at Abercrombie and Fitch?
Image via Abercrombie & Fitch