Mike Jeffries, CEO for Abercrombie and Fitch, had quite a bit to say recently about his clothing line and its subsequent branding. From "I don't want our core customers to see people who aren't as hot as them wearing our clothing" to "Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. The companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla." to "That's why we hire good-looking people in our stores, Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people."
Mike Jeffries is a tool. But to be honest, I can't bring myself to be mad at him. I believe society as a whole is to blame. In the end, it's still socially uncool to be overweight. Doesn't matter if you're a good person with a good heart, in our society, if you're fat, then you're looked at as lazy, as a glutton.
I feel for our youth today. I truly do. No one knows more about how cruel kids can be if you're overweight than I do. I still hold grudges towards the jackasses and bitches that tormented me in junior high and high school. Those that bullied me and made fun of me simply because I was fat. But even back then, there weren't public figures excusing it and approving it.
Here is my question though: imagine he said Mentally handicapped or African American women or single mothers or gay men/women instead of fat people. We as a society would rip him and his company apart and crucify him publicly. So where is the outrage? All posts and articles I've seen have been from women. Where is the general societal outrage for what is 35% of our country? (The CDC claims the number of Americans 20 and over and overweight is 35%) That's a HUGE number, pun intended.
One thing I would like to see though is this man tell an overweight woman to her face why she's not cool or beautiful or allowed to shop in his store. I'd pay to watch him broach that conversation with Queen Latifah or Adele. I'd pay even more for him to tell my husband and children why I'm not beautiful or cool or allowed to shop at his store. My boys would mop the proverbial floor with him. Come to think of it, I guess that's all the outrage I really need.
Carry on then, Mike Jeffries. You'll never know what you're missing not being a "chubby chaser". Your loss.
- Dawny Wendy