Tuesday, 28 May 2013
Abercrombie's a Bitch
Abercrombie's CEO Mike Jeffries recently stated that he wants to 'market to cool, good-looking' people adopting an 'exclusionary' policy to fulfill that ridiculous wish. They have decided to cut all XL and XXL sizes with the largest women's pant size being a 10. Reason: Mike doesn't want so called fat women from wearing his brand because Abercrombie should only target the 'cool kids'. This is what he says,
'We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don't belong, and they can't belong.'
This is no playground 'you're too ugly to hang out with us' antic. I understand that there are differing opinions about body size and appearance which affects your day to day personal life. However this is imposed by a highly influential and global company, elevating it to another scale of wrong.
For years, the fashion industry has been receiving backlash for over emphasizing that being skinny and Caucasian equates beauty. More recently, focus has been shifted to feature a wider cross-section of body types and skin types in order to reflect 'real women'. Initiatives such as the Vogue Italia Plus Size editorial spread and the rise of ethnic models (Jessica Gomes, Liu Wen, Chanel Iman) has helped to push a new perception.
However, the above is only portrayal but this issue goes deeper ... this is about policy. You can place a magazine in front of someone's face. They have a CHOICE whether to pay it any attention. But when you put up constraints and rules ... that choice is gone. It's bad enough that Abercrombie only 'hires good looking people' but now Mr Jeffries is taking the option away from people larger than size 10 to shop there. Isn't exclusion what society is trying to deviate from? Racial exclusion ... sexual exclusion ... body image & appearance exclusion. With this controversy, it seems like we progress one step forward only to be pushed 3 strides back.
What makes it worse is this regulation comes from a male. You see it would be easier in calling him a misogynist. We can dismiss all his claims because he's just a frustrated hater. Simple. But he doesn't hate women, in fact he likes them, but only of the skinny and 'beautiful' types. This is a prime example of shaping society on the views of influential men. Men who voice their ridiculous and outdated views (in this case, to exclude those not considered 'cool') and actually getting their wish.
The good thing is, we all have a choice. Many have made the point to ignore, humiliate or criticise. Mine is to laugh at Abercrombie. Because Abercrombie is that bitch in high school with her exclusive 'pretty' club who ends up falling from her high horse and smashing her head along the way. As their deteriorating sales stats show, that's exactly whats happening.