We hire good-looking people in our stores, because good-looking people attract good looking people, and we want to market to cool good-looking people. We don’t want to market to anyone other than that. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.” as spoken by Mike Jeffries, CEO of US clothing retailer, Abercrombie and Fitch.
Just who is this guy? How could he make such an insensitive statement? Who made him the authority of what is and is not cool? Apparently, Jeffries, the brains behind this multi-billion dollar label, and it’s consumers have done so. In order to spew forth venomous remarks, you would think that the person speaking would be cool and good-looking, but a quick Google search proved otherwise. Is there such a word as “overplastisurgerized”?
Not only was I unnerved by this 68 year old man’s obsession with wearing ripped jeans, flip-flops, windblown, blonde surfer hair, and the word “dude”, but also his preoccupation with the all-American male, who according to Jeffries is cool, beautiful, funny, masculine, optimistic. His 300 acre headquarters in the Ohio woods is a sort of Neverland and that in itself is brow raising.
Jeffries is under fire but I’m sensing that this golden boy(Is that a spray on tan?)can’t take the heat? Critics are saying that A&F only offers clothing to the ultra thin and refuses to make any sizes for plus sized women, anything above a size Large. According to the size charts for women on the A&F site, a large top fits a 38 inch bust. The large bottom is a size 10-12, 30-31 inches in the waist. This dismisses the argument that he only offers clothing for the ultra thin.
So what exactly is plus sized and why are people so outraged that he will not offer those sizes? Historically, plus sized referred to clothing larger than the average wearer and is not the same as being overweight. In the U.S., plus size generally begins at size 14. It’s all so complicated when different clothing lines have their own standards of where plus sizes start.
I think the real issue is that we are angry about being labeled, by a label. A&F is for the cool, good looking people, and if we can’t wear them, we must not be cool and good looking. I can’t fit into any of his clothing, but am I angry because of it? No! We have this poor old guy who surrounds himself with what he can never, ever be again. He has the Peter Pan syndrome, a young boy in an old man’s body who failed to learn a valuable lesson in his youth. “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. He’s put his foot in his mouth, but it’s not a child size foot. It should still be an easy feat though, just kick off the flip flops, and chug it right into his foot sized mouth!