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Abercrombie & Bitch

A & FI don’t have a lot of tolerance for snobs, bigots or idiots. Which means that Mike Jeffries, the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch will not be on my Christmas list. The man is all that and more.

Jeffries proudly proclaims that his stores are strictly for the thin, pretty, and cool kids, which serves as his explanation as to why  Abercrombie & Fitch will never carry a pant size for women larger than a 10, and why women sizes XL and XXL are out of the question.

It’s hard to accept one person’s vision of beautiful, especially when the individual spouting the judgment is a 68 year old man who has puffed up fish lips, a face rigid with Botox and fillers, stretched skin and dyed blond hair. Just an observation.

An interview with Mr. Jeffries by “Salon” in 2006 was recently resurrected by “Business Insider”. In that interview, Jeffries arrogantly observed, “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. 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.”

To make matters worse, (can they get any worse?) Jeffries strictly adheres to a policy of only hiring good-looking people in his stores, saying “good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we don’t market to anyone other than that.” Who died and made him the boss of beauty?

I’m not sure what appalls me more; the insensitivity of it all, the ball face prejudice, or the fact that it is illegal as all hell.

Mr. Jeffries is well aware of his legal infractions, or he should be if his memory is still intact. In 2004, A & F paid a $40 million settlement towards a class-action suit brought by minority employees who claimed that they were either denied employment or forced to work in back rooms, where they wouldn’t be seen by customers. And yet, the man persists with his ridiculously outdated judgment of our young women.

This entire stance makes me beyond angry. How dare anyone tell someone else’s kid that they aren’t cool, pretty (or thin enough for that matter), to shop in his stores just because they happen to wear a size larger than 10.

Why, in this day and age, do we as a society, put up with this kind of destructive marketing, prejudice mindset and bigoted posturing? When did this become okay?

I get that this is America. People can sell their wares any way they choose, so long as they don’t break any laws. But something must be said about decency, respect and an acceptance that our children are all beautifully different.

Real beauty comes from within, plain and simple. It’s a message every parent tries to hammer into their kids head. It also happens to be the gospel truth. It has nothing to do with what you wear, how much it costs or what size it is. But peer pressure is a wicked reality and our kids get it by the bucket load. Enough!

American’s have seen many a career go down the spiral drain because a celebrity, or CEO couldn’t keep their mouth shut or zipper zipped. Here we are again watching a man suffer a self-imposed bullet wound because he can’t seem to find a way past his ignorance and arrogance. I would offer that he deserves every sale that he loses because of it!

The solution for me is easy. Shop somewhere else.

American Eagle Outfitters stores are the largest competitor to A & F. Their clothing line is forever trendy, well made, and wonderfully affordable. Even better is the fact that they embrace all sizes offering XL and XXL for both men and women.

I will tell you that it will be a cold day in hell before any of my hard earned money goes to feather the nest of a hate mongering CEO such as Mr. Jeffries.

I further believe that we should have an intervention of sorts. It might do Mr. Jeffries some good if the mothers of the world united and had an old fashion “come to Jesus” talk with him. Of course this would be after we withheld all cosmetic procedures for 6 months and force fed him liquid chicken fat for a few weeks.

After which we would let him lose to shop in his own stores where he would certainly be banished for being less than thin, pretty or cool.

It would serve him right.

Click here to see how one of my favorite talk show hosts dealt with the matter. I share it with you because it’s priceless.

Ta-ta until next week. I’m off to go shopping at an American Eagle Outfitters store!

 

 

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Frankie - And we wonder why young girls have a problem with low self esteem-shame on this man!!!!

Tammy - Frankie, I agree with you on ALL counts. So appreciate the read and your sharing!

Suerae Stein - Amen! What an idiot and creep! You said it any better than I ever could have. We love American Eagle Outfitters and will never step foot in A&F – it’s too pricey for too little material, if you ask me. Great post and I love Ellen too!

Jeffrey Davidson - Well, where do I begin? First, he has a right to sell whatever sizes he chooses. However, his marketing of the reasons he sells those sizes is insensitive, malicious, callous, crude and we don’t have enough room for all of the other adjectives, some of which you may not be able to print.

His attitude of who he hires and where they work within the stores was appropriately dealt with by the courts but perhaps the award was not great enough since the insurance companies pay for it.

To say that someone is “cool” strictly because of their appearance or stature is reprehensible. He lacks common decency.

Ellen certainly has a way in presenting some things but was certainly right on the mark when she commented that being “cool” {even if that is a reasonably defining term – my words} is NOT defined by a number but by who you are inside.

Growing up, I suffered from the cruelty of other children for a variety of reasons and found myself unaccepted and “not cool” until certain things changed in my life. Trust me, they had nothing to do with my size {which was and is somewhat below average} nor my financial status {which was just above average for my community}.

I became “accepted” {I never really liked the idea of being ‘cool’ or ‘uncool’} when others saw in me some of what I had to offer and that where I may not have been very competent or good at some things, I excelled at others where they did not.

It was not always easy, and perhaps the peer pressure was not what it is today, but looking back, as difficult as it was, it helped to make me who I am today. I hope that for the most part that’s a good thing.

Courage to those who can’t and shouldn’t buy their attire at A&F.

Mel Glenn - Righteous anger, well-justified. He should made to wear baggy suits and barrels held up with suspenders.
One question: you reference a 2006 interview.
Does he still adhere to the same policy today?

Tammy - Hi Jeff, if you follow the links of the Salon and Business Insider you will get an earful of his conceit. It’s beyond nauseating. Life is hard enough for kids as it is…and was for you and me. Nobody needs a major clothing store to exclude kids because they don’t fit the “cool kid” mode. I call bullshit. It’s nice to know that men feel strongly about this issue as well. Proving that it’s not a woman’s issue after all. Thanks ever so for the read and the comment. Love having you here.

Tammy - Hi Mel, yes, he does still adhere to the same hiring policy today, lawsuits be damned. It seems he has been embroiled in them since he took over the company. Arrogance has a price. I invite you to click on the highlighted “Salon” and “Business Insider” reference in my blog. It will take you to the in-depth articles that I speak of. Prepare yourself for a ridiculous dose of conceit. They are, however, great reads. I hope you enjoyed the Ellen DeGeneres clip at the end (click on the highlighted “here” reference). The woman is a hoot and took this topic on full speed. Let me know what you think, Mel. As always, my friend, thank you for being here.

Tammy - Hi Suerae, yes, I’ve actually known idiots and creeps that I like better than this guy. I have a reader who responded that she was going to go into the A & F store to deliberately request bigger sizes. wish I were a fly on that wall! As my dad would always say, “it’s hard to argue with stupid”. But I would offer that it’s harder to argue with arrogance. Maybe they are one in the same. Hope you enjoyed the Ellen clip, she is awesome! Thanks ever so for stopping by. Always glad to see you around the place.

Richard - There’s one virtue of American enterprise which can be exercised here. Don’t patronize
A & F. We have choices and they are many. It’s hard to believe that a leading retailer’s CEO would espouse such a position. However, the expression of such an arrogant posture would be the shot heard around the country. The result in diminishing sales will be deafening.

Ellie - Tammy, great commentary about what’s going on with A & F. It’s hard to believe but I think you really said it right. I’m curious to know what makes this guy think the way he does? Keep up the great writing as I look forward to reading your blog posts and forwarding them to my friends.

Tammy - Richard, from your mouth to God’s ears! Let us hope that people let their voice and their choice speak through their pocket books. Happy to have you here and so appreciate the comment!

Tammy - Hi Ellie, thanks for the kind review. I’ll keep writing as long as people keep reading. I have no clue what makes anyone so enclosed in their own ideals and self made world. Dangerous stuff. I can only imagine the damage his actions have cause all these many years. I hope it all comes to an end. So happy you stopped by! Do come again.

Kitt Crescendo - I absolutely LOVE that he’s getting so much negative press because of his narrow minded attitudes. A friend and fellow blogger named August McLaughlin wrote a post recently about his shameful behavior, too.

She came from the modeling world, so her insights were fantastic. I truly loved that she turned down a gig with them back in the day.

It is never okay to undermine self esteem and make someone feel like less of a person simply based on appearance. Kids have enough to struggle with… This kind of behavior is a gateway to bullying, in my opinion. It drives superiority complexes and lowers self esteem…and those who “fit the profile” are now sent the message that it’s acceptable to mock anyone who aren’t as physically blessed as they are.

Yeah…not ever spending money with that Douchebag CEO’s company.

Jenny - I had read about a man in LA that started a campaign by going to a Goodwill store and buying all the A & F clothing items as possible. He then handed them out to homeless people. To encourage others his campaign goes under #FitchTheHomeless.
Never bought anything from this store nor have the kids. Never really thought too and most definitely will not now, well I guess no L has done it for me.

Tammy - Kit, it IS the gateway to bullying! You are so right. And I’m not sure what I’m more frightened of, a superiority complex from idiots or low self-esteem from those who are so much. Scary business. Let us hope that this man continually gets called out for the hateful bigot that he is. He continues his “business practices” and we all have to wonder to ourselves why parents spend their dollars there. I’m with you … ditch the Fitch!! Appreciate the read and the comment!

Tana Bevan - Tammy, In case you haven’t seen it yet, Jes M. Baker wrote the following. The photographs are great! http://www.themilitantbaker.com/2013/05/to-mike-jeffries-co-abercrombie-fitch.html

Kellie - friggin idiot

Joan Cooper - Well…it took me awhile to find a comment to this item. There was a time when “exclusivity” was not unusual. That time has passed. For better or worse.

People need to be taught that their own self worth comes from within themselves – not from any kind of entity outside in the world.

If it is profitable (hard to believe) for A&F to present their product in this matter, I guess that makes it worth while. But you don’t need to buy into it, even if you are the “cool” image they cater to. It is just one person’s idea of mass marketing. Are you laughing?

Tammy - Tana, yes I did see it and I LOVE it. Thanks ever so for sharing it hear!! Appreciate you thinking of me.

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