I 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 And yet, the man persists with his ridiculously outdated judgment of our young women.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!