We all know about American Eagle and H&M and Abercrombie and Fitch. We hear those names and we think of hot shirtless men and girls in tiny bikinis showing off the “latest must-haves”.
We can awesome see the people that wear those clothes. Most of them are tiny little girls and muscular jock-type boys. The people we in high school call the “preppy squad”.
We see the physical size of these girls and we know that these companies sell to their body type, which is totally fine. You want to sell clothes for them, go ahead, nothing is stopping you.
What isn’t ok, however, is stating that you refuse to sell anything bigger than a Women’s Large shirt or a pant size over 10. But that’s exactly what A&F CEO Mike Jeffries did.
In an interview with Salon in 2006, Jefferies had this to say about his strategy: “That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores,” Jeffries said. “Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.” In the same interview, he stated: “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.”
Jefferies also slammed his competitors, H&M and American Eagle: "Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either."
But if he said it in 2006, why is it coming into the limelight now? The answer: Robin Lewis. Lewis recently co-published a book about the inside details of dealing in the retail industry. He recently did an interview with Business Insider and talked about A&F’s strategy and why they refuse to sell to larger girls and women. Lewis’ theory: “ he doesn’t want his core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they’re one of the ‘cool kids.’”
So you have to be supermodel thin to shop there. Well, that’s great if you’re that size naturally. In a world ridden with eating disorders, A&F isn’t helping solve the problem, they are feeding it. Girls today starve themselves to be a size 2 or a size 0 and it leads to depression, malnutrition and, in severe cases, death. A&F is saying that being super skinny makes you “cool”. News flash: IT’S NOT COOL!!!
You are who you are. If you’re naturally tiny, congratulations. If you’re naturally larger, embrace it. If your physician tells you that losing 3 pounds would make you healthier, change your diet and exercise regularly. I promise, it’s safer than becoming anorexic or bulimic and you feel better, too.
Moral of the story: Abercrombie and Fitch is exclusive and thrives off the idea that every teen girl wants to be a size 2 model. But you can find fashion just as nice in stores like H&M and American Eagle that don’t judge you based on your appearance. Love yourself for you who you are because you are who you are.
Note: If you or someone you know is suffering from anorexia or bulimia, please seek medical help. You can overcome this.