Politic365

 
 


Culture

1:59pm May 13, 2013

Abercrombie & Fitch’s Anti-Fat Agenda: Mean Man CEO, Bias & Dollars

fitch4

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries angered customers and possible customers with size discriminatory statements and beliefs that larger people, especially women, should not wear his brand. A recent Business Insider story reignited the controversy.

Apparently, the brand is marketed toward “cool kids.” Yes, good-and-grown people perpetuate this notion. The Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) CEO “doesn’t want his core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing his clothing.”

In 2006, Jeffries told Salon.com, ”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.”

Retail expert Robin Lewis told Business Insider,  “He doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store. He wants thin and beautiful people.”

The brand stops at a size 10 for women, but carries large sizes for men. This decision exists despite the fact that about half of American women wear around a size 14. The average American woman is about 5’3 and weighs 166 pounds, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If “plus” sized is increasingly average sized in the U.S., then excluding normal people from shopping at a major store seems counterintuitive or bad for business.  Instead, a brand known to appeal to a “classic” American surfer and preppy style erred on the side of glorifying its customers, rather than widening the potential pool of spenders.

These comments about conventional attractiveness and consumer worth have not gone ignored. In an open letter for the Huffington Post, Amy Taylor criticized the CEO’s perspectives and discussed the everyday Americans being excluded. She wrote, “Pretend, for one moment, that instead of fat chicks, unattractive people or ‘not-so-cool’ kids Mr. Jeffries had said ‘African Americans’ or ‘homosexuals’ or ‘single moms.’ As a society, we would rise up and crucify any brand that flaunted that kind of exclusionary business plan.”

Oh, but A&F bandaged exclusionary and discriminatory wounds not too long ago. In 2004, the company agreed to pay a $40 million settlement to black, Latino and Asian employees and job applicants for a class-action federal discrimination lawsuit. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission joined the lawsuit, in which it was alleged that the company violated sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The company was accused of promoting whites over employees of color and disparate treatment based on race.

So, while consumer dissatisfaction is expected for Jeffries’ narrow-minded sentiments, the company’s record for dealing with differences is not sterling. Yet if “plus sized”, brown skinned, awkward and otherwise marginalized people skip A&F’s  teenybopper, hyper-sexualized, cologne doused stores and exorbitant prices, for more inclusive competitors, A&F will take note.

Regardless of one’s culture or coolness, dollars spend the same. The company is entitled to market to its presumed niche; however, consumer purse strings and pockets keep the real power.

 

 

 



About the Author

Imani Jackson
Imani Jackson
Imani Jackson is a journalist and FAMU College of Law student with social commentary and/or news stories published on HBCU Digest, Clutch Magazine, the Daily American newspaper in Somerset, Pa, and the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.




 
 

 
slideshow_1210556_healthreform.0810_10

#Ferguson: Rep. Hank Johnson’s Police Demilitarization Bill Gets GOP Support

Three Republicans have signed on to Rep. Hank Johnson’s (D-GA) bill to stop handing free military equipment to local  police.  The three Republicans are Reps. Raul Labrador (R-ID), Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Justin Amas...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 
 
markFuller1

Members of Congress Vocal on Ray Rice Go Silent Federal Judge Mark Fuller

After Roland Martin shined a spotlight on Alabama Judge Mark Fuller, Congresswoman Terri Sewell became the first member of Congress to call for the federal judge’s resignation.  Why? Because in the wake of the scandal ov...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
2

 
 
Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 9.38.57 PM

CA State Sen. Roderick Wright to resign this month, following criminal conviction

California State Senator Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) announced on Monday that he would resign from the state legislature effective September 22. This comes after being convicted for felony perjury and voting fraud charges for...
by Adriana Maestas
2

 

Advertisement
 
hillaryA

Iowa: DREAMers Ask Hillary About Immigration, Get No Answers

DREAMers asked Hillary Clinton about the issue of President Obama’s latest delay on immigration.  Clinton, along with her husband, were in Iowa today at Sen. Harkin’s famous 37th (and final) annual Steak Fry in I...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 
 
hug

Rep. Frederica Wilson Meets with Nigerian Schoolgirls Who Escaped Boko Haram

Despite a change in the news cycle that has featured ISIS, Ray Rice and Ferguson, Miami Congresswoman Frederica Wilson fights to keep the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls in the news. After the kidnappings, Wilson spearheaded a ...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 




2 Comments


  1. Michelle

    Me I would like to say to ambercrombie and fitch that god dont like ugly .if zomeone.has the money to pay their way then y deny them the rights
    as everyone else.how far did u really think these forms of discriminations would get u.well i guess u are finding out the hard way


  2. Article writing is also a fun, if you be acquainted with then
    you can write otherwise it is difficult to write.

    my blog post women Coats cheap



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>