Feel free to start here for some context to this post….
|Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch
|Fat Amy is my soul sister...
I started to call this post "Idiocy of a melty faced man" and was going to go off about how he's wrong and I'm a nice fat kid, blah blah blah, but then I realized something: there's absolutely nothing wrong with me. I don't need to justify myself or my life to this guy, or really to anyone. Yes, OK, I am statistically obese. But I have healthy self-esteem, I'm taking positive steps to get more fit, and most of all: I like me. This guy clearly has some issues if this is how his mentality is shaped. What I mean is, maybe he's battling the same demons I myself battle that tell me I'm not good enough.
Maybe he's so superficial in his approach because his self-esteem is low. Maybe he's insecure. Maybe he was picked on in school. Bottom line, I don't know this guy, and I've never particularly cared for their clothes (that's just a personal preference; nothing to do with this incident). I could rage and fume like I did for a hot 30 seconds, or I could be the bigger person (literally and figuratively in this case- ha!) and just ignore this whole thing. My blood pressure will thank me for it, I'm sure!
I posted the article on my FB wall and I'm getting some interesting discussion out of it… Some of my favorite comments:
- "At least this guy admits it. Do you know how many stores don't stock large sizes in store but sell them online? They're more than happy to take your money, they just don't want you in their store. They just don't want to admit it."
- "His philosophy isn't all that different from many people's / places in the world - but he's openly stating a reality. As aghast as I am at his nerve... it's not untrue, what he's sharing. There *is* a "cool kid" in / our mentality, and I for one never felt like I belonged. But... at least with age, I care less about that fact!"
- "That's almost like promoting bullying and teasing."*
There are so many retailers that fat shame their potential consumers, and really person #1 is telling the truth: This guy is the first to say what a lot of corporate clothing stores already do. Old Navy raises it's prices $2+ per item in their "plus-size" line. Plus they don't carry women's plus-sizes in the store, though they do admittedly carry a women's XXL. But that's a whoooole other blog post. This guy's just a mean face on a fat shaming industry of clothiers. I can't really see this problem as a whole going away, especially with the rising obesity epidemic in this country.
The best we can do is to keep loving ourselves, love on the younger generations who shop at these stores and see these hateful messages, and hopefully try to counteract a bit of the discrimination and negativity. (Never have I ever sounded like such a hippie…)
Bottom line is: I'm not going to shop at A&F, and I would hope my friends would do the same, but I don't honestly expect to change anyone's minds on the matter. I just wanted to offer perspective from this not-so-average fat kid's view. On that note, I officially turn a little blind eye to Mr. Jeffries and his hateful comments, and choose to be the bigger person. Figuratively speaking.
*For the sake of integrity, this quote was in a text about the article.