Every so often I come out from behind the ODDMAN persona and comment on something that I feel to be important. Today is one such day.
I posted the below picture on both the ODDMAN FaceBook page and my personal FB page. It was the largest viewed post on the ODDMAN FB page as of yet. Not all the comments that I received on this picture were allowed to stay on the FB pages. The reasons will become evident.
When I first read this I found it hard to believe that CEO Michael Jeffries publicly stated that Abercrombie & Fitch’s clothes were for the popular and beautiful people only, essentially calling those he deemed not worthy of their clothes ugly, fat and undeserving. He has the audaciousness to judge someone on strictly their looks and if they are popular amongst their peers. Intelligence, ability to interact with others and personality do not seem to enter into his judgmental thinking. Popularity amongst a group of self- indulged people isn’t always that great.
In a day and age where girls and young women are bombarded with photoshopped stick models that stress looks and thinness above everything else, is it any wonder why so many young women develop anorexia and developing problems with self –esteem? Their self-confidence is hammered constantly in magazines, social media and YouTube. Their bodies are changing, their hormones are raging and they are developing their future personalities. They are growing up, trying to fit in and becoming who they will be. And he, as an adult, is insulting them. He could be a poster boy for insulting and demeaning demeanor. Michael Jeffries is not an example of exemplary behavior for our youth.
And then this beacon of idiocy comes along and states publicly that unless you are thin and popular, you cannot wear our clothes. You don’t belong with us. We don’t want you in our clothes. What a message to be sending to kids. Stay thin, make sure that you look good and we will let you into the A&F club. Not good looking and thin, then go away. You can’t even be overweight and popular because they won’t make a shirt that will fit you.
To judge a person by how they look and the company you keep is ridiculous, whether as a child, a teenager or as an adult. If you cannot look past the packaging that someone comes with, then you are not worth knowing. Shallowness and narcissism seems to be the order of the day. He is exhibiting/promoting a value system that should have no place in society, in my opinion.
The population of the world has many body types. Some are overweight, short, tall, some are goofy, some are funny-looking and they all are individuals. They need to be accepted for who they are and not some ridiculous set of standards that someone dreams up.
My daughter will not be allowed to buy anything from Abercrombie & Fitch. She is at the age where she can fit into their clothes, but she will also learn the value of the action: BOYCOTT. My wife and I have taught her that it is the person inside that counts, not their looks or their intelligence or who they hang around with and certainly not what brand of clothes they wear. It is the individual’s personality that counts and are they fun to hang around with.
She is also learning that she does not have to support people or companies that do not share her values. These companies do not have the right to exist; they have to continually earn the right to stay in business. If enough people do not purchase their clothing, they will no longer exist. That is the power of boycotting companies with values and practices that you find offensive.
One thing that A&F should remember is that what is popular with the teenage culture today can change overnight. Arrogance, marketing mistakes and blunders can cost dearly. Many profitable companies have had their fortunes drastically change downward virtually overnight due to the fickleness of the teenage market. With how the youth of today is involved with social media, I am sure that his remarks are everywhere. I hope Jeffries’s comments cost A&F dearly.
Michael Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, I want to say, THANK YOU, for what you stated publicly about your company’s values. You have provided people with the perfect example of arrogance, narcissism and judgmental values that have no place in this world. I will use you as an example of what I do NOT want my daughter and her generation to ever become.
You are a shining star of what is broken in our society. You may make a lot of money. You may have a lot of material possessions. You may have wealth and the adulation that it brings.
However, you have no soul.
David McBrien – ODDMAN
For a more comprehensive reading of Michael Jeffries’s remarks, click the NO A&F button.
Here is a creative response to Michael Jeffries’s remarks. (via: ODDETTE Barb Buchanan)