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How much this post is relevant to my blog? Do I talk about business, bullying, or a general journalism issues? I blog about nutrition issues and a healthy recipe once in a while. I was eager to write about this case. Then I hesitated. Why? Maybe I’m not the person who cares about businessmen. But, then I thought I should speak my mind.
On May 3, Mike Jeffries the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch (the popular clothing teen line) come back in the press, when Bussiness Insider Magazine pointed out that he doesn’t want the stores to have sizes for women larger than 10. The magazine interviewed Robin Lewis, the co-author of ”The New Rules of Retail” and CEO of newsletter The Robin Report, BI reported him saying CEO Mike Jeffries “doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people.”
When I read the news I was skeptical. First, I read the original interview so I can put my thoughts in the right direction. It was published in …Salon Magazine in 2006. Why people are frowning at him? What is wrong with his statements? This businessman’s accomplishments are impressive. Media is applauding successful businessmen and made them role models.
Why we are burring our heads in the sand? Do we respect overweight people? No we don’t! We are treating them like disabled ones that have to fight for their rights. We encourage being skinny, and applaud the skinny ones.Teens are suffering from body image issues, and people like Mike Jeffries push teens especially females to lose weights in unhealthy ways. Is he the only one to blame for sabotaging the efforts for improving body image for teens?
In my opinions there are multiple factors:
- Mass media and popular fashion magazines: They do the same as Mike Jeffries; they don’t sell for overweight people. Most of them don’t put fashion styles for overweight people or even mention them; they always focus on skinny people and emphasized that by posting photos for models, ads for clothes line for women with small size and, advices for reducing the waistline. (I have to make an exception here, in the May issue of Marie Clair magazine; there is one page for an outfit of a beautiful big fashionista)
- TV Commercials: Every day there are ads for sugary products, directed for kids & teens, in way that make it tempting and irresistible.
- Hypermarket: They arrange the aisles in a way that sugary food almost found in every corner. So, whenever you turn your face you will find the “amazing deals’ that you can’t miss! We can’t argue that the answer is not going to these hypermarkets! A lot of people can’t afford go shopping in fancy wholesome food shops that sell local and organic products.
- Dietitians and health advocates: Some dietitians focus on the ideal body weight and push their clients to reach it as soon as possible! Many dietitians post a lot of "healthy" deserts. You can't tell one that you have to consume treats on occasions, while you post deserts on daily basis!.
My point is we live in a big conflict. We can't just blame one for discriminating overweight people, and keep attacking him.,while other working tirelessly to push a certain body image for teens.
Today (24 of May 2013) A&F will release the first quarter revenues. Will we expect any down? I guess it’s too early. Surprisingly, I never went to this store. Maybe I’ll go and buy a shirt (I’m not sure if anything will fit in me, I’m new mama!). Why do I want to go? Do I support this brand? No, not really. I’m just curious!
Will you buy from A&F? Will you let your kids wearing this brand's clothes?
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