I’m going to talk about Abercrombie because I like to talk about things at least a month or two after all the scandal happens and everyone else has moved on with their lives. I’m like that really bitchy wife, that after you have a fight one time, about two years later she brings up allthatshit again and you are like “what the what!?” because you don’t even remember that fight.
So that’s me, and I want to talk about the controversy surrounding the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch and why my daughter still wears their clothing. First of all, I want to make sure that everyone knows that it’s “Fitch” not “Finch” because sometimes my mom calls it that. Second of all, I think CEO Mike Jeffries’ comment from 2006 was a real douche-hattery thing to say. Seriously. So wrong. He wins the award for biggest Douche-Hattery thing to say of the decade. This is not debatable.
Now, I have a background in marketing and I know that every company has a strategy – just like A&F has their own strategy at the key demographics they go after. I get that…but “..cool..attractive kids with lots of friends…and a lot of people don’t belong in our clothes, and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.” When did that become a demographic and when did a 60 year old man become such a jerk and no wonder why there are so many things going wrong with our society.
And before I even read Mr. Jeffries crazy-ass statement, I didn’t even like shopping at A&F. Mainly because of the smell of cologne and the loud music and overpriced clothing – it was just sensory overload for me and I had to leave the store or I would pass-out. I’m sure there’s some kind of ‘Mom shopped at A&F and now she’s dead’ syndrome or something. I know it’s happened.
And then…and then..it was the oversexualization of tween and teen girls – provocative advertising and signage and 12 year olds in string bikinis that would barely cover my three year old and her tiny tush.
So when I found myself shopping at A&F last year for the first time – let’s just say that Mama took a step back to try to figure out just what that hell she was doing. So, of course I did what everyone does when they go completely against their value system and what they believe in, I didn’t talk about it. Kind of like the way my grandmother handled the sex talk with her children.
But…but..but… I had no choice.
Because you go and find an affordable pair of jeans that are not from Abercrombie & Fitch to fit my daughter. I challenge you.
My daughter is 10. She doesn’t consider herself a cool and attractive kid. Does she have lots of friends? Sure, but not because of what she wears, but because she is one of the most giving people that I know. She’s a good friend – to everyone, without discrimination. Her main pastimes are reading, writing stories, dancing and playing with her sisters and her cat. She helps out around the house, volunteers to unload the dishwasher and likes to get her sister ready for bed. She plays with the little neighborhood kids and wants to find homes for every stray cat in the world. Her head is full of stories to write and tell, and instead of reading her baby sister a book – she’ll make-up a new story for her. She’s shy and a little self-conscience, but I think happy with herself inside and out, and she’s growing up.
She’s also five feet tall and 56 pounds..and healthy. She’s been in the 90th percentile for height and 5th percentile for weight since the day she was born. She eats..and eats..and eats..healthy stuff and junk stuff..and she is healthy and happy, just with a thin body structure.
But I’ll be damned if I can find a pair of jeans to fit this girl. Gap slim jeans look like baby diapers on her because I have to pull the elastic adjusters in so far. Justice slim jeans don’t adjust so they just fall off her hips. 77 Kids jeans fall apart(sorry, I really wanted to love your store), Target doesn’t make jeans in slim sizes – which is actually quite typical. At one point I went to Nordstrom’s and had her try on designer($100 – WTF) jeans thinking they must be made for slim girls – but no, they hung right off her.
So we found ourselves at A&F to try on jeans….and damn if their slim super skinny jeans didn’t fit her like a glove…and they were not $100 or even $70 or even $50 – in fact they usually have a 40% off code going on and I’ve never paid more than $28 for a pair of jeans from them – and I stock-up when I find them for under $20.
And my girl put those on and almost bounced out of the dressing room yelling “Mom, these fit! These fit! I don’t need a belt, they won’t fall off and I LOVE THEM!!” Not “I’ll be the coolest girl in class with these jeans.”
She just wanted a pair of jeans that she felt comfortable wearing.
Don’t we all?
We always talk about how clothes don’t make us, it’s what’s inside that counts. Are you happy and healthy and kind…that’s what’s important..not what you wear.
But you know, the clothing industry isn’t worth billions for nothing. We’ve all spent time in dressing rooms looking for that perfect fitting dress, pair of jeans and swimsuit. And I admit that I feel better about myself when I know my clothes fit well. We don’t go out naked, and truly clothes serve a bigger purpose than just as a covering in today’s society. Right or wrong.
But my daughter doesn’t shop places for popularity or fame…she shops at A&F because their clothing fits her.
And I don’t need to justify that, because I know what a good kid she is….and she’s so beautiful inside, and that’s what we focus on. But yeah, she’s a good kid wearing a pair of jeans that make her feel good too.
So I’m coming out to let you know that we shop at Abercrombie & Fitch, even though their CEO is a douche..and they sell inappropriate bikinis.