Many are reacting to the words of Abercrombie's CEO that basically said "Our Clothes are only for the 'cool kids'" and that he doesn't even want fat people to shop at his store! That said, many more are saluting Sara Taney who address this superficial address from the perspective of someone who has been forced to feel this kind of exclusion before.
I should be working on my next manuscript, as it's due to my publisher in a few weeks. However, after reading this alleged quote by Mr. Jeffries the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, I found myself irritated, furious and distracted.
Here's what the King of Bullies had to say.
"In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids," he told Salon. "Candidly, we go after the cool kids. 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. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don't alienate anybody, but you don't excite anybody, either."
My first thought was... Is this for real? Am I reading an article in The Onion or something? No. Sadly, this quote was actually uttered by a supposedly educated and successful adult.
My second thought was... Does this guy have kids? By all accounts, the answer is no. Thank God. Can you imagine having this insensitive man as your father? Clearly, he doesn't have children because if he did, I can't fathom that he would do what he's doing.
He's never had his eight-year-old come home in tears because another kid teased him in front of the rest of the class. He never had to watch his daughter cry herself to sleep because she somehow felt that she didn't measure up, that she wasn't good enough due to the shape or size of her body.
What is wrong with this dude? My guess is that he was an outcast as a kid and this is his ultimate revenge. He's now successful and feels that this makes him one of the cool-kids by default.
What he doesn't realize is that he's made himself the ultimate loser.
Shame on you, Mr. Jeffries.
Shame on you for perpetuating the bully on the playground mentality, in the online community and with our youth. The message you are sending is reprehensible and an appalling waste of an opportunity. You could have chosen to use your power and position to promote tolerance and love. Instead, you chose to promote and validate bullies. Your campaign is telling our young people that it's perfectly acceptable to exclude someone because of the size of their body.
Since when does being thin make someone a good person? All it makes you is thin. Being thin doesn't necessarily make someone healthy either. In fact, comments like yours only encourage young girls to starve themselves so they can meet some stupid standard that small-minded men like you perpetuate.
I was an outcast. From fourth grade through tenth grade I was picked on and bullied for being overweight. It was so bad that my parents pulled me out of the school district and put me in private school. Thank God they did.
I was the girl you singled out in your comments, Mr. Jeffries. I would not have been able to shop in your store and your cruel message would only have validated my tormentors and their bad behavior.
What breaks my heart is that I know there are young girls out there right now, who were brought to tears by your comments. I'm sure that you're being quoted by school bullies across the country. They're spouting your poisonous comments through shark-like smiles as their victims walk by, pretending not to hear it.
But believe me, they hear it.
However, I hope they hear this too.
To all the young girls out there who somehow feel as though you're less than others because of the size or shape of your body....don't you believe it. Not for one second.
I'm here to tell you that it gets better. Middle school and high school are mere a blip on the radar of life. I was you. I cried myself to sleep countless nights because of cruel comments made by my peers.
Remember this -- happiness and success are the best revenge.
Don't listen to the haters. Tune out their nasty remarks and listen to your passion. Find the one thing that makes you light up and gives you a sense of purpose. When you find that place, then no one and nothing can touch you.
For me, it was theater and writing. I found my escape, strength, and passion in creating unusual worlds with characters that I'd love to meet.
There will always be bullies like Mr. Jeffries and unfortunately, sad little people like him do exist. But remember one thing... the pathetic, small-minded people like Mr. Jeffries are not the majority and I think a good, old-fashioned boycott of Abercrombie & Fitch would be the perfect way to show him how the majority of us feel.
My sons will not shop at Abercrombie. I will never spend a dime in that store and I will tell everyone I know to boycott Abercrombie & Fitch. Show them that the bullies don't win.
So what do you think?
What did you think?
Now that I'm a Mom I can appreciate the times my mom would say "It's The Little Things!"
Man! It is indeed! Mother's Day morning itself may start sweetly, but admit it, often less than 10 minutes into your breakfast in bed and everyone including the family dog jumping in mom's bed to wake you up with precious celebration, quickly turns into the normal chaos, right?
Kids fighting over who gets to play the musical card next, the family dog has no doubt chewed up one of the hand made creations you were just presented because no one has remembered to feed him! Hey but we're just glad to have our family by our side aren't we?
You get what your mother knew all tose years ago! And that's why we appreciate mom more than ever. Here's a list of 10 thank yous Mom should hear! Afterall she did an amazing job with you!
• First and foremost, thank you for always telling me how proud you were of me and pointing out all of the ways in which I was (and am!) special.
• Thank you for insisting that I always be on time. I may have dragged my feet a lot as a kid, but now I know that punctuality shows respect for other people.
• Thank you for showing me how to have a healthy argument with others.
• Thank you for being a stickler about completing chores. I may never love to vacuum and do laundry, but I know how to keep myself and my house clean.
• Thank you for teaching me that people do judge a book by its cover. I may not always be a walking fashion plate, but you taught me to "Look My Best" "Behave My Best" And always "Be My Best" which will always catapault me immesurably and be a legacy for my family!
• Thank you for forcing me to eat asparagus and Brussels sprouts when all I wanted was chicken fingers and potato chips. Now I’m a healthy eater who loves the produce aisle!
• Thank you for encouraging me to keep trying and practicing after I was cut from the soccer team. You taught me how to be determined and resilient, and that persistence usually pays off. (I made the team the following year!)
• Thank you for teaching me how to be polite and courteous to everyone I meet. I have gotten to know so many interesting people because I simply smiled and said hello!
• Thank you for reading bedtime stories to me for years. You introduced me to so many new ideas, and you helped to make me a creative and imaginative person.
• Thank you for drilling me on my spelling words before my quiz each week. You taught me how valuable it is to put your best effort into whatever job you happen to be doing. You were right when you told me that careful preparation usually helps you to get results you can be proud of!