Friday, May 10, 2013

a & f disses curvy girls everywhere

recently, multiple articles have been posted about abercrombie and fitch's ceo mike jeffries and his outrageously disgusting comments about "fat" people.  here's the most cited quotation:

"in every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. 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. the 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."

as a former teacher, i was trained to list the positive first and then talk about how to improve.  well, the only positive thing here is that mike jeffries knows what he wants for his brand.  and when you're trying to sell a product, that's important.

now, let me jump emphatically on my soapbox and talk about what needs improvement--EVERYTHING ELSE!!!

for someone who wants to target "attractive" kids, mike jeffries should really consider how to define "attractive."  if we're talking about physical appearances, mikey didn't exactly win the jackpot.  to save you some time, here's a picture of his ugly mug:

sure, for a 68-year-old man, he's in good shape.  but "attractive all-american" are certainly not words i would use to describe him.  on the other hand, words like "douchebag," "bully," and "overcompensating" seem to sing like morning birds when describing this hideous creature.  at this point, i'm not just talking physical appearances--i'm talking personality too.  

beauty isn't just skin deep, and often the people who are outright GORGEOUS on the outside, are straight up UGLY on the inside.  as a result, their outer beauty is diminished by their inner awfulness.  i'd say the reverse is true, too.  people who aren't drop-dead gorgeous on the outside, but have amazing hearts, are some of the most BEAUTIFUL people on this planet.

i have been a curvy girl ALL of my life.  in fifth grade, we were measured for new cheerleading uniforms; all the other girls laughed at me when i was measured.  in high school, there was one boy who was particularly mean to me in regards to my weight.  i wore guys' clothes and clothes that were too big for me because i was overly self-conscious about my size.  more than once, my mother would tell me that i just needed to lose ten pounds and my clothes would look much better.  

when i look back at pictures of when i was in high school, i realize how SMOKING HOT i was.  even at my skinniest, i never fit into a size 10 (which is the smallest size sold at a & f).  i fit into a size large for like six months.  the world taught me that i was fat and ugly, and i believed the lies.  had i been taught to love myself as i was, then maybe i would've taken better care of myself then so i wouldn't be the size i am now.  and maybe i'd have more confidence.

but despite my weight then or now, i am beautiful and i am freaking AWESOME.  don't believe me?  here's a whole laundry list of the COOL and AMAZING things i've done since i was a kid, in no particular order:

1.  played softball for TEN years
     a.  broke FIVE school records
     b.  taught chilean players how to pitch windmill style
2.  cheered for TEN years; coached cheerleading for THREE years
     a.  my girls came home with trophies from EVERY competition they attended
     b.  worked with the drill team for 1 year
3.  learned to play multiple instruments including flute, piccolo, tenor sax, piano, drums/percussion
     a.  participated in marching band, concert band, county bands, and honors band
4.  acquired TWO foreign languages--spanish and french
5.  traveled to SIX countries that speak another language: venezuela, spain, chile, argentina, puerto rico
6.  obtained a bachelor's degree, graduating magna cum laude
7.  was selected as a teach for america corps member (only 10% of applicants were offered a position the year that i applied)
     a.  completed my two-year commitment
     b.  stayed in my placement school for a third year
8.  completed half of a master's program (i should be done completely by next may)
9.  met multiple celebrities, including olly murs, isabel allende, juan falcon, our lady peace, and michelle branch
10.  created art (mainly wooden trinkets and simple canvas paintings; i'm really good at towel and diaper cakes too), just because

my point here is that you don't have to fit into a specific mold to be beautiful or amazing.  and mike jeffries has NO right to decide that there is a mold and that it has a specific appearance.  i'm half tempted to walk into abercrombie, buy some men's clothes (the ladies' stuff will NOT fit me unless i buy multiples and reconstruct them--and ain't nobody got time for that), and stage a protest.  who's with me!

in the meantime, i encourage you to sign this petition or this one and check out this blog post about mike jeffries.  the author, emily, takes a much more humorous approach then i do!

finally, let's talk about what really makes people beautiful!  leave your comments here or post them on facebook or twitter or simply have a conversation with a friend or family member about what makes them beautiful.  be the antidote to the poison!