So, I imagine that everyone has seen and/or heard of this by now. I thought being an official plus sized woman warranted my two cents…
These are REAL comments made by the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Michael Jeffries. I checked multiple online articles and sites to be sure it wasn’t a hoax, sadly it seems to be true.
My first reaction was simply sadness that turned into a mild, slow burning fear of the unavoidable truth that my babies will quickly be teenagers. I can’t imagine what will be awaiting us in a few years while we attempt to navigate those waters. It made me think of my own high school experience (which I guess I’ve been doing a lot of lately) remembering that the cool kids in my class were from wealthy families, athletic and good looking. How cliche! How very “John Hughes movie-ish” right? It seems the same scenario repeats itself over and over doesn’t it?
I can remember that Abercrombie stuff was cool (which is funny because it was the mid 90’s so the fashion possibilities are quite questionable) I had wanted one of those hoodies, but knew better than to even ask my parents because of how expensive the clothes were, even though back then I would have fit comfortably into them. I got my school clothes from outlet malls and Shopko and if I was really lucky I’d score some shirts from Old Navy. We knew growing up that there was only so much money to spread across our whole family. We were a lot of things, but one thing we weren’t for sure was entitled. Praise God! I wanted those clothes but I didn’t NEED them. I certainly didn’t NEED them to be an “all American kid”. The insinuation that being all American is limited to wealthy, athletic, good looking kids is more than insulting. Which is why I predict that this brand has shot themselves in the foot, not only keeping plus sized consumers and their money at bay but also now many more people who fit into the clothes who now just don’t want to be seen in them and thought of as a TOOL. Boo. If Michael Jeffries says I don’t belong in his clothes, my response to him is DAMN RIGHT!
That being said, I was surprised to find another layer of thoughts bubble up after thinking about this over the weekend. I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who is extremely fit and healthy and wonderful. She works hard on her fitness and nutrition and I admire her in many ways for her commitment to it. She confided in me that she actually has “larger” family members who sort of attack her for being a “skinny bitch”. To which I had to confess to her that I was guilty of that same kind of behavior. I had another amazing, very petite woman in my life call me out on it! She had shared that it hurt her feelings because she couldn’t help being smaller. It made me step back and realize I had kind of adopted a mentality that skinny women had it easier and were not allowed the same insecurities or pains or feelings as me. It was confirmed as I worked through my “Roots of Beauty” project that I blogged about a couple of months ago. The realization that we ALL go through the same self concept traps, no matter our size or level of beauty. I’m not allowed some supreme level of judgement just because I know what it feels like to be judged! The truth is, if you work your ass off and have the discipline to eat the way your supposed to and I feel bad about myself when I’m around you, that’s not your fault…it’s mine. If there are certain clothes I’d like to wear and I can’t, so what? I’ll either figure out a way to fit into them or I’ll be happy and content and chubby without ’em.
It made me think of this article, and the controversy going on about these comments being made, and the poor chubby girls out there whose feelings have been hurt, and I wonder if maybe we are all just being a little but too crazy? Isn’t this victim mentality ultimately just keeping us all in denial about the reality of our situation? As a fat woman I know the pain of clothes shopping. I’ve felt the sting of public ridicule. I am by no means suggesting we allow for bullying and demeaning behavior for overweight people. I don’t want ANYONE to feel rejected, especially young women. But let’s just get REAL. If its true that more than half of us women in America are buying plus sized clothes maybe we need to reevaluate some things in our lives and hearts and not be so quick to blame all the evil, skinny bitches? Or at least instead of matching insensitive comments with insensitive comments we can try to find a peace within ourselves and with our own bodies that would disarm this argument?
Just some food for thought. No pun intended.