Ok, now people are going to accuse me of defending Abercrombie and Fitch and their jerk of an owner. Let me say ahead of time that I am doing no such thing. All I’m trying to say is that this sentence shouldn’t exist:
“Protestors gathered outside Abercrombie’s Michigan Avenue store in Chicago Monday, outraged about the store’s not carrying clothes in a size 14.”
That’s from a news article about an actual protest that happened at an Abercrombie and Fitch. People have mobilized, they’ve taken to streets, they’re rallying and chanting, all because the CEO of an overpriced preppy retail chain made some rude comments to a magazine SEVEN YEARS AGO. The guy said he only wants skinny minnies wearing his threads, and then he went on to insist that uncool and unpopular people don’t belong in his stores. I, no doubt, would fall into the “uncool” category because I watch Jeopardy every night, and also I just referred to clothing as “threads.” Anyway, these comments were made a few years before Obama’s first term in office. Last week, everyone noticed and got upset, because there’s a serious lack of more important and more outrageous things currently happening in this nation.
There are a few points I don’t understand about the A&F furor. First, most of the people who have lambasted the store and vowed to boycott it, also preface their comments by saying they “never shop their anyway.” Uh. Alright, if you don’t shop their in the first place, why do you care what they sell and who they sell it to? So you say they push awful, overly expensive, obnoxious, tacky clothing to tools and posers, yet you’re sad they don’t have a wider selection? You wouldn’t be caught dead inside their establishment, yet you care immensely about what happens inside their establishment? I don’t know, guys, I just don’t get it. It would never occur to me to run into a store at the mall and shout “I’m not a customer, nor will I ever be, but please operate in a way I find acceptable or I’ll stand outside with an angry sign! Good day, gentlemen! I said good day!”
Seriously, who wants to take bets on when some congressman will piggyback on the Internet hysteria and write a bill requiring all clothing retailers to sell XL sizes? I’m not kidding. I guarantee this will happen. It will be called the “Clothing Sizes Freedom Act of 2013” or something. Just wait.
Second point, aren’t there literally hundreds of “high end” and “fashionable” stores that only sell outfits that fit Barbie dolls? Maybe their CEOs haven’t spoken openly about the practice, or maybe they have, but don’t these places exist in abundance? If that’s the case, why are we randomly so incensed and shocked by one particular example of a fairly ubiquitous practice? Certainly, the fashion industry both promotes and trades on a warped, destructive, subversive and shallow view of women, yet I’ll bet dollars to delicious donuts that some of the folks in the A&F protest mob actually buy fashion magazines and watch those ridiculous fashion shows on TV.
So, sure, Abercrombie sucks and so does its CEO, but why is this news? And why does everyone care so much? It just seems like another social media frenzy that goes nowhere and lacks any clear underlying principle or message. But, anyway, let’s keep insisting they sell things we can buy, even though we have no interest in ever buying anything they sell. Hell, it’s somethin’ to do anyway.