by MEGAN ROMANCZUK Staff Writer
Teen retail store Abercrombie & Fitch is sticking to the media’s portrayal of “true beauty” by refusing to make clothes in XL and XXL sizes for teenage girls.
Abercrombie’s attitude toward plus-sized women comes from CEO Mike Jeffries. Jefferies does not want his core customers to see people who are not as “hot” as them wearing his clothes. People who wear his clothing should feel like they are one of the “cool kids.”
Little does Abercrombie know that discriminating against plus-sized humans will cause a major decrease in business, especially since more stores are becoming lenient on plus-sized clothes.
Competitors such as H&M had a plus-size woman in a swimsuit for their summer catalogue. American Eagle, another big teenage retail store, sells jeans up to size 18, as well as H&M who offers jean sizes up to 16. The Kardashian sisters, known for their fabulous sense of style, are coming out with a plus-size line called Kurves at Sears in October.
However, Abercrombie does sell XL and XXL sizes for beefy athletic men like football players or wrestlers, which is acceptable because they are athletic.
On Monday, May 13, protesters gathered outside Abercrombie & Fitch on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, angry about the store not carrying clothes in a size 14, which is the size worn by the average U.S woman.
While Abercrombie cannot appeal to everybody, the brand’s standard of beauty is quickly becoming stale. True beauty is not defined by the size of your jeans, and discriminating against those of a bigger size is the reason why the percentage of eating disorders is going up in America.
What if a 10-year-old wants to buy a pair of pants from Abercrombie and Fitch and she is a size 12 and that size is not offered? Is the store going to tell her she is too chubby in front of her friends and bring her self-esteem down, or will they tell her to come back when she loses a couple of pounds?
Girls feel that they have to be a size 0 in order to be cool or popular, which is not true. Girls should be able to flaunt their natural size without being insecure or trying to fit in.
The fact that Abercrombie is more worried about “cool people” wearing their clothes instead of thinking that people would starve themselves to wear their clothes is just wrong.
“It’s wrong to discriminate against body shapes, especially when younger girls tend to wear Abecrombie to fit in. The younger girls who may be overweight may feel the need to stop eating or become bulimic just to fit into a clothing brand that offers sizes S-L,” said junior Kaitlin Grassi.
Along with not making clothes for bigger girls, Abercrombie only hires good looking people that attract other good looking people.
In November of 2004, Abercrombie was involved with a lawsuit accusing them of not hiring blacks, hispanics, and Asians. Those who did get the job were not placed in the front, but were placed in the back either cleaning up or stocking.
“Not only is finding a job hard enough, imagine applying to Abercrombie thinking you have a chance yet you aren’t good looking or your race is lowering your chance is just unacceptable,” said junior Stephanie Holtje.
It is crazy that it is 2013 and people are still discriminating and judging people over the way they look. You would think that Abercrombie would have learned the first time they dealt with a lawsuit that they would change; however, we were wrong. Now Abercrombie is dealing with their scandal over something they could have easily been avoided.
Do you think Abercrombie should make a plus-sized section?