Those of you who follow me know that I’ve only ranted a couple of times on my blog and then in relation to what I call…the New Face of Beauty ™! Well, I’m off and at it again. What is the New Face of Beauty? Well you may have heard one definition in the offensive comments made by Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries in his 2006 interview in Salon.
Now, I’m not saying that other brands don’t lifestyle market, they do, from Ralph Lauren to Martha Stewart. But no one else has stated their customer profile out loud in such obnoxious terms, nor physically limited “those customers” he doesn’t want by excluding their larger sizes…and for women only mind you…like Mike Jeffries of Abercrombie & Fitch. As one of my pinterest followers, Ms. Celina Inman said:
“There’s nothing wrong with marketing to a particular demographic, but it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. With so many impressionable teens that follow his brand, I don’t think it is particularly wise to infer that beauty is only reflected in the type of models that A&F uses. Jeffries would have us all believe that he has a validation stamp on beauty.”
While the original article is from 2006 the back lash is more current, and going viral via social media and the internet. In perusing my sites I’ve seen many rebuttles, but two resonated with me deeply. The first one, Jes the Militant Baker. As someone who is full bodied and vocal about self acceptance and feminism amongst other things, she wrote a letter to Mike Jeffries which sported photos of herself in full glory posed with a A&F model wanna be in A&F ad formats.
While she so eloquently say’s what many of us think, one thing stuck out for me…
“Your opinion isn’t shocking; millions share the same sentiment. You’ve used your wealth and public platform to echo what many already say. However, it’s important you know that regardless of the numbers on your tax forms, your comments don’t stop anyone from being who they are; the world is progressing in inclusive ways whether you deem it cool or not. The only thing you’ve done through your comments (about thin being beautiful and only offering XL and XXL in your stores for men) is reinforce the unoriginal concept that fat women are social failures, valueless, and undesirable. Your apology doesn’t change this. Well, actually, that’s not all you have done.
You have also created an incredible opportunity for social change.”
The question is when will we as a society pick up the gauntlet and change our judgements and opinions of what is beautiful in a person? That’s right, there is a person behind those we judge. So, take that Mike Jeffries!
Which brings me to my second example of what I call a positive back lash..Meet Greg Karber. On the 13th of May he uploaded a video onto youtube which since has received over 7 million views! Karber’s YouTube video promotes his idea of giving Abercrombie clothing to the homeless. In the video, he buys A&F clothing from L.A. thrift shops and then gives them away to people living on the streets of East Los Angeles.
His intent…give these people we judge so harshly a face and a name, and by God, get them into A&F clothing. You can see his video below.
This to me is the power of the internet. Perhaps we are ready for a social change? I don’t know. I posted Jes’s pic on my FB page and pinterest board and still got comments about her size, her tattoo’s and what she is wearing. Come on people, don’t you get it? It’s time to redefine personal beauty and to create new role models…but then that’s another story…coming up soon!
In the meantime…won’t you share your thoughts? Are you up for a social change on the subject of personal beauty? Leave me a comment, I’d love to talk! It’s time…