I don't normally get involved in societal commentary on my blog. This is a case, though, where I didn't feel I could rightfully keep my mouth shut.
This guy, Mike Jeffries - the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch said this:
"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," the clothing retailer explained. "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."
That's a direct quote. Look it up if you don't believe that anyone could be such a jackass in this day and age.
My day was made then by Larry Wile, who posted this gem on Facebook as a response:
"To paraphrase: "Fat people suck," said Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch. An acquaintance said the following which made me laugh. "Have you seen his face? He looks like Nick Nolte and botox had unprotected sex behind White Castle after a bee sting incident." I would agree with that assessment."
Was this a nice thing to say? No. Was it funny to me? Hell, yes it was.
It wasn't said by a CEO. No, it was the response of an offended 'person on the street', as it were, to the asinine comments of a CEO in a interview by the press. It was one of the people hurt by the public figures slurs trying to strike back... and it was funny.
What this led me to think about is all the talk of bullying in our media today. How many times I've read about kids who were bullied for one reason or another, and suffered in silence, hurt themselves, or ended their lives. Then I see this pop up in an interview, and in the news all over the place, and I see a rich man directing a major retail outlet who is not only promoting elitism that leads to bullying... but being smug and unapologetic about it.
Abercrombie & Fitch clothing isn't for the "not-so-cool" kids... it's only for the "attractive kids"... and the kids with enough money to afford their inflated prices... and by buying their clothes and supporting this sort of corporate bullying (on an economic level, a social level, a class level, and other superficial levels) customers are telling people like Jeffries that his attitudes and behaviors are rewarded.
We want the kids of this country to realize that bullying is wrong. We want them to understand that discrimination is bad. And what do we show them that those sorts of attitudes and behaviors do for you? We show them that if you behave that way as an adult you can be a rich CEO of a company to help promote those same negative attitudes and ideals.
I don't even know if a boycott of Abercrombie & Fitch is enough for how strongly I feel about what this man, and his statement represent. This cannot be allowed to happen without blow back... without some form of "societal punishment". I have never before wanted to see the bankruptcy and complete failure of a company as badly as I do in this case (and granted, there have likely been as bad or worse before... but I was likely younger, more naive, or not yet a parent at that point).
I want to believe that people care enough about the anti-bullying talk, and enough about the children of the world, that they can come together and wipe the smug smile of this scumbag'd face. I'm boycotting Abercrombie & Fitch and will actively and verbally stand against them.
Who's with me?