“He doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people,” Lewis said. “He doesn’t want his core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they’re one of the ‘cool kids.’” – Robin Lewis, New Rules for Retail.
“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he told the site. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. 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. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either,” he told Salon.
Many people are upset by these comments, they are upset that A&F doesn’t carry XL or XXL women’s clothing, they are mad because the pant size doesn’t go past 10.
This post is not about A&F but the fact that our entertainment, media, and clothing culture agrees with him they just don’t say it. While it’s true other brands will go up to size 16 or 18 and even carry the XL and XXL sizes let’s look at the models, they are all skinny. Look at the movies and TV shows it’s always centered on the hot skinny couple, he’s an athlete and she is skinny, brunette and beautiful, or skinny, blonde, and beautiful.
The commercial advertisements are all on weight-loss and fitting into the tiny yellow bikini. This is not about eating right or making healthy choices, it is about the stereotype of what is acceptable. America’s Next Top Model, young girls watch that and think that is what they need to be. And even worse, Toddlers in Tiaras, I despise that show with a passion! It totally sets up little girls with the wrong perspective on life. You have prom that is simply a beauty and popularity contest.
Please don’t get me wrong I am not against prom, the point I want to get across is we can’t be upset with the CEO without looking at the majority of our culture and say everything is pretty much in line with him.
We are getting close to swimsuit season and we all know that most girls if they aren’t as thin as a tooth pick think they can’t wear a swimsuit, that is wrong, but it is what the culture says.
As Christian people, let’s look at the big picture and not Just the A&F CEO. We need to teach, encourage, and instill in our young people that their worth is found in Jesus Christ. Mom and Dad tell your daughter she is beautiful on a regular basis, tell her you love her every day, tell her you are proud of her, and spend time encouraging her with your words and the word. And don’t forget about your son, encourage him as well.
Parents, Pastors, Church family we can influence our young people with the word of God and our words of encouragement. Spend time with your kids in Ephesians and teach them who they are, that they are loved by God, the authority they have in the name of Jesus, and that Holy Spirit will lead them every day in the way they should go.
We may not be able to change the entire culture but we can change the culture and outlook of the life of one young person at a time.
Every day we should make a point to encourage someone, tell them they look nice, they did a good job, I appreciate you.
One positive word can change a person’s day, maybe even change their life.