I’ve seen variations of the following article discussing the idiocy of Abercrombie & Fitch in various versions all of over social media. This is the latest one to hit my Facebook feed.
Here is the deal: this isn’t like the CEO of Macy*s saying such a stupid remark. A&F has a long, long, long history of questionable business ideas. Deciding to boycott A&F now ranks up there with the idea of “Hey, I wonder if we can land a person on the moon?”. Abercrombie & Fitch has long been worthy of a boycott, banishment and a simple refusal by sane people to not purchase their clothing. Here are some of the highlights:
1) Employees are refered to as ‘models’. Yup, you read that right, models. I’m not going to go on an anti-model rant but in the context in of the 21st century model is just this side of “allowing for objectification” and “we won’t hire ugly people.”
2) In 2005, the company was subject to a federal consent decree due to a hiring and promotion practices. A consent decree essentially means that the federal government has found their violations of federal laws has been so egregious that a third-party is required to monitor such activity. I work in a heavily regulated federal industry, it’s extremely hard to wind up with a consent decree when matters of health, medicine and transportation are involved. It’s damn near impossible when clothes are concerned.
3) A&F has a history of discriminatory practices against Muslims and people with disabilities.
4) Countless ads that objectify and/or sexualize children, ads that are xenophobic, employment practices that are far out of line cultural norms.
Look, this is a company that has united feminist groups, Bob Jones University, liberal religious traditions and several unions. Yes, they did donate $10 million dollars an emergency department at a children’s hospital. But the larger question is this: this is a company that at every turn manages to purposefully offend every non-white, thin, attractive member of the population. Ten million dollars probably doesn’t even begin to cover the damages they have done.
The bigger question is this: Why the hell have people been shopping them for so long?