Abercrombie Is Against Large People, Which We Already Know

Abercrombie and Fitch doesn’t carry the sixes XL and XXL in their clothing store. They do carry those sizes in men’s clothing so that buff male athletes will also wear the brand.

Large people do not appeal to A&F’s marketing scheme. The CEO has made multiple public statements on the topic, including “It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.”

We know. We noticed that all of the preppy, popular kids in high school had wardrobes full of Abercrombie and Fitch apparel.

This marketing scheme makes logical sense. The popular teens see other beautiful teens wearing the brand and want to fit in. They see the advertisements full of impossibly beautiful people. Every year, the company comes out with a catalogue that has to be purchased from the store, chock full of pictures of naked, stereotypically attractive, predominately white people. Only people who deem themselves in the league of the attractiveness of the models should be wearing the clothes, as far as the brand is concerned.

Those less “attractive” may aspire to be one of the popular kids. They also shell out the money and don the clothing, on the off chance that this will make them as attactive and as cool as those they wish they were friends with.

Finally, there are those with larger body types who simply will not be able to fit into the clothing brand. This makes CEO Mike Jeffries very happy. Without his clothes being unobtainable by the truly “unattractive”, then his clothes would not be as cool. The core customers are to be stereotypically hot, youthful people.

For all of these reasons, the brand is able to overprice clothing that is marketed to teens. Teenagers are generally not able to pay the same clothing prices that adults do. Instead, they shop at cheaper outlets like Forever 21 and H&M. With this cool-ness branding, teenagers are willing to pay whatever it takes to make it. Massive amounts of buyers fly from Asian countries to large A&F stores in order to fulfill their client’s wishes and provide this elusive, cool clothing.

Not to mention that aspiring to these ideals can create eating disorders.

Legally, the brand must hire sales people as “models”. This way, they must be attractive and cool, personifying everything that Mike Jeffries wants. Potentially less attractive employees work in the back of the store, in the stock room.

I think that is a brilliant marketing scheme. I also think that it is disgusting.

Another CEO quote for your viewing pleasure:

“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. 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.”

Ugh. Makes sense, but no thank you. If purposeful discrimination is what it takes to be cool, then you get what you pay for.



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Lea T: Icon


Lea T is an Italian and Brazilian model and she is smoking hot. This girl has cheekbones for days! Her hair is has that beachy wave look, but you want to run your fingers through it…soft beachy waves…how the heck do they do that? Killer figure…amazing legs…basically I’m jealous of Lea T—but not just for her looks.

Recently, Lea T appeared in Benetton’s “Faces of Color” video campaign. The campaign focuses on unique looks and personalities around the world.  In the video Lea T says, “I say everything about myself; it’s too complicated to keep a secret. When you get inspired by someone … you lose a little bit of your personality … I try to be myself.”

How amazing is that? Just that sentence alone…come on you’re gonna look like that and be a rad person? Stop it. I can’t handle it. I could go on and on about how awesome this model is just based on those two sentences, but it was something she did in 2010 that makes those words so much more powerful.

In 2010 Lea T announced that she was transgendered. She went from male to female and became a successful model. I know someone who identifies strongly with Lea T and I’ve been through the struggles with them. I’ve seen first-hand what it takes to live this kind of life. It’s not easy. I love that Lea T is such a strong icon for this and that she is speaking out explaining it the best way I’ve ever heard, ““I’ve never had a girlfriend or a boyfriend … Even with surgery, I’ll never be a woman. And I will not be man. I’ll always be the middle… My father said I’ll always be his little black boy. That he’ll love me if I am man, woman or dog. My mother is very religious. She refuses, but says she will not leave me.”

There it is. In the middle, some people will accept it some won’t, some things you can do (like model) some things are more difficult (like dating), but if you get lucky you find those that love you for you and will refuse to leave you.



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I No Longer Have To Worry About Kate Moss

photo of kate moss johnny depp pictures I love young Kate Moss. 5’7″, skinny as a rail, laying with Johnny Depp topless on a bed … Perfect. I read that Moss has a “tell all” book coming out and that Johnny Depp was fighting it. Apparently, it talks of their breakup which, according to a timeline draw by umpteen magazines, means it talks about him cheating on Moss with Vanessa Paradis (a 5’3″ Parisian version of Moss).

I don’t care much about that, though. I care about the interview given to Vanity Fair by Moss. She talks about her modeling career, and says this:

I had a nervous breakdown when I was 17 or 18, when I had to go and work with Marky Mark. It didn’t feel like me at all. I felt really bad about straddling this buff guy. I didn’t like it. I couldn’t get out of bed for two weeks. I thought I was going to die. I went to the doctor and he said, ‘I’ll give you some Valium.’

It was just anxiety. Nobody takes care of you mentally. There’s a massive pressure to do what you have to do (and) I was really little … I didn’t like it. But it was work, and I had to do it.”

 

Firstly, I love that she called him “Marky Mark”; that’s a personal thing with me. Honestly, though, I’m always amazed when models say their work is hard. I used to do a little modeling and yes, I was highly uncomfortable in front of a camera but if I was being paid $10,000 to straddle Marky Mark I think I would’ve been fine with it …even at seventeen. But if Moss said she had a breakdown I’ll believe her. It would explain why she became “cocaine Kate”, if you are forced to do a job that makes you have nervous breakdowns all the time you will find a way to self medicate. Especially if Valium scares you, but how a pill over a straw up the nose is scary I’ll never understand—maybe that’s why my modeling career didn’t take off.

Then she talked about Depp:

“There’s nobody that’s ever really been able to take care of me. Johnny did for a bit. I believed what he said…. Like if I said, ‘What do I do?’ he’d tell me. And that’s what I missed when I left. I really lost that gauge of somebody I could trust. Nightmare. Years and years of crying. Oh, the tears!”

I read so much into that quote, let’s break it down. “When I left” she left…who leaves Johnny Depp? You’ve got to have such a huge reason! I mean, he already destroyed hotel rooms at this point so it had to be the cheating. Johnny Depp is a cheater … great, ruin my lifelong love and now I blame him for her drug habit and dating Pete Doherty. That quote also humanized her for me. If I had to leave Johnny Depp because he cheated with Vanessa Paradis, I would feel pretty low. I would be thinking, “If only I was four inches shorter, if I was Parisian not British, if I had gapped teeth and not slightly crooked teeth” (I look like Moss in this scenario by the way). When Pete Doherty comes up and shows me some attention I might take it. I work a job that frazzles my nerves, my gorgeous boyfriend cheated on me, I might need a little TLC. She stated that Johnny Depp told her what to do, so she listens to her boyfriends—when Doherty said, “snort this” she probably just blindly did it. Poor cocai—I mean—Kate.

She ends the interview discussing her current stability. Kate is the mother to a little girl and a new wife. She says:

“I don’t really go to clubs anymore. I’m actually quite settled. Living in Highgate with my dog and my husband and my daughter! I’m not a hell-raiser. But don’t burst the bubble. Behind closed doors, for sure I’m a hell-raiser.”

Girl, you are 38 years old—you don’t need to be going to clubs at all. I’m really glad Kate has finally found happiness living in Highgate with a dog, a husband, and a daughter. I often worried about her. How much money, beauty, glamour, drugs, rock stars, actors, traveling, and life experience can one girl take?



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A Feminist Perspective of Sophia Coppola’s Somewhere

Last night, I was lucky enough to spend a quiet evening with some friends watching Sophia Coppola’s new film Somewhere. The film, which critics are calling a return to her Lost in Translation years, is far less heavy-handed than her recent effort Marie Antionette, but just as visually opulent (in a less obvious way). Although it was at times incredibly slow and I felt myself waiting for something to really happen, it’s definitely possible I’m just a victim of Hollywood’s plot-driven blockbusters. In actuality, it’s rare that so much happens in the span of a few weeks, or even a few days, as most movies we see these days demonstrate. Not every film is The Day After Tomorrow, nor should it be. Somewhere is impressive in that it’s a film where not much happens to only two to three characters. It tells the story of Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff), an actor who does very little and cares about even less, until he’s essentially forced into spending more …

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