Abercrombie Excludes Clientele

Graphic by Ben Cornwell
Graphic by Ben Cornwell

For years, Abercrombie & Fitch has been the stylish outfitter of tweens and teens far and wide, immensely popular for their ripped jeans and logo-bearing tees. However, Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, may have changed the perception of his company forever with his disgustingly shallow comments about the stereotype he wants his clientele to fit.

Jeffries remained under the radar from others until he commented about who exactly he is expecting to shop at his store. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive All-American kid with the 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,” Jeffries said in an interview with Salon, an online publication.

Ruling out anybody without a model physique or the body of a god from purchasing his clothes means Jeffries wants to exclude a majority of America from his ever-so-popular store. The same store is known for explosively loud music, strong scents and the apparent lack of an extra-large size.

The fact that 16 percent of children and teens in America ranging from ages six to 19 are struggling with obesity (according to letsmove.gov) means Abercrombie would be losing 16 percent of their potential teenage customers if the store is as “exclusive” as Jeffries makes it out to be.

With 60 million Americans being considered overweight, this again means Abercrombie is unable to sell to 60 million potential customers. It is simply unrealistic of Jeffries to believe that his franchise will continue to be popular when 60 million of his customers “don’t belong, and they can’t belong.”

Contrary to popular belief, being thin also does not necessarily mean being healthy. According to every body mass index chart (BMI), the average weight for a 16 or 17 year old female is 115 to 120 pounds. However, because of Abercrombie’s model-esque girls-in-the-window, many teens believe that being anything over 100 pounds is considered “fat.”

Ironically, while more Americans are becoming obese, anorexia is also a growing problem for teens due to the constant pressure to be rail-thin and model-beautiful, neither of which is very probable considering the different varieties of bone structures and lifestyles. With seven million women in America diagnosed with eating disorders, stores should be extra careful to not glorify skinny-bodied, size zero women.

Body image is a highly sensitive topic with teenagers, considering their bodies are constantly growing and changing. Abercrombie plasters model shots all over their stores, website and even on their shopping bags, which takes a toll on the minds of teens. Young adults should not feel limited to distressed, light-wash jeans sizes 10 and lower.