How many shirts do you own from Hollister? How many pairs of jeans bear that trademark moose logo representing Abercrombie & Fitch? An average of more than 80 percent of all teenagers own at least one Hollister clothing item or an Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) clothing item.
However, I’m one of the few who don’t own one. The reason I don’t is simple: I like their stuff, but if I chose to buy a shirt from Abercrombie & Fitch, I would have to stretch that thing out to the high heavens to even dream about getting in that nonsense.
Their website offers shirt sizes up to XXL, but we all know that an XXL at Abercrombie & Fitch is a large in actuality at many stores … a slim large at that.
But 80 percent of teens are getting more than they bargained for when they purchase a clothing item from Abercrombie and all of its subsidies. Abercrombie & Fitch has been operating for more than 100 years, and in that time, it has been no stranger to controversy.
On many pages of Abercrombie’s publication, A&F Quarterly, the “magalog” contained partial-nude images promoting sex and other various taboos alike. This caused outrage with many religious-oriented organizations such as Bob Jones University (a nondenominational Protestant university) banning all clothing from Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister.
Another controversial act by the company included selling thongs under the “Abercrombie Kids” brand, sized for preteen girls bearing phrases such as “Eye Candy” and “Wink, Wink.” And I don’t know about other kids these days, but my preteen daughter wouldn’t be winking at anybody!
Though these acts were outrageously obscene and uncalled for, there has been something just as sinister playing out behind Abercrombie & Fitch’s company walls.
The facts are that Abercrombie & Fitch and all of its subsidies are made for thinner people. If you were to compare a shirt from Hollister to a shirt from American Eagle, the shirt from Hollister would be significantly smaller in width than the one from American Eagle. That’s because Hollister is a subsidiary of Abercrombie & Fitch.
Abercrombie & Fitch has already inadvertently expressed that it wants a certain image for its models and its customers.
If, for some odd reason, I dreamt of working at an Abercrombie & Fitch, or even wanted to model for them, they would most certainly laugh at my face.
Have you looked at me? I’m far from the Ryan Lochte-esque image they’re going for. I mean, I’m no Jabba the Hutt, but nowhere near Abercrombie’s standards! And the company has confirmed it through its marketing campaigns and even down to how abnormally small its clothes are compared to the competitors.
I interpret Abercrombie & Fitch’s actions as the company saying that larger people can’t be beautiful, and I respectfully ask that everyone refrain from supporting Abercrombie & Fitch from this point forward.
If not for personal morals, then do it for the greater good of America.
TAYLOR BROWN is a senior at Denton High School and a participant in the Record-Chronicle’s “Speak Out Loud” writing program for student journalists.