I’m re posting excerpts from a tired story, but it’s important. Abercrombie and Fitch (A&F) has a history of sexuality as a status symbol for fashion and their provocative ads leave nothing to the imagination. It’s no big deal unless you have kids… then it’s a BIG deal.
In the recent online article from Elite Daily, A&F CEO Mike Jeffries makes things extra clear for consumers,…
“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.
He is transparent about his desire to sell the A&F brand as social status and a pay to play – popularity – for sale! His words make it clear, that he tries to intentionally and blatantly exclude anyone who doesn’t live up to his ideal physical size and appearance standards…, all to protect his brand image.
That’s pretty seriously messed up morality and explains a lot about the rise in eating disorders, teen plastic surgery and anxiety our kids are experiencing in their tween and teen years. Brands like A&F are preaching to this generation to accept the fact that if they are not able to wear A&F, then they are “deficient” and less valuable.
I saw this story debated on a Christian FB thread last night and it really bothered me… here is what one of the comments on the threads said. (my paraphrase) …“I think it’s really effective, excellently designed to reach a specific demographic, regardless of what it’s message is, I think A&F is being wise in their marketing strategy… it’s not realistic for Christians to expect secular companies to have a moral compass“.
I’m convinced that who-ever that FB commentator is… He definitely doesn’t have any children of his own. Moral compass or not, I’m voting with my wallet, and won’t be buying any A&F products for any of my three teens.
Here’s the reality check for Parents;
Our society is actively and intentionally speaking to our kids about what they should look like, act like and be like. Retailers like A&F are not just trying to be hip…they are actively seeking to preach their own gospel of life to our kids, and it goes something like this…. “IF YOU DON’T LOOK LIKE US, YOUR LIFE IS DEFICIENT“
That’s marginally okay to recover from, IF you’re an adult with decent self-esteem and some perspective on life and the effects of age and gravity on one’s waistline. However for a kid who has little self-esteem, this “gospel of A&F” can become a very dark road of personal despair that can’t be ignored for long without tragic results.
As parents, we must be consistent and persistent in refuting the “lies” our culture tells our kids. We must regularly remind our kids about their created and unique personal beauty, of how much they are valued and priceless in worth.
Our teens and tweens must look beyond A&F to find their self-esteem and value and identities. If we don’t actively make an effort to deny the deceptions that attack our kids hearts and minds… we are by default letting someone like a Mike Jeffries; teach our kids what’s really valuable and what’s really trash.
I’m committed to taking out my trash…I do it every Tuesday night. How about you ?
Peace out, Pastor B.