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Saturday, May 11, 2013

When the idle poor become the idle rich.....

In my dreams, I'm lying face down on a massage table set up by the pool in a luxurious desert resort while a bronze, ripped guy named Jeff exerts just enough pressure on my toned neck and shoulders to turn me into a puddle of warm syrup.

In reality I occasionally sit, fully dressed, in a convertible chair at an Asian Foot Spa where, after sticking my old lady feet in a basin of herbal water for 20 minutes some guy who claims his name is Craig except his license has his picture and the name "Phuc" on it does something not altogether unpleasant with my spine and then rolls something small and round (that feels suspiciously like a set of Ben Wa Balls) around the small of my back for 10 minutes, following up with a cheery "you done, you pay now."

This is because I fear the results of a poolside massage. The sight of me scantily clad, stretched out that close to the water's edge would, most likely, inspire at least six warm hearted people to run over and drag me to the nearest inlet in hopes that I could reunite with my migrating pod.

The other nightmare scenario is that the current CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch will be staying at the same luxury desert resort, thus driving him to madness at the sight of a fat chick. Considering the guy's current mental state I do not want to be responsible for pushing him over the edge.

Just in case you haven't heard, the story goes something like this: The CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch, one Mike Jefferies, has given several interviews of late, stating that A & F caters to the "cool kids" and they do not carry XL or XXL sizes because he doesn't want to see his clothing on those women. He said, in essence, that every school has "cool kids" and "not cool kids" and he doesn't want the "not cool" kids in his store. This, btw, is Mr. Jeffries:

Just in case you weren't sure just WHAT a cool kid looks like. I'm guessing that, while excess fat is frowned upon at Abercrombie and Fitch, excess plastic surgery is not.  And looking like the love child of Gary Busey and Tilda Swinton is a definate plus.

A lot of people are angry about this guy. Jeffries, not Busey, although that's a whole 'nother area. In fact, MOST people are angry, although one woman I spoke with thought it was all quite funny as she doesn't shop at Abercrombie and Fitch anyway so who cares?

Well, in the first place, a whole lot of mothers care. Teen-agers are bad enough without dumping this "only cool kids allowed - oh, and no fat chicks" corporate identity on them.

So, let's try and be practical about this, before Mr. Jeffries gets his boney ass booted. Here is an Abercrombie and Fitch ad:

 Now, I know what they're selling. Okay, at first I thought they were selling instructions on how to do a breast self-exam, I admit it took a minute but yes, I figured out what they were selling.  But I don't see any way that they can merchandise that in public, outside of eight counties in Nevada. Is THIS a cool kid? And, if so, why is she advertising a clothing store? Trust me, that ad, appearing on the "A & F Quarterly" tells me nothing, including what "A & F" actually IS. And I don't think this woman is in any one's high school classroom.

Why do I care about this? The same reason I care that Disney has turned that fantastic little hellion of a princess with a bow and arrow, Merida, into a sloe-eyed little sexpot with a form fitting embellished gown, substantial cleavage and no visible weapon. The new and improved Merida looks as if she should be standing in front of a microphone in a smokey room breathlessly singing "Love for Sale." Stop that, it's a real song. Cole Porter, look it up.

See...I'm sick and tired of being merchandised. I'm tired of being airbrushed and hairbrushed, properly coiffed, shod and suited up. I don't CARE if I have the right cards in wallet. Want to know what's in MY wallet? Not bloody much of value, I'll tell you that. I like fashion, I think it's art and, as such, I like it plenty. I wear hats in public, dresses too. I don't wear t-shirts, I like cotton slacks and matching espadrilles. I like myself as a size 12.

Know what a size 12 is now? An EXTRA Large. A Plus size. And, as such, I am unwelcome at Abercrombie and Fitch. Which is okay, I never shopped there anyway, (not meaning that I have achieved my size 12 goal but yep, that IS my goal).  As far as I know, this is still Abercrombie and Fitch's most famous customer:

Love the guy, but not exactly my casual style.

I have, these last few months, been dealing with a lot of emotional pain. Abuse heaped on by relatives and "friends." My mother was a nut, and not in a nice way. It sticks with you, hearing your mother say "I hate you." It sticks with you when someone you considered a friend lies about you because she's tired of you and the best way to pull away is to tell a lie and then spread it around to those who are inclined to believe any crap they hear.

Living up to an image is a dangerous thing. I never lived up to my mother's image and expectations. I didn't live up to my friend's image and expectations which, for what it's worth, wouldn't have happened anyway, she causes pain and anger wherever she goes and I rather enjoy the self-satisfaction I get knowing that my kids aren't in therapy and have grown to success AND kindness, whereas hers are normally the subject of multiple calls from their school administrators.

I don't want other people to have to grow up with hate, with meanness, and with a picture of themselves as always, always lacking what is truly needed to be 'cool' because dickwads like Jeffries publicly humiliate them. And yes, he publicly humiliated every girl and woman who shops there, because we are none of us secure enough of ourselves to feel that Jeffries is calling US cool. Every size 8 feels unwanted by A & F, every size 12 feels desperate to BE wanted by A & F and every beautiful, kind and loving size 24 has been denigrated and labeled as not good enough for a store...a store that is famous for selling bush jackets. A store that is so exclusive it rents space in every damn mall in existence, from New York to San Francisco to Bismarck, North Dakota.

So piss on you, Abercrombie and Fitch. Shame. I hope Mr. Jeffries lives a long and healthy retirement, dies of old age and is sent to his eternity in a polyester suit from Big Lots.

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