Now first let's understand that this is not shocking. It's not new. It's not a surprise at all. If you have seen any of their adverts, their products etc you'd be pretty fully aware that they are a no fat people store.
Via facebook I saw that there is an Occupy AF thing going on and I have so many problems with this I couldn't fit it all into a facebook comment.
Buckle your seatbelts.
From the facebook page:
>We can't change their business practices, and we can't (and don't want to) force them to make larger sizes. We CAN let them know that bullying is unacceptable, and we CAN change the rarified atmosphere in their store.
This is NOT a "protest". Please do not bring signs, signs, or chant. Just go to Abercrombie and Fitch with as many large, unpopular, or possibly just level-headed people that you know, and shop. Try things on that don't fit. Don't buy anything. Just make the store a place filled with the people that they don't want there.
This one day is just a beginning, a symbol. Every time you are in the mall, go in the store. Don't buy anything, just be there to make sure that their goal of their store being filled with only thin and beautiful people is thwarted. Make it an unpleasant place for the "cool" and "beautiful" kids to shop.
Also from the page:
Remember: This is NOT a "protest". No signs, no chanting, no destruction of property (though if you own A&F clothing that you want to "alter" and wear, feel free). Just browse (but don't buy). Fill the store with people that they don't want there, making it unpleasant for the people they DO want there.My first problem with this sort of thing is that the action is directed to the wrong people.
Let's make this perfectly clear.
I do not care where other people with bodies different from mine shop. As I've discussed where and how people shop is not always a tacit agreement about a companies business model, it's not always about being cool and pretty, nor is it always a cut and dried decision. I just posted about that here.
I cannot support the idea that making the consumers of a product feel badly about their purchases or as the about statement says, make them uncomfortable is reasonable or okay.
As I say over and over again, unless you are coming out of pocket to pay for other peoples clothing, food, shelter, cars etc. It's really not your place or business to bother them about it.
Let's talk about being a retail employee shall we?
As we all know being poor or jobless really sucks. It is a rarified privilege to really have the option of saying, no I don't want this job because the CEO is a dick.
Most retail (especially in chain stores) employees make minimum wage and most are part time without medical insurance.
Let's have a quick look at minimum wage. Currently the federally mandated minimum wage is 7.25$ an hour.
Before taxes if you worked a full 40 hour work week you would make, 290$ a week.
When contrasted with a multi millionare boss and customers who can afford to shop in a store at full price, what effect does making those people uncomfortable have?
Having a planned action in a store even if it is supposed to be not a protest means that those people (who are presumably poor especially if they are adults who are not supported by parents or spouses) more stressed out. Working retail, especially in a store that people at large have a problem with sucks. Add in the stress of poverty and then a bunch of people intentionally wanting to fuck up your day and it's really not great.
Salespeople in retail stores have the least amount of power in the structure of retail.
Why focus the energy on people who have no power to change anything?
Why put the onus of change on people who often if they do become a squeaky wheel will lose their jobs?
Would the people who plan to occupy AF give those people jobs if they lose them? :Make them feel better if at the next store meeting they get berated for "not doing something" about the situation?
I worked retail and I remember things like this happening on a small scale. There was a lot of pressure to not let it happen but no real power to do so.
Yes, people working there have chosen to work there but, when you need to feed and clothe yourself or support your family, money comes first for a lot of people.
Not everyone has the privilege of letting their own personal ethics dictate every choice they make.
I felt the same way when people wanted to occupy target stores.
No one has ever given me a good answer as to why it is that these type of things always focus on the people with the least amount of pull. Or told me how those people are supposed to create a change in a company they don't own and have no influence as to how it is run.
If the point is to just be irritating and potentially cause employee stress, it's a good plan.
If there is a desire to make some change and awareness among the people who can make a difference there are other annoying things to do.
If you click here you can see an array of means of contacting AF. If you want to make them uncomfortable it is very simple to spend a little while writing a short form style email. Have all of the people you want to occupy, send the same message. Every day at the same time. Every. Day. Spread the message on facebook, message boards and other social media and ask people to join in.
Read their diversity statement and ask pointed questions about it. Every. Day. If you get a response, CC EVERYONE you can think of and share the information you get.
Also at the end of everything, there is not a lot anyone can do to change that mans mind or his policies. There is merit in watching to see if they violate their own or state or federal policies Call the right people about that. Remind them of every misstep if they violate those policies.
Basically don't screw with the people with the least power.
Let me say it again.
Regardless of your personal ability to decide where you work, how and where you spend your money etc based strictly on your idea of ethics and morality that's awesome. Get it. Do it.
However, do remember that not everyone is in that position and it is patently unfair and frankly a jerk move to harass, bother or make the rest of us uncomfortable.
Also in case you don't already know, I think that the CEO of AF is a fucking asshole. Very typical sizeist, classist rich White dude douchebag. I hope he has the eternal fiery shits. I hope he gets the shits so bad he needs an anal retread.
I don't care what he looks like, and yes if part of your issue with him is his looks please stop. Not an okay thing. I do care that he's a douchebag.
I am very into the idea of letting the horrified public make sure he knows how much of a douchebag we think he is.
I'm not okay with doing the same to the people who work at his company. Especially the ones on the bottom.