The Weight Of The Fashion Industry

Some of you were probably surprised when I didn’t blog about the recent comments made by Mike Jeffries, the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch.  I was as well.

Usually however, I do my best to not react emotionally (which doesn’t always work), and critique people like this as intellectually as possible, without resorting to name calling, which at times I invariably end up doing, which pleases some readers, but turns off others.  What I do avoid at all costs is calling someone out on their personal appearance.  I recently posted one of the Mike Jeffries articles on another forum that I participate in, and I was shocked and surprised that many of the comments made were about how HE looked, rather than discussion of what was said.

If you’re unfamiliar with this story, please click the link below to read the comments made by the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch.
http://jezebel.com/abercrombie-doesnt-want-gross-fat-people-wearing-their-489583439

I responded to some of the commenters in the forum for some of the things they said about Mr. Jeffries.

It’s hilarious that he seems to have gone way over with the botox and plastic surgery. He wants beautiful people to wear his clothes. Now that is funny.

…as ugly as he is who is he to judge beauty, i mean damn…

He looks like he belongs on that Chris Hansen show…

It’s the classic defense mechanism of making someone else feel uglier to make himself feel better. With a face like that, I’d be bitter, too.

Anyone else notice how he looks like Joan Rivers after a bad day of plastic surgery?

There was more, but I think you get the picture.  I emphasized in my response that people deserve to be thought of in a better light than that.  EVERYONE.  I even cringed a little when I saw some of the comments here talking about the guy’s appearance.

That is the fundamental issue with size/fat activism, that everyone should be accepted for who they are.  When that doesn’t happen, idealistic people get twisted, and it causes them to work harder for it, rather than lie about how it doesn’t affect people.  So by resorting to attacking appearances rather than the actual issue, we appear no better as a community than those who attack fat people.  We become no better than Mike Jeffries, and that’s sad.

On to happier things.

I’ve known about this for a while, because I subscribe to her blog, but designer Gabi Gregg hit the pages of the NY post today with the following headline:

‘Fatkinis’ sell out in 48 hours

Phil likes this.

Want to know what I like even more?  The fact that the NY Post, who has often been a beacon of anti fat light, actually published what was generally a positive article.  Click here to read the article.  I applaud the writer, Mary Kay Linge, and contacted her personally to thank her for putting a positive spin on her story.

More important, I want to thank Gabi Gregg for her tenacity, and entreprenurial spirit.  Her fashion blogs have always been upbeat, and she’s also written for Glamour, Teen Vogue, InStyle, The New York Times, Seventeen, Time Out New York and Cosmopolitan.  Her statement, which should be an inspiration for anyone of any size in the fashion industry is “I pretty much disagree with most mainstream fashion ideas and reject the notion of ‘dressing for your body type.’ ”

She has a lot of buzz in the media right now, and while attitudes about obesity will still exist, for now this seems to be a nice victory.

Subscribe to Gabi’s blog, and take a moment to thank her for what she’s done.  http://www.gabifresh.com/

Gabi

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