Skip to main content

One of Abercrombie & Fitch’s women’s anti-bullying T-shirts.

Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch may want only cool, good-looking people to wear their clothes, but they'd still like their customer to be nice to their unworthy peers. To remind them, the clothing line is now selling anti-bullying T-shirts: "Bros before bullies," as one proclaims.

Of course, because A&F would also prefer that larger people shop elsewhere, its women's styles are apparently only available up to size 10.

As Salon writer Mary Elizabeth Williams writes, this is the same company whose CEO Mike Jeffries described why they liked to hire only attractive people for their stores. "Good-looking people attract other good-looking people and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. … 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."

Story continues below advertisement

His comments gave A&F a lot of press, but much of it wasn't good. As Williams says – "the considerably populous not-so-cool lobby" had a lot to say about the company's marketing scheme. Not least of which was that Jeffries' comments "foster bullying and discrimination."

This public shaming didn't lead to bigger sizes in the store, but Jeffries did meet with a teen activist who had started an online campaign to get the company to change its policy. In June, the Salon article says, the company began offering scholarships to students who fought bullying. This was followed up by the new T-shirts and an "Are you an ally?" campaign, to enlist cool kids to use their popularity power for good.

At the time the scholarship was announced, Jeffries said, "We've listened to the conversations and heart the message. No young people should ever feel intimidated, especially at school, whether for the clothes they wear, or because someone perceives them as different."

Of course, it would seem to be less of an issue if those same young people didn't feel intimidated about walking into an A&F store, where they will be appraised for their looks and weight.

A T-shirt doesn't change the fact that, as far as Abercrombie & Fitch's messaging is concerned, clothes are the measure of a person. And they'll decide who measures up.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter