So Abercrombie & Fitch is making headlines again. Not because the catalog was pornographic or their hiring practices are obscene or the CEO has weird taste in Flight Attendants, this time it’s because the Botox Bandit has basically said a bunch of stupid things that would put Regina George to shame.
And what’s going to happen about it? Probably not much. Sure, the company lost some major cash during the recession, but it’s still kicking. But why isn’t the backlash going to have any effect? Because the people who are angry aren’t buying A&F anyway (because it doesn’t fit). Sure, anybody can point out that they’re the exception, and they can fit into A&F clothes but choose not to shop there because they have a moral repugnance for supporting douchebaggery, but the “core customer” that A&F’s fearless leader seems to have such a hysterical obsession with pleasing isn’t going to be terribly affected.
So what to do? We could write open letters that say “I don’t fit into your clothes, but you could stop being such a bully (because we haven’t worn that word out yet) for I just know deep down you’re probably not as awful as you sound.” Or we could enjoy America’s favorite pastime (it’s not baseball, folks) and get self-righteously indignant, but not do anything.
Or we could do this. Just hear me out.
1. Be Ugly, Go Shopping. It might seem counterintuitive to go into a store whose basic philosophy you disagree with, especially when they play the music so damn loud, but just let me finish the thought. If you’re not the kind of person A&F wants shopping in their stores, go shopping. They don’t want fat people, ugly people, uncool people seen in their stores? Too bad. We have friends to shop for. And it’s going to take us a looooooong time to pick out what we want. We might even have to go back. Multiple times. And we might even decide not to buy them anything at all. But we must carefully deliberate every one of A&Fs overpriced wares. So that’s it in short-form. Be ugly. And shop at A&F.
2. Fly Your Freak Flag Upside Down. If going into A&F might be counterintuitive, it might seem even more ridiculous when I tell you to buy something, but there are a couple caveats. First, it has to be a logo you can cut off. Shield logos are good. Cut it off, sew it on to something else, and wear it with pride. Except you’ll sew it on upside down (that’s the international signal for distress). Second, you have to buy it. No stealing it off the internet. Gotta keep it legal, folks. Sure, A&F gets the forty bucks, and what do you get? You get to tell everybody who asks why your A&F logo is upside down exactly why they’ve pissed you off. And you can slap it on a 3XL t-shirt or a size 16 dress, neither of which A&F make. They don’t want fat/ugly/smart people wearing their clothes, but they never said we couldn’t alter them.
Will it work? Like “fetch”, it may never happen (so stop trying Gretchen), but sometimes, just sometimes, a bunch of angry people doing little things can actually change something. Maybe we’ll get lucky. Until then: Be Ugly. Go Shopping. Get Sewing.