Tuesday, June 16, 2009

As If I Needed Another Reason to Boycott A&F

When I was in high school, music and clothing trends defined the norm. I was never one to jump on the Dave Matthews “Band-wagon”. I hated Britney Spears and the entire boy-band phenomenon. I never shopped at Hollister or Aeropostale. I was the weirdo who made tablecloths into skirts and proudly wore my homemade denim arm cuffs. I scoured the Salvation Army for sweet deals, and wore men’s ties long before anyone ever hear Avril’s “music.” And I most definitely never wore Abercrombie and Fitch clothing, which was extremely popular at my mostly white small town high school.

My well-intentioned mother once bought me several Abercrombie articles of clothing one year for Christmas. I snuck up to my room under the premise of trying them on. I remember sitting on my bed and thinking how it would be easier to just wear the damn clothes. I’d spare my mother’s feelings, and would “fit in” better at school. They didn’t have that telltale thrift store smell, and they were the correct size for my body. They didn’t have any strange patterns or look out of the ordinary, like my usual outfits. I quickly snapped out of my self-betraying thoughts and ran back downstairs. I told my mother they didn’t fit, and she returned them to the store.

I’m especially proud that I have still never worn a piece of Abercrombie and Fitch clothing. They have developed a nasty reputation. They are most recently in the news for banishing a girl with a prosthetic arm to the stock room because she didn’t meet their ideal “look.” They paid 40 million dollars to black, Asian, and Latino employees and job applicants to settle a 2004 lawsuit that “accused the clothing retailer of promoting whites at the expense of minorities,” according to a USA Today article.

My personal style has definitely become tamer as I’ve gotten older. I still like finding funny T-shirts at thrift stores, but I’m definitely less creative than I used to be. But I’m glad I’ve never contributed to the coffers of a company like Abecrombie and Fitch.