The ultraconservative American Family Association (AFA) is saying “thank you” to Abercrombie and Fitch and now considers the clothing retailer to be “family friendly.”
Wait a minute.
What just happened?
The lovefest is due to a recent announcement about Abercrombie and Fitch dropping its hyper-sexualized marketing practices, and AFA is encouraging its followers to sign an online petition letting the company’s executives know they appreciate the change and will “show my support by strongly considering a visit to one of your stores in the near future.”
Have they lost their freaking minds?
Are they seriously encouraging people to thank and financially support an organization that has earned MILLIONS of dollars off of the hyper-sexualization of children?
At first, I thought the story was a joke until I saw Christian friends sharing it on their social media accounts and generating comments like this:
All is forgiven.
People seem to have forgotten this is the company that has given us soft porn ads, half-naked male models in the stores, girls’ panties with “eye candy” emblazoned on the crotch, and padded bikini tops for 8-year-olds. They have forgotten about how the company regularly and publicly engaged in body shaming and discrimination based on race and religion. Just another little FYI, the company lost a Supreme Court case just this week for religious discrimination.
What’s behind Abercrombie’s change of heart?
I could be supportive of Abercrombie if the changes were being made for the right reasons, but they’re not.
Abercrombie, and its sister company, Hollister, did not have an epiphany about the damage they’ve caused with sexual exploitation and body shaming. They didn’t apologize or admit they were wrong.
This is not a company trying to do the right thing.
This is a company trying to save its butt.
They made the change simply because of money.
The clothing retailer, once the cult brand for cool kids who could spend $90 for a pair of jeans, has been hemorrhaging cash for almost three years.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the company’s “losses grew to $63.2 million for the three months ended May 2, compared with $23.7 million a year earlier. Total sales fell 14 percent.”
In an effort to stem the blood loss, the company needs a transfusion of new customers since teens abandoned the brand long ago in favor of trendy and less expensive clothing retailers such as H&M and American Apparel.
Hence, they finally made changes to their old unapologetic business model.
In April, Abercrombie announced it would no longer hire sales staff based on “body type or physical attractiveness.” By July, it will ditch its longtime sex-based advertising and shirtless male models. A spokesperson for the organization said the new and improved company will focus more on showcasing products and trends rather than skin.
It’s a classic case of too little too late.
Don’t drink the Kool-Aid
I am begging people to ignore the American Family Association. Please, don’t thank Abercrombie’s management, and whatever you do, don’t shop there.
The company was dying long before it “saw the light,” and it deserves to face the consumer consequences for its longtime business practices.
Abercrombie has already made MILLIONS off of sexual exploitation and discrimination, and the only reason it’s changed its business model is because it needs your cash to survive.
Just remember these photos the next time someone tries to put “Abercrombie” and “family friendly” in the same sentence: