There was a lot of social buzz this week about the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch and comments he made about his target audience. Although I disagree with the words he used (according to online articles) I understand what he was trying to say.
I appreciate all the internet fiasco it created, but I became concerned when I started thinking about the individuals that could be affected most by the negative connotations his comments created.
Young people, especially women, but also including young men struggle so much with their identities. Bullying has almost become the norm. People internalize their insecurities to the point they harm themselves and/or others.
We need more positive role models. We need acceptance. We need encouragement. But if you really think about it, we need the negative as well. If it weren’t for some of us being bullied as kids we may not be strong adults. If we had no struggles in life, we wouldn’t have anything to overcome and therefore we would not be overcomers.
Whenever I hear someone be/say something negative, instead of taking it personally I have begun to learn how to see and understand that the nastiest of people are really the ones who are hurting the most.
My first reaction to hearing Mr. Jeffries quotations made me feel sorry for him. I can’t imagine living in a world where my body and size would be so critiqued. If I had to be around someone like him, I’m sure I would feel uncomfortable eating a piece of cake.
My second reaction was to take action. I brought in the big guns. My mom.
I went to the thrift shop (Macklemore and me, Angie McLemore have a lot in common).
I bought an Abercrombie & Fitch shirt.
My mom helped me re-fashion it into a plus size shirt.
And I felt the desire to share it with the world.
I’m into quotes. I find much inspiration in words. I’ve heard a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that says “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Making this shirt is my way of making a statement. My protest is this: “I wear what I want when I want.”
If I were thin I am pretty sure I wouldn’t wear Abercrombie and Fitch. I’m more drawn to the style of clothes at Buckle. But a CEO is not in charge of my attire, and definitely not my self esteem or identity!
Our clothes, size, race, orientation, financial status, religion are NOT what define us. Our differences make us unique. Not inferior.
I want you and the whole world to know:
YOU are cool!
YOU are amazing!
YOU are YOU!