Comments about ‘Wright Words: An open letter from a dad to Abercrombie & Fitch CEO, Mike Jeffries’

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Published: Tuesday, May 14 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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DistantThunder
Vincentown, NJ

Evidence of good genes like symmetrical facial features and good skin and teeth, have always been signs of beauty. Now that we understand the health risks associated with obesity, is it any wonder that society considers overweight people less attractive. The CEO's point is that A&F clothes are not designed to fit on a 200lb 5'4 woman. Do you have the same problem with sports car makers who design to a particular height?

Mormoncowboy
Provo, Ut

So...the size of waist lines do not matter, just literally sentences after Jason Wright was criticizing the "models", or "sales associates", for being too skinny and in desperate need of a pop-tart???

In this story, Mr. Wright is not a "capitalist", he's a consumer. The best thing he can do is not shop at places that don't uphold his values. What did he do instead? He described in rather familiar detail the experience of shopping at Abercrombie & Fitch??????

Kellie Buckner
University Heights, Ohio

@Mormoncowboy,
You don't have to have shopped at A&F to know what the store is like. Just walking past one of their stores gives you every detail Mr. Wright mentioned. I've never been inside one of these stores, but I already knew everything he said in describing them. Also, your comment that he's not a capitalist is incorrect. One definition of a capitalist is someone who favors capitalism. From what I know of Mr. Wright, he is most definitely a capitalist. Yes, he criticized the models and said waist size doesn't matter. You're missing the point he was making. Waist size doesn't matter, but being a healthy weight does.

estreetshuffle
Window Rock, AZ

I like my good old 501 jeans purchased from the Trading Post and a good old white T Shirt from Walmart and some good old Springsteen tunes. cheap and still in style.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

And how much free publicity did you just give him? The solution is sooooo simple. Don't shop there if you don't like their stuff, if their stuff doesn't fit, or you have other beef with them. The feigned outrage every time someone says something you don't agree with is tiresome.

Western Rover
Herriman, UT

If this store is going after for the "cool kids", why did they pick the name Abercrombie & Fitch? Sounds like an accountants firm to me.

DCJ
Washington, DC

@DistantThunder

I think there are bigger issues here than marketing to a particular size. One is whether AF's highly-sexualized marketing has an undesirable effect on our children's environment. My children won't shop there, but some kids their age will and I wonder how AF's marketing will influence the way that other kids behave toward my children.

Another issue is that the marketing exploits class distinctions among children for profit. By making their products representative of a very selective definition of beauty, they can drive up the price. When the cool kids' club is very selective, you have to pay a lot to get in. That also has an effect on children that may not be desirable.

Free speech is important. Like Mr. Wright, I value the freedom to speak out against business practices that I think may be harmful.

Lest someone suggest that media and advertising can't really influence people's behavior, then why do companies spend billions of dollars on it? No one would pay big money for a Super Bowl ad if they thought it wouldn't help someone to think and behave in a way that would support buying their product.

ghanks
Tacoma, WA

Jason Wright, you crack me up! You have a way of getting us to see the humor in life's complexities. I've got the skinny kids, but we don't shop at A & F for several reasons. You have spoken about a few of those reasons in such a way that my rolling laughter has put it all into perspective. Thanks for a delightful start to my day!

Middle-aged Mormon Man
JUNEAU, AK

Whaaa? "What you cannot do is tell us what’s beautiful. Corporate America doesn’t define beauty, the soul does." ???

Corporate America defines beauty all the time. If not, things like 5 inch heels, fake eyelashes, and most "fashion" wouldn't even exist. As a society, we line up to be told by Corporate America what the next beautiful things is - then we rush out and buy it.

I lived through the Disco Era, and know that my soul was not involved in the clothing designs I wore.

oldcougar
Orem, UT

CHS 85

Sandy, UT

And how much free publicity did you just give him? The solution is sooooo simple. Don't shop there if you don't like their stuff, if their stuff doesn't fit, or you have other beef with them. The feigned outrage every time someone says something you don't agree with is tiresome.

So, if Jason's stuff is to tiresome, follow your own advice and don't read it or comment on it.
And, did you really see outrage in his article? I thought it was civil, controlled, and well written.

Sasha Pachev
Provo, UT

I had never even heard of A & F until now. We shop for clothes at DI, Savers, and Walmart. Costco for special occasions. We have six boys and two girls. We teach them that if they want to stand out, they should do it by developing their talents and achieving challenging goals, not by the clothes they wear.

dwayne
Provo, UT

There's is a word for the writer of this article is trying to do and its bullying. Plain and simple. The idea that a business must cater to everyone and must condone obesity or face this sort of mentally unhinged reaction is inappropriate on so many levels.

"I'm free to point out they’re all so thin they don’t need your clothes, they need a Pop-Tart. Most of them look like their legs could fit into the paper sleeve of a Pixy Stix...I am the father of two teenage daughters and I think they’re stunningly beautiful, no matter what size they wear."

Unless they are "so thin they...need a Pop-Tart" or "their legs could fit into the paper sleeve of a Pixy Stix." Then their reading this article might make them have issues with themselves and feel insecure in their weight. I don't think Jeffries even came close to the level of mentally unhinged as this writer has.

He's not going around talking about children the way this horrible man does. He's merely stating a business decision not to target those who are overweight.

This author is bullying.

Claudio
Springville, Ut

Who cares?

Why single out A&F? I can think of a handful of other stores and brands that are no different in their marketing.

If you don't want the clothes, don't buy them. If you disagree with their marketing, don't buy in. Those who like the clothes, go ahead and buy them.

Of all the problems going on in this country and throughout the world, the marketing strategy of one clothing company seems incredibly insignificant, especially when the simple choice of not buying the clothes can eliminate the angst of those who are so upset with the company.

dwayne
Provo, UT

oldcougar

Do you seriously consider bullying other people "civil, controlled, and well written?"

Do you consider him referring to children and young people derogatorily with comments like "Pop-Tart" (maybe if Mr Jeffries used words like Twinkies he may have come close to making the repugnant comments this author did), "Pixy Stix" and attacking people and especially a child because of their weight civil?

This wasn't a controlled or well written article instead it was just another attempt to bully other people into accepting obesity and catering to it even though it has serious health effects on people and on children. Instead of doing right by his children and by other children he seeks to inflict emotional abuse on those who are healthy and living a life that is consistent with success and prosperity.

Instead of coming to Jeffries defense he instead attacks him viciously because he dared to say that he is not going to waste his business resources purchasing products that only the uncool children buy. That may not be the most tactful way of putting it but how many Plus Size stores stock smaller sizes? Do they not want skinny people in their stores?

dwayne
Provo, UT

Claudio,

There is a difference between Wright and Jeffries and the attitude held by both men.

Regardless of if we agree or disagree with Jeffries business decisions we can at least say that he isnt going out of his way to be cruel to children and others and he doesnt seek to bully other people or get them to think or agree with him through popularity or threats of retaliation. He isnt going after Plus Size stores or making comments about "Pop Tarts" and "Pixy Stix's." I am sure most people would be outraged if he said:

"I'm free to point out they’re all so [fat] they don’t need my clothes, they need a [Slim Fast]. Most of them look like their legs could fit into a [pool covering]."

Im sure most of us would be outraged by that yet so many remain silent when Wright makes repugnant comments and seeks to bully businesses into condoning or catering to those who are overweight. The reality is Jeffries business decision is wise considering his
stores have limited retail and stocking it with plus sizes takes valuable retail and likely chases away his target customer

Hey It's Me
Salt Lake City, UT

Dwayne in Provo, the author is not bullying just like the owner of the company is not bullying in the America I live in it is still o.k. to voice you're opinion, just as you have done here and as I have done here. I'm not bullying you. . . my opinion (which I'm allowed to have is that your opinion of what the author of the article is doing is ridiculous. By the way my kids would have fit the A and F clothing line but they chose not to spend that much money on clothes that advertise while you wear them. They had good self esteem and their friends liked them no matter what they wore. If kids at school are picking friends by what people wear than they probably aren't someone you really want your kids to be friends with. My opinion is that the author of the article was just giving his opinion on judging people by what they wear. My kids had friends who did wear some A & F clothes but they still were friends with my girls. Obviously they were brought up right no matter what they wore.

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

7th & 9th paragraphs are pure comedy gold.

To Dwayne above; Isn't the A & F CEO already "bullying"

The A & F CEO has every right to be an idiot... Its America.

I have never shopped there or Hot Topic. I've never cared for the merchandise or the vibe I get from either.

SS
MiddleofNowhere, Utah

Wow . . . people will get bent out of shape over anything nowadays!

AmkaProblemka
South Jordan, UT

Dwayne -

The CEO is making lots of money by putting out the message that some kids are cool and some are not, they'll use their marketing strategy and a price tag to inform you of it. It makes for a twisted and warped, materialistic society which condones body discrimination.

Tell me how talking out against this practice is bullying?

In general - Yes, there is such a thing as a healthy weight. But being 20 lbs underweight is far less healthy than being 20 lbs overweight.

We all have to wear clothes, and making a living off of making them is an honorable thing. But doing it in such a way as to reinforce attitudes which damage our society and hurts individuals is quite dishonorable. Jeffries is the bully here.

Curmudgeon
Salt Lake City, UT

I just wonder why the DN put this "letter" under the "Faith" category. Even an atheist could be offended by A&F's marketing strategy. Or is this a subtly targeted message to the faithful DN subscribers about modesty, and to avoid A&F because it promotes immodest clothing?

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