Abercrombie & Fitch FINALLY Apologizes

The media has taken a sharp turn towards body image and how it is portrayed, specifically by the fashion industry, especially when it comes to models, mannequins, and clothing sizes. For some reason, fashion size expectations have been even more under fire than usual. There’s always some valid complaint regarding the unrealistic expectations of bodies (mostly female), but as of late, that voice has been louder than ever, and the headlines are smattered with size-related statements. One of the most popular headliners was Abercrombie & Fitch, for their (until now) unapologetic refusal to dress women over a US size 10. A 2006 interview with CEO Mike Jeffries said it all:

“We want to market to cool, good-looking people. In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

His statement was met with quite a bit of backlash, in the form of viral videos, photo campaigns, and a petition with over 68,000 signatures. On Wednesday, the company publicly responded to the petition:

“We look forward to continuing this dialogue and taking concrete steps to demonstrate our commitment to anti-bullying in addition to our ongoing support of diversity and inclusion. We want to reiterate that we sincerely regret and apologize for any offense caused by comments we have made in the past which are contrary to these values.”

Unfortunately, the company is still quietly under scrutiny for not providing wheelchair accessible entrances to all of their stores.

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The Dark Side of the Modeling Industry

The Devil Wears Prada gave us an insider’s look at a fashion magazine. The film, based on the novel, is the nearly true life account of one woman’s experience working for Vogue. Yes, names had to be changed and even some situations were tweaked, but the veil was a thin one. Meryl Streep’s cold character is known to be reminiscent of American Vogue’s Anna Wintour:

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The novel’s author, Lauren Weisberger, gives her honest account of what it was like working for one of the best known names in fashion… of course she had to disguise some elements, and leave out aspects of truth (like the fact that she suffered amoebic dysentery before being hired, leaving her rail thin, although still a target for criticism regarding her weight).

Last year, editor-in-chief at Australia’s Vogue was unexpectedly dropped from the work roster. One day after her surprise-firing, she was offered a book deal to tell her story. She took it. Kirstie Clements recently published The Vogue Factor, in which she recounts the things she saw and heard as editor. Clements recounts some particularly extreme dieting habits– which may not surprise you at first given that it’s the modeling industry and when isn’t there an extreme diet going around? But Clements recalls models snacking on tissues. Yes, tissues. This isn’t an episode of My Strange Addiction— apparently the tissues would expand in their stomachs, stifling and hunger pangs. Clements also reports seeing models on hospital drips. She also addresses the issue of airbrushing. So many people are quick to say a photo has been airbrushed to make someone look skinnier, but Clements claims that some models were so skinny that they had to be airbrushed to look less malnourished.