The GEM Debate:
Should The Homeless Have To Take THIS?
Sometimes you can help people and sometimes you can insult people; and if you get it just right, you can do both at the same, dang time.
You may have heard about the latest dust up concerning Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F). Multiple comments by their CEO, Mike Jeffries, insinuate that the company would rather “cool kids” wear their clothes and also that “larger people” aren’t who they would like shopping in their stores. My thoughts on that are they can target or desire whatever shopper they want. Men’s Big And Tall stores don’t want me and I don’t want them. Forever 21 would LOVE Casey’s business, but they sure aren’t looking for a 40-year-old mom to be their spokesperson which is what you become when you wear a brands insignia on your person. I get it. What A&F wants is literally their business. If I’m offended by it I can either stop shopping there (which I don’t) or I can keep shopping there while trying to force their CEO to say something different.
However, now something else is making its way through the internet. It’s a campaign to really stick it to Jeffries and the A&F brand. How? By giving the clothes to the homeless. WAIT! What? Yep. Greg Karber came up with the not-so-genius idea of giving your A&F clothing to the homeless. Take a look.
In my opinion this campaign (you can find the conversation on Twitter at #FitchTheHomeless) is saying the exact opposite of what A&F want is homeless which is a way of saying that they aren’t the attractive or cool ones in a sense. It’s like saying that A&F should be offended because people are giving clothing to the exact opposite of the people targeted in the first place. That’s more acceptable? Well, I don’t accept it.
We always teach our kids to ignore the bullies, but what is this outrage (and outrageous stunt) teaching our kids? It’s not teaching them to ignore the problem (stop shopping at A&F); not teaching to start a dialogue (a little protest never hurt); not even teaching them to find an authority figure (is this legal?). It’s teaching them to pick on someone else. Giving the clothes to someone in need is one thing, but by targeting a sector of those in need (like I need new clothes, but I’m not homeless and, yes, have some really cute stuff I picked up in Goodwill which in turn gives those who need it food and shelter), it seems like the not-so-cool kids picking on the younger not-so-cool kids in school, you know?
I’ve seen a couple of sites in the last few days say the same thing and maybe even for the same reasons. This campaign should die down in a few days (and the media flurry that is keeping A&F’s name on everyone’s tongues), but hopefully the conversation about it continues. Everyone deserves to be respected and giving someone something you don’t want just to tick off another guy isn’t respect; it’s an insult.
What did you think of the #FitchTheHomeless idea? Good, bad, ugly or something else? How would you have protested the brand? Is not buying their clothes enough or do you think more needed to be done? Let us know!
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