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What’d You Say, Ellen? Fitch, Please.

17 May

As I was getting my daily dose of Ellen (I love her to death!), I was going through my YouTube subscriptions and recent uploads, and The Ellen Show‘s video entitled, “Fitch, Please,” caught my attention from today’s airing. I knew this had to have something to do with Abercrombie & Fitch, and as I watched the entire video, I was displeased. Basically, A&F has decided to stop producing items above a size 10, calling anyone above “plus-sized.” Ellen quotes the CEO as saying, “Anyone who is a plus size isn’t cool enough to shop at Abercrombie & Fitch.” Whoa.

I see this as very problematic, especially when it comes to the words of the CEO. Being under this mindset that size makes a person “cool” perpetuates and reinforces these notions of body type and size to adults, young adults, and young children, especially females, about what it means to look “right” in society. A&F has a a strong pre-teen and teen consumer culture, and I find it sad that a company would promote societal stereotypes that pull into the troubles of adolescence and looks. I feel this is something another part of society tries to bring higher awareness to in terms of teen and body disorders.

Ellen also brings up the existence of the size 0 and 00, which stunned me when I first knew there was a double zero a few years back. Part of me thought to compare it to an A-cup or AA-cup in bra sizes. Is that weird? Anyways, I know popular clothing chains such as Forever 21 or H&M have plus-sized sections of their stores, but it seems that A&F is completely disregarding ever producing plus-sized clothing to tailor to all customers.

Like I said, I love Ellen so much, and she is someone I admire deeply. And though I know many may not feel the same, I really appreciate Ellen for bringing up these issues with her comedic opening monologue. She presents them with a bias, but she’s not severe. She’s comedic, and pushes the issues out there for people to be aware. I also appreciate her polite approach and execution, as well. I don’t feel imposed upon, and I enjoy hearing someone like her bring up these issues on a talk show. Though her show is mainly about laughs and entertainment, I enjoy her bits of reality and her kindness… rather than being very dramatic and having an entire panel of people to be judged on her show… *ahem*Tyra*ahem*

Thoughts?

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10 Comments

Posted by on May 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

10 responses to “What’d You Say, Ellen? Fitch, Please.

  1. reedh2013

    May 18, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Your comment about size 0 and 00 reminded me of a quote from Jean Kilbourne’s film series Killing us softly (about images of women in advertising). She says that, “On the deepest level, the obsession with thinness is about cutting girls down to size. Now one could say this more vividly than this relatively new size in womenʼs clothing, size 0 and size 00. Imagine a man going into a clothing store and asking for anything in a size zero, but our girls are taught to aspire to become nothing.” This sizing system reinforces the idea that women and girls should take up as little space as possible.
    But this also made me think about the concept of “vanity sizing” which the article below describes as “stores cutting clothes larger so women can buy them in smaller sizes, and feel better about themselves by doing so (thereby making them more likely to buy).” With all the fluctuation in sizing and measurements of women’s clothing, why is there so much emphasis on such arbitrary numbers?
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/2006/06/21/size-00-sizes-shrink-as-women-get-bigger/

     
    • Nikki

      May 22, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      Your comment totally reminds me of a section from the book Scheherazade Goes West by Fatema Mernissi – it comes at the end of the book, in which she’s been talking about the harem and views of women in the West (lots of France but in this case the States). She’s trying to buy clothes and writes really interesting things about it – she finds it incredibly restrictive, and she compares it unfavorably to Muslim fundamentalists’ insistence on the veil (which she’s consistently against; fundamentalist in this case is her word). She also associates size and age in an interesting way.

      “Yes, I thought as I wandered off, I have finally found the answer to my harem enigma. Unlike the Muslim man, who uses space to establish male domination by excluding women from the public arena, the Western man manipulates time and light. He declares that in order to be beautiful, a woman must look 14 years old. If she dares to look 50 or, worse, 60, she is beyond the pale. By putting the spotlight on the female child and framing her as the ideal of beauty, he condemns the mature woman to invisibility. In fact, the modern Western man enforces one of Immanuel Kant’s 19th-century theories: To be beautiful, women have to appear childish and brainless. When a women looks mature and self-assertive, or allows her hips to expand, she is condemned as ugly. Thus, the walls of the European harem separate youthful beauty from ugly maturity.”

      http://odewire.com/46323/size-six-the-western-womens-harem.html

       
  2. emilysteidel

    May 20, 2013 at 3:42 pm

     
    • Lilly

      May 22, 2013 at 12:18 am

      Emily, thank you for this! Love it! It is such a smart comeback. 🙂

       
    • emilypatriciamarie

      May 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      I was going to comment with this link! Also, the creator/model is the cousin of one of our fellow Carls! How cool is that? I’m glad it seems to have gained such popularity. It’s always nice to see people rejecting oppressive standards and ideals of beauty, especially such blatant expressions of them, though the fact remains that even the fat-positive feminist movement is generally pretty oblivious to race. Of course, many individuals in the movement advocate all-around diversity of models, but it seems to me that the white-girl problems seem to take precedence and/or get more publicity.

       
  3. emilysteidel

    May 20, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Also, I totally agree that shaming (Tyra’s approach) is never a way to create change/fair dialogue/education.

     
  4. goodyeak

    May 22, 2013 at 12:14 am

    Watching this video about Abercrombie and Fitch’s new campaign reminded me of the campaign a couple of years ago to try and ban size zero models on fashion runways. After the death of the model Luisel Ramos from anorexia during fashion week in Montevideo, Uruguay, numerous countries took action to prevent size zero models from walking on the catwalk in various fashion weeks. With this push towards more realistic sizes on runways to so many stores nowadays providing fashionable clothing for women of all shapes and sizes, I began to feel as if we had made great progress in trying to encourage women to think more positively about their bodies. This campaign in conjunction with the concept of “vanity sizing” brought up above, suggests to me that we really haven’t progressed very far in trying to change negative stereotypes about larger sizes or am I just being overly pessimistic?

     
  5. harveymr

    May 22, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    http://jezebel.com/fashion-is-incredibly-political-when-your-fat-says-b-509350016
    Here is an interesting article from Jezebel talking about how political clothes become when you are fat.

     
  6. vanduymr

    May 26, 2013 at 11:05 am

    I agree with Ellen that having a size 0 and 00 makes it seem like you don’t exist, and that this is something people aspire to be is problematic. The fact that a size 0 exists makes it seem like women should have 0 curves and should try to be so small that they disappear. The American sizing system in general is quite problematic- in my experience, I’ve found that sizes fluctuate greatly from store to store, and it would make more sense to use the European sizing system of your waist and inseam measurements. Don’t men’s sizes use this system? I’m pretty sure there is no size 0 for men.

     
  7. skytsutsui

    May 29, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    This post reminded me of a relatively new clothing store chain called Brandy Melville. This store carries trendy clothing for women. Get this, their tops, jackets, sweaters, dresses, skirts, bandeaus, etc are all “One size fits all.” Ironically, the clothing is not “one size fits all” at all! The clothing literally only fits tiny, skinny women. It’s crazy! I would say I am relatively skinny and yet I have trouble fitting into their clothing. I remember one day I was trying on shorts (which do have sizes–unrealistic ones that is), that were a size 4. They didn’t even go up my legs. Tried on a size 6 that didn’t go up my butt. And tried on a size 8 and ended up just giving up. I couldn’t believe how unrealistic the sizes were… It angers me how a store like this is accepted in society.

    Here’s a video that highlights some of the problems that I sure other women have faced when trying on their clothing:

     

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