Yet Another Open Letter to the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch

Dear Mr. Jeffries,

Here's yet another open letter to you in the wake of your stupid and classless remarks regarding your decision to not make your clothing available to women of all sizes. This letter isn’t the typical response to your comments about only wanting “the cool people” to wear your clothes.  This isn’t about what a prick you are because you don’t want larger women to wear your clothes. This isn’t about what a colossal douchecanoe you are for allegedly destroying extra A&F clothes instead of donating them to charity because you don't want homeless people and the poor to wear them.

You do realize that your clothes end up in thrift stores, right?

You are a colossal douche, but for very different reasons.

I don’t know you, nor do I know anything of your background or what your growing up years were like. I’m pretty good at reading other people and I’m also a very perceptive person. However, the more I read about you and the more I saw your picture, it’s pretty obvious to me that at one point in your life, you were one of those “uncool” kids you don’t want wearing your clothes.

I, too, was one of the “uncool” kids while growing up.  I didn’t wear the cool brand of jeans. I didn't have a closet full of monogrammed pullover sweaters. I didn’t get to wear the cool brand of shoes until I saved up enough money to buy them myself. I wanted braces in the worst way because I had crooked teeth, but I was told we couldn't afford them. Despite being told this, my parents always had money for what they wanted...shortwave radio equipment, a trip to Canada, an SLR camera...stuff like that.  I'm sure I don't have to tell you how shitty that made me feel knowing that my oral health was less important to my parents than trips, hobbies and material things. I got the message loud and clear.

And then there was the time I fell down in gym class and sprained my arm, and my parents were pissed off that they had to take me to the ER the next day because this wasn't just a bump. It was as if they thought I tripped and fell on purpose. I ended up wearing a sling.  I think you can guess how their attitude made me feel. Like shit.

I was painfully shy and had pretty much zero self-worth.  I was an easy target for other kids to pick on. I pretty much sat there and took what they dished out because I didn’t know how, and deep down probably thought I wasn’t worth standing up for myself and dishing it back.  See, back then, I’d endure all of this at school and then go home and have to endure the same thing from the same people who thought I tripped and fell in gym class on purpose and taking me to get medical attention for it was an inconvenience to them.  Nobody stood up for me, which made me feel even more worthless.

That is what I had to deal with growing up.

I bought into the whole “if only I had a pair of Nike shoes, then people will like me and I won’t be such a dork” mentality. This is the same psychological snake oil you’re trying to sell with your clothing.

It doesn’t work.  Those Nike shoes I saved up to buy didn’t make me popular. They didn’t make me cool. I didn't magically become more outgoing and charming when I wore them. They were shoes. That’s all they were.

And yes, I had revenge fantasies. None of them involved violence. My revenge fantasies involved moving into a position where I had the power to make those kids' lives as miserable as they were making mine. One revenge fantasy involved my own suicide and how I was going to write the ultimate note so those who made my life a living hell had to live with the guilt for the rest of their lives.

The difference between you and me, Mr. Jeffries, is that I grew up and you didn’t.

I grew up, dealt with my issues and went on with my life. I took the time to open up old wounds and rip out the poison so they could heal once and for all. Opening old wounds is painful, but I had the courage to do this because I knew that I couldn't move on until I did it.

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