Proud2Bme | Abercrombie & Fitch Changes Its "Hot" Salesclerk Policy (FINALLY!)

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Abercrombie & Fitch Changes Its "Hot" Salesclerk Policy (FINALLY!)

By River Zain Ceballos--Nothing makes me happier than the idea that society is opening up to different types of beauty.

Most of you my age have heard of the store Abercrombie & Fitch.

I know in my local mall the store windows are plastered with young men with ripped torsos and a beach background. The Abercrombie & Fitch models are the epitome of the ultimate California beach boy, right down to the surf board and rock hard physique.

The entire store gives you the feel like you're shopping on the beach and most employees embody that “California beach” stereotype, blonde highlights included. Abercrombie and Fitch even calls their employees "models." If that isn't pressure then I don't know what is.

A lot of people are unaware that Abercrombie & Fitch’s has had a very strict “Look Policy Guideline”...yes, you read that correctly. Former CEO Mike Jeffries made a public statement about A&F by saying, “It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.” Can you believe that? Jeffries took complete pride in this statement. They may as well have had signs up around the store that said "No ugly people allowed" or "Skinny people only, please."

Who's to say who's attractive and who's not? Everyone has their own definition of beauty. I'll admit, walking into Abercrombie & Fitch is a little intimidating for me. As a guy with a husky build and an alternative style, I always get this feeling that the workers there and even some of the shoppers look at me and think, ‘Is he lost?’

I wonder how many other people feel the way I do. But I recently found out that MTV news recently revealed that A&F will loosen the grip and let their employees have more control over what they wear and will now call their employees "Brand Representatives" instead of models. 

Most importantly, they'll put an end to their sexualized marketing tactics. No more shopping bags of a ripped man’s torso, or gift cards with pecs that resemble 1990's "Marky Mark." This makes me extremely proud in knowing that society is realizing how image-focused this world is, how many young people suffer from body images issues, and how dangerous it is to have a clothing store judge its consumers on their looks.

I'm glad Abercrombie & Fitch has realized how harmful their rules and guidelines are for our youth. I commend them for making these changes. I hope that society continues to make positive strides in the world of beauty. Moving forward is all I can ask for, even if it's one day at a store at a time. 

About this blogger: River Zain Ceballos is a spokesperson, print model, actor, and activist. Follow him on Twitter @RiverC_Official.

Photo courtesy of PA Photos 

Also by River Zain: 

Where are the Plus-Size Male Models? 

Post-Holiday Reflections

Breaking the "Perfection" Mold

I Have a Voice and I Intend to Use It

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