Healthcare Professionals Condemn Abercrombie CEO’s Weightism Statements
DEERFIELD, Ill. -- May 14, 2013 -- As a global professional association committed to leadership in eating disorders research, education, treatment and prevention, the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) condemns the statements made by Abercrombie and Fitch’s CEO, Mike Jeffries, highlighted in the new book “The New Rules of Retail,” and reported online by elitedaily.com. He confirmed the comments in an interview with King 5 News, according to examiner.com, stating that he only wants “thin, beautiful and cool” people wearing the Abercrombie brand. Consequently, the store does not sell women’s pants larger than a size 10, and does not offer women’s sizes in XL. Conversely, they offer men’s clothes in XL and XXL to appeal to large male athletes.
AED considers such weight elitism inexcusable as it promotes weight stigma and discrimination against those of larger body types by asserting the erroneous notion that only a narrow range of weight and size is societally acceptable. Research indicates that individuals who have experienced weight bias are more likely to engage in eating disorder behaviors such as binge eating. Particularly concerning is the fact that Abercrombie’s target audience is adolescents, who may be especially vulnerable to the effects of weightism, as social relationships are central during teen years. Recent research suggests children and adolescents who are subjected to weight stigmatization may experience difficulties in social, emotional, and academic development.
AED vigorously protests such ideas and calls upon those in the
fashion industry to educate themselves regarding body size diversity.
For more information about AED and to learn more about eating disorders and body image issues, consult: www.aedweb.org