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Posts Tagged ‘Abercrombie & Fitch’

10638108-abercrombie-and-fitch“Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

These were the words of Mike Jeffries, the chief executive officer of trendy clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, spoken in a 2013 interview with Salon, the online news and entertainment website.

That this was the policy of his company is not surprising; lots of retailors aim their products at a specific demographic (rarely mine, I can tell you) and ignore all others.

But none have been so bold – or brave – to publicly state that they don’t want overweight, older or ‘unattractive’ people anywhere near their products.

I was fascinated by the resulting controversy; many people, media outlets and websites reacted almost violently to Jefferies. Some online posters even searched out and shared the most unflattering photos of the CEO that they could find.

But isn’t it clear that Abercrombie & Fitch’s philosophy is exactly how our world works? Haven’t you seen or heard advertisements for condominiums that emphasize how exclusive they are? And aren’t certain restaurants trendy because they are exclusive? What about golf and country clubs – don’t they attract a certain kind of person who likes their exclusivity?

More important, aren’t there times in our lives when most of us – me included – have yearned for a meal in that exclusive eatery or lusted after a unit in that trendy housing project? We actually want to exclude others.

In some ways, I appreciate Mike Jeffries thrusting this unpleasant human characteristic into the spotlight. It gives me a chance to examine my own thinking patterns. It also highlights one big reason why I hold fast to my Christian faith.

You may have been told, or come to believe, that Christianity is exclusionary – that only people in the club get to spend eternity in Heaven with God and His son, Jesus Christ.

Serious Christians do believe that because we believe the Bible is altogether trustworthy and in a section simply called ‘John’, Jesus says “I am the way, the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me.”

But what the critics of Christianity don’t tell you is anyone – and I mean ANYONE – can join Jesus in Heaven. God presents His son as a GIFT to every man, woman and child on planet Earth. Gifts are made to be accepted and that’s all you and me have to do to get in on this so-called “exclusive” offer.

When you tell God you want to trust in His son (who serious Christians believe died to make up for all the wrong things we’ve done and the right things we’ve failed to do), the slate is wiped clean. No matter how ugly your past might be.

How inclusive is this gift? It’s open to Mike Jefferies, it’s open to me, it’s open to YOU, it’s even open to the most reprehensible kind of person (read one such story here: http://wp.me/p2wzRb-6K).

So what do you think of this gift? Post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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