Storytime (blog 11)

A&F: where self-esteem goes to die.


Can you smell it? The rotting stench of popularity, of judgement? It oozes from the vents, toxic and brewing with hatred, snickering as it envelops the fabric, which hang so neatly in tiny little rows, on tiny little hangers, adjusted by tiny little girls. It’s a fortress, I tell you. Deceptive. Enticing. Guarded by society’s ideal male specimens, standing watch by the front doors. They are armed with a deadly smile, a toxic wink…and no shirt in sight. They beckon and welcome you with ease. It’s hypnotic how his eyes twinkle, teeth flash, eyes twinkle, teeth flash, eyes twinkle, teeth… Before you know it, you are within its devilish walls, dreaming of the possibility that he promised you, staring deep into the sepia photograph that covers the wall. You see yourself in her small frame, scattered freckles and that all-American  carefree pose–laughing, happy, windswept hair (you name it, she’s got it). You want to be her. You want her life. You want to be casually throwing the football around with your three best looking friends. And for a moment you think you could have that. You think you could be her, if only you bought that shirt, those jeans, that jacket…

You touch the clothing as if it were going to explode, so delicately you drape one extra small back, another extra small back, the third extra small back in search of a size which would fit your…arm. It’s at that moment, when you hit the last extra small and the wooden table is revealed underneath that you realize the walls are closing in, the perfume is suffocating you and the extra small “model” is approaching you. She is not smiling, but instead gives you the once-over, looking you up and down. You don’t belong here. But don’t worry, she’ll make it clear. She’ll ask you that one question, asking for that one answer that you desperately don’t want to give up. For the sheer satisfaction she will feel is beyond what you can stand. “Do you need another size? What size are you?” They want you feel it. They want you to want them and know you can never really have them, never really be them. They are America. They are fun. They are beautiful. They are Abercrombie and Fitch. And they only want you if you’re cool enough.

(related to my first blog post about how Abercrombie and Fitch doesn’t carry certain sizes because they don’t want girls/guys that weight wearing their clothes)

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7 thoughts on “A&F: where self-esteem goes to die.

  1. I really enjoyed your blog post. I used to work at Hollister (trust me I know what you’re thinking but I hated it and never bought the clothes) but its so true about the sizing and smell. If I had to buy a shirt for work, it was always a large. And they spray all the clothing generously at least three times a day, they specifically tell you where to spray it its ridiculous, but I did get a good insight into how the store thinks, even when they employ people its all based on looks and if people have the right figure and are “pretty” enough.

  2. What’s also hilarious is that the “models” or people that work there (besides Evelyn) are just as insecure and in need of approval as the girl in your story.. But of course we have all been there because when we were young enough that those styles were so “in”, we didnt know what to do, we all really did want to be those “happy, cute, fun” girls that brought alllll the boys to the yard….
    Oh America.

  3. It is ridiculous to think that anyone who shops there could ever fit into an extra small shirt. The way society perceives beauty is so skewed from reality and how people actually look like.

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