Abercrombie's Anti-Bullying Efforts Fall Way Short

For starters, the shirts don't come in plus sizes: Mary Elizabeth Williams

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 3, 2013 1:03 PM CDT

(Newser) – Abercrombie & Fitch, the clothing retailer known for firing a woman for wearing a Muslim headscarf and banishing another to the stockroom because of her prosthetic arm, has decided to take on bullying. There's just one problem: The brand's anti-bullying shirts, which bear messages like "Make Bullying Extinct," do not appear to be available in plus sizes. "At least on the brand’s website, [women's shirts] only go up to size 10," writes Mary Elizabeth Williams on Salon. Clearly, Abercrombie "still has a long way to go" when it comes to inclusiveness.

The retailer created the shirts as part of National Bullying Prevention Month, and also in response to a much-derided interview in which the CEO blatantly admitted Abercrombie markets only to popular, skinny, attractive customers. Following the outcry, he met with an anti-bullying activist (who wanted the chain to create "clothes for teens of all sizes"), and the company is getting involved in more anti-bullying activities. "But while Abercrombie’s recent strides toward being more inclusive and less douchey are a positive and welcome change," Williams writes, "it’s clear ... that their expectations of what their 'allies' in the cause of 'diversity' look like is still ruthlessly narrow." Click for her full column.

In this Nov. 14, 2011 photo, Abercrombie & Fitch sweat shirts are displayed at a store in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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