Abercrombie & Fitch Becomes Attractive & Fat | An Open Letter to Mike Jeffries

May 23rd 2013 12:00 PM

The Militant Baker has taken up arms by writing an open letter to Abercrombie & Fitch’s Mike Jeffries regarding his highly controversial comments in a recent interview. Along with the letter, the author, Jes, included alluring photographs of herself posing with an Abercrombie-esque male model. The series was shot by Tuscon, Arizona-based photographer Liora K as a creative collaboration between the writer, model, and photographer.

“Jes, John, and I are really trying to further the discussion of how we as a culture perceive beauty and size. I love being involved with photoshoots where there is an opportunity to really talk about social and political issues, and open up the floor to how we as a society can grow and change.” ~ Liora K


Hey Mike

“The only thing you’ve done through your comments (about thin being beautiful and only offering XL and XXL in your stores for men) is reinforce the unoriginal concept that fat women are social failures, valueless, and undesirable.


Well, actually, that’s not all you have done. You have also created an incredible opportunity for social change.



Never in our culture do we see sexy photo shoots that pair short, fat, unconventional models with not short, not fat, professional models. To put it in your words: ‘unpopular kids’ with ‘cool kids.’



The juxtaposition of uncommonly paired bodies is visually jarring, and, even though I wish it didn’t, it causes viewers to feel uncomfortable.



This is largely attributed to companies like yours that perpetuate the thought that fat women are not beautiful. This is inaccurate, but if someone were to look through your infamous catalog, they wouldn’t believe me.


I’ve enclosed some images for your consideration. Please let me know what you think.


I was inspired by the opportunity to show that I am secure in my skin and to flaunt this by using the controversial platform that you created.


Not only do I know that I’m sexy, but I also have the confidence to pose nude in ways you don’t dare.


My hope is that the combination of these contrasting bodies will someday be as ubiquitous as the socially accepted ideal.


P.S. If you would like to offer me a ‘substantial amount’ to stop wearing your brand so my association won’t ‘cause significant damage to your image,’ don’t hesitate to email me.


P.P.S. You should know your Large t-shirt comfortably fits a size 22. You might want to work on that.”

First Instagram, then Abercrombie & Fitch, and now Flickr.

Can someone please send these CEOs back to school to take a basic marketing class – because apparently they think alienating their customers is good business.

To read the original letter, click here.

Until Next Time . . .

Stay Inspired ~ Jules

Photography: Liora K. Photography
Models: John C. Shay & Jess (aka The Militant Baker)

Photographs by Liora K. Photography have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.



is a Southern California based Conceptual Artist and Photographer. Her work has been featured in several print publications and selections can be seen in local gallery exhibitions. Connect with her on Facebook and Google+.

Comments [46]

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  1. 1

    Awesome awesome awesome!!! I hope Mike Jeffries can learn something from this!

  2. 1

    This is stupid.

  3. 1
    Jimmy Bobby

    Mike Jeffries is a hero. This fat girl needs to rub some butter on her skin and squeeze out of that shirt before she rips it.

  4. 1
    Pax Rock

    Attractive & Fat is an oxymoron. 99.9% of fat people are fat because they don’t have the self discipline to eat right and exercise. Personally, I hate this kind of catering to lazy people. It’s NOT OK to be fat, it’s not OK to be stupid, and it’s not OK to be lazy. Quit trying to bring down the status quo with this “I’m OK, You’re OK” crap. You’re not OK, now do something about it.

    We’re really beginning to see the “participation trophy” children grow up aren’t we?

    • 1
      Charles Coleman

      Yea i’m sorry I get what she is trying to do. But hiring a model to pretend he is attracted to you does not make you sexy.

    • 1

      Exactly couldn’t agree more!
      I work extremely hard to stay in shape and workout at least 8hrs/week. If someone want’s to eat cake and be fat then fair enough for them.
      But lets not pretend that they are as attractive to most people as “normal” healthy people!
      I also hate the paradox of being of it being Politically Correct to hate on thin people while its not ok to say someone is fat!

    • 1

      Sadly, you’ve bought right into the stereotyping. “99.9% of fat people are fat because they don’t have the self-discipline to eat right and exercise.” Clearly, an OPINION with ZERO basis in FACT! BTW, it’s just as likely that the “skinny people” you are JUST as unhealthy in their habits as the fat people you know, but they’re blessed with better genes. The TRUTH is that a VERY small percentage of our society BOTH eats right AND exercises regularly! TONS of “skinny people” eat Junk Food, but then work out so they don’t gain weight. News Flash ~ that’s Not Healthy either! Healthy is not eating all the processed garbage & fast food that the Vast Majority of Americans Live to Eat! And FYI, fat doesn’t equal lazy any more than skinny equals spending hours every day working out & eating only raw foods! :)

    • 1

      I’m sorry, but when was being fat not “OKAY”? Do over weight or slightly unhealthy people not fit the standards of which this society has set? They don’t like their body shape. No one is just so in love with themselves it hurts. Because no one’s perfect. Everyone has their flaws and scars. Their mistakes and mishaps. Correct me if i’m wrong, but are YOU, as in YOURSELF, perfect? Do you fit society’s outrageous, treacherous standards? No, not 99.9% of fat people are that way because they don’t discipline or sets boundaries for themselves. More than likely, there are people who have disorders. Do you know how many times people have or attempted suicide because of fucking cruel, rude, arrogant fucks say they don’t fit a certain ranking. Just because someone isn’t the best looking, or prettiest looking doesn’t give you ANY right to discourage them to not be themselves. Whenever you can prove to me YOU ARE JESUS, go ahead. Disrespect everyone and anyone you’d like. But up until then, keep your invalid, arrogant mouth shut. Because I guarantee you, if you were to stand up on a stage and have all of the obese, overweight people to stand in one single crowd, you would not have the GUTS to say that to any of them. You want to know why? Because you fear of how wrong your opinion is. You fear of how many people disagree with you. You fear the thought of them disrespecting you as your own person. You fear the oblivion of how you’re just another problem in the world’s peace. Discussion closed.

    • 1

      You’re a shit person.

  5. 1

    Just another American Idea that being lazy is accepted, and so striving to be the skinny and in shape is not an ideal. Lets decide to watch movies and eat cake, over eating peanuts and going for a walk. Most people like me have to work at being “skinny”, it does not come easily so when they say no lets recognize the fat people it gets very annoying. Being skinny is not something that comes naturally its a choice!

    • 1

      not ‘most’ people work at being skinny. my sister and mother scarfs down cake, ice cream, chips, soda.. never works out…NEVER gains a pound. My sister eats twice as much as me and only is me for MANY skinny is naturally occuring not a choice

      • 1

        AMEN ZEE! It’s all about what’s in your genes (no pun intended). My sister has had 5 children and can eat whatever she wants and still be 100 lbs wet. I on the other hand am naturally robust. I have hips and thighs and breasts unlike she. God has made everyone different. Curves are in.

  6. 1

    This whole thing irritates me!
    for 1) no one even shops at A&F anymore – it was pretty much a 2002 trend. so who cares about what abercrombie thinks..but…
    for 2) I really dont get why its now okay and we are all supposed to agree that being fat & unhealthy is attractive… its disgusting to me that when i go out anywhere more than 50% of the people i see are over weight & I think a large part of it is because its accepted now – kids cant make fun of the fat kid in class, so that fat kid never thinks to change – they think oh its okay to be fat, im accepted. Its not ok, its not healthy. Get up, go outside, do something, be active, be fit, that is attractive. I dont want to see your nasty rolls shoved into a tiny shirt- or see you riding around on a motorized scooter grocery shopping because your to lazy to walk anymore.
    & if this offends you – good, i want it to- maybe you will wake up. (but i doubt it ><)

    • 1

      lol.. this made me laugh SO hard cuz I completely agree with you. And you know what REALLY bugs me.. people make fun of skinny people and always say things like “they must be annorexic”..or maybe they actually know how to put down a fork? Or how dare people say things like “real mean like curves. bones are for the dogs”…its like in our society we are forced to accommodate fat people for EVERYTHING..but the minute someone makes a store that ACTUALLY FITS skinny people (no baggy fabric in the butt, no saggy arms) everyone FLIPS. And NO..a size 22 does NOT fit into a large “comfortably”..we can see every little roll..that doesn’t seem “fitting” to me. I just think its refreshing to see people actually standing up..for healthy bodies! Not overweight. It’s one thing to be within your BMI..its a whole other thing to be overweight and unhealthy. that should NEVER be encouraged. So people say that if you don’t care about your size you “love yourself”…so does that mean its disrespectful to your body to exercise and eat healthy so you are within your “healthy weight class” and not overweight? People are so stupid.

    • 1

      OK apparently you’ve never had a weight problem. Kudos to you. There is a huge misconception in our society that fat people are lazy and just sit and eat. Yes I’m obese but I work out and try and make healthy food decisions. When I weighed 200lbs just a few years ago I was biking 40-50 miles a day 5 days a week. Tell me can you do that? I was also on a very strict vegetarian diet. I stopped biking after having my son and put on more weight when I went back to eating meat. I am working on it. Among my problems is I have PCOS (if you don’t know what that is look it up. It is a medical condition that makes it extremely hard if not impossible to lose weight). For those who have never been heavy it is so easy to say that we are lazy. Tell me how often do you work out and what healthy food do you eat? Oh and do you have a medical condition that makes it impossible to lose weight cause if you do please tell me what you are doing honey. I never wear a shirt that shows off my fat rolls and I don’t ride a motorized scooter. And for you information jack ass not everyone who rides a motor scooter does it because of weight. My mother has MS and is perminately handicapped because of it. Guess what she rides when she is at the store…a motor scooter. She is not obese but she is a bit overweight. Tell me what sort of exercises should she do? OH cause you are an expert and all. So sick of people like you who know nothing about what they are talking about speaking like they are a God. I’m sure you are so gorgeous everyone falls at their feet for you.

  7. 1
    Health Minded

    Apart from just looks, being fat isn’t the real issue. It’s a matter of health. A healthy person is not fat. I’m not saying to treat fat people any different than skinny people but from a business point of view I would want to promote a healthy individual with my brand. People need to stop being so sensitive about the issue. I think the real issue here is trying to glorify and be overly accepting of obesity.

    • 1
      Koko Valadez

      ” glorify and be overly accepting of obesity”

      BAM! Right on the head. People need to wake up and realize there is a difference between a big person and a fat person. HUGE difference. I hate seeing on Facebook these repeated photos of Marilyn Monroe “Curvy is beautiful” posted by someone who is morbidly obese. MARILYN MONROE WASN’T OBESE! She was a curvy woman!

      People need to take responsibility and take charge of their weight instead of trying to make it accepted! Your weight is not my issue. Your trying to make unhealthy accepted is my issue when I am raising a kid. I do not need my kid seeing unhealthy weights being marked as “ACCEPT ME FOR WHO I AM!” bullshit.

      • 1

        um overly skinny isn’t healthy. Its promoting a bad body image. The level to which skinny models are photoshoped afterwards is astounding. jessical alba beautiful thin gets a muscle calved off her leg. her waist pulled in, her torso stretched and her boobs enlarged.

        so when you talk about healthy models, marylin monroe a beautiful curvy woman would have every inch of her body altered in an ad nowdays. There are not any real healthy women in ads and magazines because the women that were in the shoot are not the women on the page.

        • 1
          Koko Valadez

          Where in this did you read “Fat people need to lose weight and be skinny”?

          Skinny people, Nicole Ritchey and Britney Murphy for example, need to eat a damn roast beef sandwich There needs to be a happy medium to things. If were going to mention what curvy looks like, look at someone like Niki Minaj, Tyra Banks, Queen Latifa and the like. Anyone who calls them overweight or fat is delusional.

          Don’t misread what i wrote. If i write down that people need to lose weight I am not saying they should look like Mick Jager.

    • 1

      skinny people aren’t automatically healthy either. Neither are tall people. I know some fat people that are healthier than skinny people. I know some fat people with zero health issues and skinny people with tons of health issues.

      • 1


      • 1
        Stephanie Tandhasett

        Healthy people are NOT fat. They may have larger bones or a body that portions food intake differently but they are not “fat”.

    • 1
      Stephanie Tandhasett

      I couldn’t agree more. Healthy equals a naturally fit body. Ever heard the saying that “abs start in the kitchen”. It’s all about food choices and heart healthy exercising.

      • 1

        What exactly is a naturally fit body. Seems rather subjective don’t you think. You do realize that skinny doesn’t mean healthy, right.

        • 1
          Stephanie Tandhasett

          You’ll need to read what I wrote again – then decide for yourself whether I wrote “skinny”. Healthy doesn’t have a “size”. Your body will transform and maintain a “healthy” figure on its own. There is nothing “healthy” about “fat”, “obese” OR “skinny”.

  8. 1


  9. 1

    OMG ! SLRLOUNGE FAIL ! Let them do it ! whats the problem ? make a blog post about us mexican border….(we dont let you in) THATS A STORY ! Pussys

  10. 1
    Stephanie Tandhasett

    If you require a “L” or “XL” due to curves, yet you are healthy – OK, understandable arguement. I find nothing sexy about any of the above photos. Not to say that I agree with Jeffries BUT 1. It is HIS company and 2. Freedom of speech works for both sides. That’s like saying that because you’re a photographer, you must shoot all subjects. Negative! I’ll shoot what I prefer and I’ll work with subjects at my own discretion. I’ve seen many newborn photographers who won’t shoot babies past 3 months old due to personal preference. When you own your own company – you make the rules. Obese people – yes the girl modeling IS obese – need to take the energy they put into complaining & apply it towards some healthy eats education and exercise. They may find they’re actually happier and less feisty.

    • 1

      Not everyone who is obese can just simply eat healthier and exercise to loose weight! I am obese (38y/o, female, 5’7″, 228 lbs) and have medical issues that prevent me from loosing the weight. So get your close minded head out of your ass and realize that people are built different. Not everyone can be a “cookie-cutter” model of a person!!

      • 1


      • 1
        Stephanie Tandhasett

        No cookie cutter indication but unfortunately you consider medical issues an excuse. I know many diabetics (for example) who manage their diets to maintain a “healthy” weight. You can do the same. Get your lazy ass off the couch and make a difference in your health!!

        • 1

          First off, you don’t know the first thing about my situation. I’ll share just the tiniest of details, I have PCOS. I go to the gym 5 days a week and work out with a trainer, I also take part in multiple 5Ks each year. So I guess my “lazy fat ass” isn’t so lazy! I only eat grilled chicken and fish with fresh fruit and vegetables. Even with all of that, I can’t loose the weight. So the next time you look at someone who doesn’t fit society’s mold of a perfect, in shape person and you feel the need to show your ignorance by putting them down and making them feel less than worthy, remember not everyone is built alike. Some people have issues that they don’t broadcast to justify themselves to closed minded people like you!

          • 1
            Stephanie Tandhasett

            Not close minded at all. Bravo to you for not being fat & lazy. Sorry you can’t shed pounds. I’m simply saying that 1. I have no indication of implying healthy meets a cookie cutter size and 2. There is no “size” for healthy. Truth be told, America is going through an obesity epidemic and it is NOT sexy in any way, shape or form. Period.

    • 1
      Dwayne Neveu

      You are right as to when you own your own company what you do is down to your own discretion. HOWEVER he does not own the company, he is the CEO of a publicly traded company. He is essentially their top manager representing the stakeholders. These actions are viewed as detrimental to the company (evidenced by the drop in the price there stock), and those actions can be classed as sackable in many public companies.
      And your comment about obese people eating healthy and exercising is narrow-minded and naive at best. Yes there are obese people who could do with a better lifestyle, but there are also many who are just as healthy or healthier than their “skinnier” counterparts.
      But everyone has a right to their own opinion.

      • 1
        Stephanie Tandhasett

        If he is the CEO – then his marketing/actions are obviously approved by the “owners”. So that settles the ownership issue. I only touched on “obesity” because that is the subject being covered. We can cover skinny as well. There are skinny people who are unhealthy and u fit. There are fit people who smoke cigarettes, drink or do drugs. I’m simply saying – eating healthy and exercising are simple natural ways to get to a “healthy” size. I don’t wear Abercromie so in no way do I support the company itself. I’m simply saying that if you can’t fit into the clothes because you’re “obese” due to your own lifestyle – sucks for you. Too many people like to moan and groan and make noise over “offensive” subjects. Well I find it offensive that I have to watch an obese person eat a meal (or two) of fried crap. Same as I find it offensive when smokers feel they have a right to smoke in the vicinity of my children. When you’re able to do something about “it” – whatever “it” may be – then quit making noise cause you need room on the bandwagon. Go shop at Big and Tall – where they cater to “big & tall”. Don’t see any complaints about that, do yah?? Abercrombie is the new Small and Short, if you will. If American’s weren’t an obese majority – “small and short” wouldn’t be an issue – the same way “Big & Tall” is accepted. Touché.

        • 1
          Dwayne Neveu

          Your original comment sounded narrow minded, but after reading your following comment I now understand where you are coming from.
          Have a good day :)

  11. 1
    Emylee Gussler

    The point is not that everyone should find her attractive or sexy. The point is that regardless of size, everyone can be attractive and sexy to someone. You might not find her sexy, but I’m sure someone does. Most of the overweight people I know are actually healthier than most of the thin people I know…because they are actively trying to be healthy at any size while those who do not have to put any effort into being thin eat crap and get little exercise. The problem I see isn’t the fact that the CEO doesn’t want to make clothing for larger women. That isn’t the issue. It isn’t even that he doesn’t find overweight people attractive or that he doesn’t want to market to them. (Honestly, he is getting a TON of publicity from these statements and driving many who otherwise wouldn’t shot at A&F to do so because they see themselves as being the “outsiders” he doesn’t want to market to.) The issue is the hurtful, nasty nature of the statements. To say that fat people or less attractive people can’t work in their stores, or are somehow unpopular and essentially worthless is a bit excessive. It is one thing to say, “no, our company will not be creating a plus sized line or adding larger sizes to the line we carry. We feel that our clientele doesn’t include those individuals”. But that isn’t what he said. What was stated has created a large amount of backlash on to a company (a non-person entity by the way) instead of on simply the person who said it. This is a free country and Jeffries is entitled to his personal opinions…about those he views as less attractive, those he considers to be unpopular or fat. The truth is, his opinion doesn’t change that many overweight people will buy and wear the clothes his company makes, regardless of the dribble that pours from his mouth. The fact that other people feel the need to degrade, belittle, insult, make fun of and shun ANYONE simply because of their outward appearance is disgusting, inexcusable and childish. In our country we have overcome (and continue to overcome) so many injustices and yet “fat shaming” is still acceptable?!? Chik-fil-a CEO says he does not support gay marriage and people boycott the restaurant…it was his personal opinion and he never said they will not serve or employ homosexuals. (As a matter of fact they do employ and serve EVERYONE.) We are willing as a society to stand up for equal rights for homosexuals, for interracial couples, for gender equality, racial equality, religious equality and tolerance, animal rights, children’s rights and for a better Green Earth…but we find it acceptable and OK to get on postings like this and run our mouths about how all fat people are lazy, gross, eat too much, unsexy, unsuccessful and unattractive? THAT is the real shame. That is where the real outrage should lie. I do not pretend to know the situation of every fat person, every “beautiful” person, every successful person, every person on welfare or every thin person. If we are going to be to willing to judge others, perhaps we ought to stop and think at how others might judge us? Just because someone is overweight doesn’t mean they are lazy and unwilling to try to drop weight. They might have health conditions, they might have had a huge loss to their family and are not coping well. The truth is, you don’t know. Just because someone is thin doesn’t mean they are happy, healthy and will be successful. They might have a heart condition. They might be anorexic or bulimic. They might have a natural tendency to being thin but eat horrible and never get any exercise….resulting in numerous health conditions which could lead to death. The cover of a book doesn’t always tell the story…and the same is true about people. I can look through all these comments and see people’s photos and make a judgement….but the truth is, I don’t know you. I don’t know your story, your experiences, your upbringing, your likes and dislikes, who has hurt you in your life and who has stood by your side through the worst storms….. I know these things about each of you about as much as you know them about me…or the girl in the article. Maybe try a little kindness towards others, give them the benefit of an open heart and mind. Some of the meanest people I have ever encountered seemed “perfect” on the outside and those with the kindest, truest most loyal countenances were “flawed” in some way on the outside.

  12. 1

    I think a few of you need some Godly words of wisdom. Including A&F.

    1 Samuel 16:7
    7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

  13. 1
    Chris Kimball

    Good for her! Glad to see someone stand up and tell Jeffries just what kind of idiot he is. The hateful, hurtful comments here are surprising too but I guess that is the world we live in now. Not one person in this string of comments knows her situation. She may not be able to easily lose weight. Does that make her less of a person or should it mean she has a poor self image? Get off the ivory tower people and have a little compassion for those around you. Not everyone can be a size 0 (which is far less attractive anyway, if you ask me).

  14. 1

    Many people have totally missed the point, which isn’t about obesity or weight or health, but the whole picture about what what is “attractive” and/or “cool”. It goes beyond size, to colour of hair, eyes, skin, and age. Jeffries’ statement is of the worst kind of discrimination, because it goes across the board. If one isn’t under 30, blonde, thin, blue-eyed, rich and “cool”, then one doesn’t deserve to wear A&F clothes.
    And, if we’re supposed to buy into that mentality of looks, well…google him. He’s not exactly Brad Pitt! He better stay out of his own stores!!

  15. 1

    Many of the people leaving comments on this page are seriously incapable of human decency. I completely agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and I also agree that beauty is subjective. Everyone is attracted to their own preferred beauty, whether it is skinny, fat, muscular, etc. The problem with most of the people leaving self-righteous negative comments is that they think it’s okay to judge other people and say that they aren’t beautiful because they are fat and fat is unhealthy. Why is someone less because they are fat? Everyone should have the right to love and acceptance regardless of size. I personally am attracted more to tall thin pretty boys, yet I have never let that dictate who I find socially acceptable. I have found many guys attractive that don’t fall into that category. IT’S ALL SUBJECTIVE! One d-bag (Brin) even stated in the comments that if kids were allowed to bully and call someone fat, that maybe they would feel bad about themselves and change. What an a-hole, seriously. What if said child were bullied so much and called fat repeatedly that he actually believed his self-worth was tied up in what these people thought and then committed suicide because of it???? Is that an acceptable solution to being a lazy, fat kid?? Lastly, I would like to direct a comment directly to another ignorant dumbo (Stephanie Tandhasset)… you seem so confident that you know exactly how the human race should look and that you should be offended that you can’t buy clothes at a Big & Tall store… aww, poor baby, there is seriously one Big & Tall store for every 50 of the Fit & Unfat stores, so good point there. You should seriously be up-in-arms… and I hope you are at least smart enough to note my sarcasm. I love fashion and I am fully aware that the majority of designers, boutiques and retailers cater to sizes smaller than 12 for women. Once you get to that size, there is obviously no point in trying to be fashionable because you are too worthless to be around all the cool, fit people in their fugly branded A&F sweatshirts (sarcasm again for all the dim-wits – aka Stephanie – on this page). How dare fat people offend you by eating fried foods in front of you!?!? Seriously, can you hear yourself saying these things? Obviously not… you must be perfect, right?

  16. 1

    People take stuff to seriously now a days… guess what! some people are fat some people are skinny, let the retailer do whatever they want… If I ran a company and i said our cloths are only gonna be shown on skinny models its my choice as a company owner to make that decision, its my vision. Who cares if a hand full of people dont shop there, big deal, If i cared I would change my vision to target more people. No one is putting a gun to people heads and making them shop at these stores. I hate that Apple uses only white and black as their trade-ship colors, why can’t the apple logo be green, im not gonna shop there cause it should be all colors.. wahhhhhhh

  17. 1
    Keith Wilson

    Although I respect this ladies right to be fat (ignoring the obvious and numerous medical implications) and be happy with it, I hope she can see the irony in TELLING me that she IS sexy whilst vilifying A&F for promoting their own views on what is sexy. I’ll decide for myself thanks!

  18. 1

    Why don’t we just stop flaunting bodies altogether? A&F is a little too… skanky for my taste anyways… Why can’t we show fully clothed people in nice outfits, regardless of their size??? It’s not about the body anyways, it’s about the heart and soul of the person, it’s not about body size, social status, or even what you want people to think of you. It’s what God sees in you and what you see in yourself. God made everything beautiful, but Man is the one who screwed it up. Who are we to judge what is beautiful and what is not?