My heart sank when I read this news story online:

“A&F’s {Abercrombie & Fitch– retail store} aggressive pursuit of the preppy, highly-sexed 18- to 22-year-old demographic is largely down to its 68-year-old CEO, who explained his strategy to Salon in 2006. “That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores,” Jeffries said. “Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.” He went on: “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. 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. In an interview with Business Insider, Lewis suggested Jeffries “doesn’t want his core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they’re one of the ‘cool kids.’” The chain, which has more than 300 outlets in the US, sells men’s clothes in XL and XXL sizes, but these are designed solely to fit the muscle bulk of strapping sportsmen, says Lewis. “Abercrombie is only interested in people with washboard stomachs who look like they’re about to jump on a surfboard.”

{Source: http://www.independent.co.uk}

Can you see why? According to A&F, I’m in the category of “ugly, unattractive, not cool” people. My eyes welled up– not because of the things they’ve classified me to be. Emotions run high because this company is sending a message to all women saying that if you don’t fit our image, then you’re simply not cool and certainly not beautiful-you’re pretty much dead {invisible} to us.

I just want to remind every lady out there of this… Through and through they are astronomically WRONG. Beauty is not defined by a clothing size {or lack of a certain “image”}. According to the dictionary beauty is defined as: “A combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, esp. the sight.” The fact of the matter is God created us women in a combination of qualities possessing different shapes, colors and forms that pleases HIS aesthetic senses. He APPRECIATES the beauty that we possess.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” ~Psalm 139:13-16. (NIV)

God crafted us together and made us wonderfully in His eyes. The world has twisted God’s design for beauty, and we must SILENCE it’s voice. When the worldly worthless chatter is turned down, all we can hear is God telling us how PRECIOUS we are to Him. The enemy stirs women up just like Abercrombie and Fitch has clear showed us… Satan wants people to be so focused on what they are NOT and who they should be. God just wants us to focus on Him. [Plain & Simple]

Be who God has made YOU to be. Don’t spend your days trying to build an “image” that the world has told you that you need to be. Just be you…The Lord allows us to come in contact with many women every day… Tell HER she’s beautiful…. Tell HER God has made her UNIQUE… {Cause it’s TRUTH!} Compliment each other with grace and put to rest the enemy’s lies. 

If you’re a man and you’re reading this… My challenge to you is to tell HER she’s beautiful, too… You, too, come into contact with so many women each day…. Whatever woman comes into the path of your day, tell HER that God has made her beautiful. Encourage someone in that way. Be creative. Post something on Facebook. This challenge is not meant to build someones ego up.  This challenge is meant to empower women to be who GOD has called them to be, and to live up to the TRUTH He has set before us, not the IMAGE the world thrown at us.

“You’re beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless.” -Song of Songs 4:7. (MSG)

NOTE: SINCE GOING TO PRESS…

UPDATE: Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries has finally formally apologised for comments made about how “uncool” kids and “fat women” shouldn’t be wearing the brand’s clothes.

“We sincerely regret and apologize for any offense caused by the comments we have made in the past which are contrary to (the values of diversity and inclusion)” a statement released in the New York Observer read.

“We look forward to continuing this dialogue and taking concrete steps to demonstrate our commitment to anti-bullying in addition to our ongoing support of diversity and inclusion.”

By Amber Twigger | Freelance writer