I met author Sara Humphreys at my Reader Appreciation luncheon for the first time and was quickly taken in by her wit and charm. Last week, she became my hero.
Abercrombe & Fitch CEO Mr. Jeffries said in Salon, “”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. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.”
Sara Humphrey’s fired back a response in the Huffington Post (which has received over 790 comments). She took issue with the fact that Mr. Jeffries was sending out a bullying mentality.
“Shame on you for perpetuating the bully on the playground mentality, in the online community and with our youth. The message you are sending is reprehensible and an appalling waste of an opportunity. You could have chosen to use your power and position to promote tolerance and love. Instead, you chose to promote and validate bullies. Your campaign is telling our young people that it’s perfectly acceptable to exclude someone because of the size of their body.
Since when does being thin make someone a good person? All it makes you is thin. Being thin doesn’t necessarily make someone healthy either. In fact, comments like yours only encourage young girls to starve themselves so they can meet some stupid standard that small-minded men like you perpetuate.”
Her message has gotten over 154,000 Likes, over 35,000 shares (on Facebook), 439 Tweets.
Sara Humphreys has now come under attack for her book covers showing “buff” men. As any author knows, book covers are chosen by the publisher. The fact that Sara writes about vampires (which the last time I checked is fantasy) explains the body type used on the covers. Really, has anyone ever seen a non-buff guy on the cover of a hot vampire book? Sara recently wrote a blog to counter the negative responses and you can read it here.
I also love that Sara did this video as a follow up.
Sara sums up her feelings by saying:
“It’s not about fat vs. thin or boy body image vs. girl body image.
It’s about kindness vs. cruelty.
We have a choice in how we message to our young people and, in my opinion, he chose wrong.”
It wasn’t easy for Sara to put herself out there, but she said what a lot of us were thinking. We owe it to our children to talk about things going on in the home, the community, the town, the state, the country and the world.
Bottom Line: It’s much easier to be kind than cruel and it feels better too.