Abercrombie & Fitch has always been one for controversy. They like to offer “grown-up” clothes to little kids, causing concern for a lot of parents. Recently, they have been under the spotlight for offering, “padded” and “push-up” bikini tops for young girls.
We’ve discussed in my Race, Gender and Media class about how little girls are being taught, at a very young age, that they need to be aware of their sexuality. It’s sad that we are pushing children to grow up faster, when really, we should be teaching our children to act like children longer.
Abercrombie & Fitch made a huge mistake by not making any comments on this issue. We’ve talked in class that, by not saying anything, makes you look guilty. Obviously, Abercrombie & Fitch doesn’t see an issue with it because they didn’t have their PR department release a statement to clear the air that they aren’t trying to push little girls into being aware of their sexuality. So what did they end up doing to “fix” the problem? They just changed the information, on their website, to read, “striped triangle, bottoms sold separately”. Sounds like their PR department needs a re-training and a whole lot of classes with Bufkins.
According to the article on CNN.com, Abercrombie got into heated waters in 2002 for a controversially racist shirt against Chinese people and then again in 2003, when they were pressured into “halting” their racy magazines and discontinue their holiday catalog that had naked young adults in provocative positions.
It is obvious that Abercrombie & Fitch needs to work on fixing their image before they become an un-reputable company, including a hiring a new PR team. They need to remember that they market to tweens and young adults, who mostly rely on parents for income. Parents aren’t going to want to support a company who offers a “padded” and “push-up” bikini tops for little girls.