Abercrombie & Fitch employees allege promotions based on looks

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There's no in between. You're either Abercrombie hot – or you're not.

Kristen Carmichael discovered she didn't fit the clothing store's self-described "sexy, effortless style" when she was pulled from a sales position on the floor of the NorthPark Center store and shoved back to the stockroom to fold clothes.

This was after they'd rated her face.

The college student who was in Dallas for the summer and her female co-worker had received a 0 ranking on a district manager's monthly audit. The report, posted on a wall in the office, included the question, "Do all female models currently working have beautiful faces?"

Read the whole article.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomy

Posted August 27, 2008 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Jon wrote:

Shocking news.  A&F;promotes Lookism?  Say it isn’t so!  Pretty soon you’ll tell me that GQ and Vogue and Playboy do that too.

These whiny people who want the courts to settle every aspect of their life that feels unfair need to be all put on a big raft out in the Pacific.

Some of us got over the fact—like back when we are in high school—that some people are pretty and that gives them some advantages in life.  Move on.  Get a job where that’s not so important.  But stop crying to lawyers about it.

August 27, 7:03 pm | [comment link]
2. monika wrote:

What do you expect from a company that uses sex to market clothing to pre-adolescents?


August 27, 7:11 pm | [comment link]
3. TridentineVirginian wrote:

It’s unfortunate that these people haven’t used the opportunity to re-examine their employment and their relation to modern culture. A&F;is giving what its customers want, and are successful at it; if they end up treated like embarrassments that need to be hidden away from their customers as a result of this, maybe they should consider rejecting what A&F;peddles and the pop culture it is part of and go participate in something more worthy of a human being?

August 27, 7:40 pm | [comment link]
4. A Senior Priest wrote:

Well, of course, it IS Abercrombie, after all. Their employees are, in a sense, models. Are models expected to look like the back of a bus or not? Not! That’s the way life is. BTW, friends, good looking people (which in general means slimmer and more symmetrical), as well as taller people, tend (but not invariably, of course) to be more sucessful in business. Good-looking clergy of all theological and polical stripes tend to be more successful than not so handsome/beautiful ones, as well, I’ve noticed.

August 27, 8:47 pm | [comment link]
5. midwestnorwegian wrote:

No sh*t Sherlock!

August 27, 8:53 pm | [comment link]
6. Jim the Puritan wrote:

Uhh, this is supposed to be news?  Any teenager in America can tell you this.  Here, it’s a high school status symbol if you have a part-time job at A&F;.

August 27, 9:04 pm | [comment link]
7. evan miller wrote:

I feel sorry for the young lady in question and I’m sure she was disappointed that they didn’t find her attractive.  On the other hand, I’m glad companies are still allowed to have some say in who they hire and promote without the government dictating every parameter to them.  It’s appalling how many legitimate questions employers is prohibited by law from asking prospective employees.  Utterly absurd.

August 28, 1:01 pm | [comment link]
8. The young fogey wrote:

A snotty, shallow company serving a clientele that’s the same… but as a private business they have a right to do that. Working for A & F is not an inalienable right.


August 28, 1:42 pm | [comment link]
9. Jon wrote:

#7, yep I totally agree.

The problem nowadays is that people conflate “X is immoral” with “the govt should stop people from doing X”.  America has a long history (up until 1970) of giving citizens the freedom to do morally wrong things (be racist, be sexist, be lookist, etc.) as long as they were not explicitly injuring another person (classically theft, assault, fraud, slander)—and especially when it involved the disposition of a person’s private property.  It relied on individual initiative to correct problems outside this sphere.  Thus, if you are bothered by a business’s hiring and promotion practices (A and F, Hooters, whatever) then don’t shop there.  Further, exercise your free speech rights and encourage others not to shop there.  Demonstrate in front of the store with picket signs.  (Remember MLK’s fabulous bus boycott—black folks brought these immoral businesses to their knees… purely by using their First Amendment rights and their rights to shop where they chose.)

If you don’t like Delta’s hiring polices, go work for another airline.  Or go back to school and learn another trade.  But take responsibility for your own life rather than constantly running to Daddy (embodied in Big Govt) to make the world treat you better.

Just for clarity, I am equally and absolutely opposed to govt itself enshrining immoral policies in law.  Thus, for example, the Jim Crow laws of the first half of the 20th century were a monstrous injustice because they used the machinery of govt to tell black folks what to do.  It was equally monstrous when people deprived women, via governmental laws, of the right to vote.

August 28, 2:01 pm | [comment link]
10. midwestnorwegian wrote:

The same thing happens in The Episcopal Church (maybe the inverse).  Don’t believe in God or the Bible?...step to the front of the line for a puple shirt.

August 28, 2:14 pm | [comment link]
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