Today I am speaking to some eighth grade girls from a school down the street from me. Nothing fancy just a little dessert and chat time about the wonderful and terrifying world of high school they are about to enter into. I’ve spent some hours this week wrestling through what I was feeling at their age and I came up with some things I wish I had heard (if I had ever actually listened) then last night like a ton of bricks I felt this small voice telling me, “these girls don’t need to hear this, you’re making this such a bigger deal than it is”. I paused and for a second I started to wonder.
My pride was starting to get in the way of my message. I didn’t really want to go explain to another group of girls about my broken mess of a life because I’m worried they might judge me or think I’m dumb or stare at me like I have a giant booger (which has only happened like once or twice). I went to bed a little discouraged and somewhat nervous for tonight. I mean maybe I was making too big of deal about being “popular” maybe this world isn’t really as cruel as I thought?
Then this morning I read an article by the CEO of Abercrombie, I remember Abercrombie. Yes, I vaguely remember the half-dressed men and woman on the walls as I tried to fit my pre-pubescent body in their size “6” which I’m pretty sure is equivalent to my daughters 9 month clothing. I remember that my friends and I would go ogle the boys that worked there because they were mostly shirtless (please notice the use of past tense in these sentences). I remember that Abercrombie was the standard, I remember leaving the stores and it taking a good week to get the smell off your clothes. I remember a tank top being close to 50$ and somehow convincing my mom that this was what all the cool kids wore so I had to have it for my birthday. She wasn’t a fan. I haven’t been to Abercrombie in over 10 years but I have a feeling that for a lot of kids it probably still considered “cool”. Boys and girls just trying to be accepted is that so bad?
Well here’s a quote from the article about a little change Abercrombie made “He doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people,” Lewis said. “He 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.” This quote was in response to the fact that Abercrombie will no longer be carrying a womans XL or XXL but just in woman because “ the only reason Abercrombie offers XL and XXL in men’s sizes is to appeal to large athletes.” And again, athletes are cool.
So do middle school girls need someone to tell them that this “cool kid” life isn’t really what it looks like? Do girls need to hear that there is a God who loves them even if they happen to wear a Abercrombie XL?? which by the way wouldn’t fit my arm! Do girls need to know that this lifestyle that Abercrombie is promoting of meaningless sex and size 00 dreams is empty and lonely?
Yes, I believe that teenagers deserve to hear something besides the world always whispering they are fat. I believed the bible when it said that I would face persecution and heartache because I’m living in a world that isn’t mine. I’m here for one reason, to promote truth. For me today that looks like telling a few girls, that the God who created them loves them and wants to know them no matter what size they wear. So thank you Mike Jefferies (Abercrombie CEO) for reminding me why my message is so vital.
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. John 15:19
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. Psalm 139:13-14
Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name… you are mine. Isaiah 43:1
Article I am referring to (WARNING picture on article is inappropriate) http://elitedaily.com/news/world/abercrombie-fitch-ceo-explains-why-he-hates-fat-chicks/
Kimberly Falls - Thank you so much for what you are doing! I have an 8th grade girl and yes they definitely need to hear your message! I can’t wait to get your book for her!
Brooke Ventimiglia - Wow, Tindell. You are such a blessing. Thank you for having God use you! You’re beautiful, inside and out!