“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”- Ephesians 2:10
In recent news Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO, Mike Jeffries, told reporters "He doesn't want his core customers to see people who aren't as hot as them wearing his clothing" (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0514-abcarian-abercrombie-20130514,0,2632913.story). I have mixed feelings on this statement. When I first heard this report my response was “Well, at least he’s being honest. Should anyone really be surprised this company whose ads are loaded with people dressed in revealing clothes, are marketing to a specific group of people?” Then, my second reaction is “I want to smack this CEO for being honest!”
The reality is we have allowed this marketing to exist. We have allowed our youth in our society to buy into this as adults and it’s all about image. We want them to feel cool, we want them to feel “hot”, and instill the mentality that they must be if they can fit into these tiny clothes. It is an elitist thought process that some have fought so hard to demolish. The same parents that fought to get dodge-ball removed from school because it lowers self-esteem; are allowing their students to wear a specific brand of clothing to make sure their kids feel like they are better than others. I know that is a general statement, but let’s face it, it’s true.
We have created a society of people that have established their identity in clothing, jewelry, make-up, music, etc. Our identity is not based on culture. Our identity should not be based on what this CEO says or the fact that his idea of “hot” is being able to fit into really tight t-shirts and walk around with sunglasses on…all day! We have a responsibility to define identity with our youth and buying clothes that are too tight, short, vulgar, etc. is not a healthy definition.
God has given us an identity in Him. We are created in His likeness (Gen. 1:26) and that is how we should be defined. We are His workmanship created to do good works for His glory and that is our identity. Mr. Jeffries has a right to feel like his clothes are for “hot” people. In fact, if you wear their clothes congratulations for being able to fit into them, but do not let that accomplishment define you. Do not allow any clothing manufacturer define you! You are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) for His purposes and His purposes alone.
If you can’t wear those clothes, you are still beautiful because God made you. If you feel like you aren’t matching up to the world’s standards, look at these verses mentioned and realize, it is only God’s standards you need to match up to! We are loved regardless of style, social class, or looks because He has given us life. Be identified by Christ, not Fitch.
Question: How should followers of Christ respond to people like Jeffries? How do we counteract the effects of social pressures established by clothing lines, jewelry, music, etc. with our young people? Or do we?