Many retail stores have a “look” they are trying to achieve as a marketing tool towards their customers. They want their salespeople and employees to embody that “look” as well, so their customers believe they will look a certain way after purchasing products from their stores. Stores like Abercrombie and Fitch have lawsuits filed against them, because of discrimination that occurred during the hiring process because of race, weight, hair and eye color and other appearance characteristics. According to The Look of Abercrombie and Fitch, by Rebecca Leung,”The lawsuit alleges that Abercrombie hires a disproportionately white sales force, favors white employees for the best positions, and discourages minorities from even applying for jobs.” “The image of Abercrombie & Fitch is now party-loving jocks and barenaked ladies living fantasy lives.” If someone applying for the job does not have these qualities, they are denied the position.
Jennifer Lu, a former employee of Abercrombie and Fitch who was fired after corporate officials came to visit the California store she worked at and didn’t like what they saw said “It’s dominated by Caucasian, football-looking, blonde-hair, blue-eyed males; skinny, tall.” “You don’t see any African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and that’s the image that they’re portraying and that they’re looking for.” According to the article, Asians and Latinos were sometimes hired, but only to work in the stock room, where they wouldn’t be seen. The greeters and salespeople were most often white males with blonde hair and blue eyes.
How is it fair that these stores hire based on looks? Even if someone had a great resume with a lot of experience and will work hard and do the best job they can do, but don’t have the so-called “All-American” look, they won’t get hired. The message this store is sending to young children and young adults, who their clothing is targeted to, is that you need to look a certain way in order to be beautiful. How does this make young african american, asian-american, latino and anyone who doesn’t have these “all-american” features feel? As a 22 year old female, who does not have blonde hair and blue eyes, I would feel pretty bad that I probably wouldn’t get hired for a position at this company, because my “look” is not good enough for them. And all-american does not need to mean white, blonde hair and blue eyes. As a matter of fact, most Americans do not have these qualities- Blacks, Asians and Latinos are all still American.