Top 5 reasons not to shop at Abercrombie and Fitch

Abercrombie and Fitch is an overpriced clothing store catering to teens and young adults. This is why you should NOT shop there:

  • Usually, when you walk into the store, there is a young man with muscles standing at the door, usually shirtless. If there isn’t, there are always photos of men with unrealistic muscles, and unrealistically skinny and unproportional women on the walls. Not to mention, they are primarily white. This reinforces gender roles, and NEGATIVE body image!
  • Its overpriced! Some basic T-shirts there cost $40 and over! Why spend so much money on a label!?! I have bought similar T-shirts at the consignment store for about $7. Just saying.
  • In 2005, the store was sued for discrimination based on race. Most people who get hired at the store happen to be tan, blonde, and skinny. Coincidence? I think not. According to Jennifer Lu, “”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.”
  • Abercrombie was also sued for religious discrimination!According to Sarah Letter, a young muslim was told in an interview that she couldn’t work at the store because her head scarf (a hijab) didn’t follow the “dress policy”.
  • A young woman named Riam Dean sued the store for their discrimination against her disability. Although she did get a job there, she was hid in a storage room because her prosthetic arm didn’t “fit” the look. According to Riam, “I had been bullied out of my job,” she said. “It was the lowest point I had ever been in my life.”

I could go on, but you get my point. This store is discriminatory and awful! What do you think? Comment below and let me know!

Because looking like that is just so realistic? Ugh. (Photo from Google Images)

 

How to be an ally if you are a person with privilege

Stop and ask yourself things like:

  • What does it mean to be white/heterosexual/male/cisgender/upper class (etc) in this situation?
  • Would I be listened to if I didn’t hold this privilege?
  • Is this an oppurtunity for everyone, or is this an oppurtunity ONLY given to me for any reason?
  • Notice: How people of different abilities, people of color, LGBT people, non-cisgender people, middle-class and working class people, people of size, etc, are promoted, seen, treated, and talked about.
  • Am I stepping into a situation where someone is not being listened to because of their gender, identity, race, sexuality, etc. Am I making sure everyone is getting the same chance to express their opinions?
  • Am I interupting an offensive joke made towards a target group?

These are just a few things you can ask yourself to make sure you are actively being an ally to people who are different than you, and not abusing your power as a privilege group member.

To get more information on this topic, here are some great resources:

What do you think it means to be an ally? Comment below and let me know!

Photo from Google Images (:

The DJ of ABILITY!!

Yesterday morning, at about 7:45, I got on the bus like I usually do, but yesterday was different than most days on the bus. I met a man named Chris or “The DJ of ability”. I have met him before because he came to do an assembly at my school. He is a very friendly 29 year old, and he is also a DJ! When I got on the bus, he said “Goodmorning, how are you doing?” and we had a conversation until I had to get off the bus. There is something different about Chris, he has a disability, and he uses a wheelchair. He did an assembly at my school about disability awareness, and he was the DJ at lunch. When I talked to him on the bus, I told him about my brother, and he was very interested and caring. He asked me how my brother is doing and how he likes Santa Barbara High School. Talking to Chris made my day. I am writing this post because I want to raise awareness to the fact that people with disabilities are nothing to be afraid of. They are the same as the rest of us!! Don’t be shy to strike up a conversation with someone with a disability. If you need any tips about how to talk to someone with a disability, I wrote a post about it earlier! There are things you can do in your community to be an ally to people of all abilities. Here’s what you can do:

  • Volunteer at a local organization that provides activities for people with disabiltities.
  • If your school has a club, join it! My school has a club that meets once a week, to spend time with the students that have disabilties.
  • Go out of your way to make conversations with people who are different from you!
  • Educate your friends about disability awareness.
  • When you hear someone use the word “retarded” to mean stupid, tell them that it is offensive!

Do research and see what resources are available where you live! I know my brother loves to meet new people, and if someone were to spend  time with him he would be so excited!! Thanks for reading!!

Growing up with a Twin

It hasn’t always been easy being a twin to a brother that has special needs, and it probably never will be easy, but I wouldn’t change it even if I could. My brothers disability is just apart of who he is. Growing up, i got jealous a lot. Since my brother has Down syndrome, he got a lot of the attention. When i was about 3 years old, my mom gave me two “twin” dolls to play with. I named one of them Foofoo, and i loved her. I named the other one, Other baby. I would throw “Other baby” on the ground, and I would never play with it. I did this to demonstrate the way I felt I was being treated. I never wanted to directly ask my parents for attention so I would say things like “Nico (my brother) wants a cookie” when in reality, I wanted a cookie. I would say “Nico wants you to put him down now” because I wanted my parents to pick me up and give me the same attention I saw him getting. For a long time, I never understood why he got special treatment.

When I was in elementary school, I never attended the same school as my brother. We never really got along, and to be honest, I was a bit embarrassed by him. I never wanted to have friends over, because I knew they wouldn’t understand him. A lot of the time when our family would go out to eat or go on a family outing, and he would throw a fit, make a scene, and ruin it for all of us. It frustrated me so much that we couldn’t be like other families and go on vacations and do fun things. A lot of my friends didn’t even know I had a twin.

Going into the Junior high, my views stayed the same. Almost no one knew I had a twin brother, and when I told them, I usually left out the fact that he has a disability. I rarely had friends over, and when I did they would act freaked out by him, and they wouldn’t know how to react. It got worse around that time, because I didn’t like to be seen with him, in fear of judgement.

Entering high school, my parents suggested that we go to the same school, and I hated the idea. But after a while, my views on having a twin started to change. I realized that I have no reason to be embarrassed of him, because he can’t help being the way he is! I began spending more time with him, and introducing him to my friends. Most of my current friends have positive reactions, and they think its awesome that I have a twin.

Now, my brother is my friend. Sometimes I go into his classroom and help him. I take him out and introduce him to people, and when hes talking to people, I help them to understand what he is saying. Seeing our relationship today, I feel horrible about ever feeling embarrassed of him. His disability is in no way his fault. I am proud that he is my brother, because he is kind, funny, caring, and sweet. I realize that I have grown as a person and I have learned not to worry to much about the judgement of others. He is different, and it is hard for some people to understand, but he is a person just like the rest of us! Now, I really care about educating people about disability awareness. I walk around with him and I never feel ashamed to say that he is not only my brother, but my twin. I could go on and on, but I’m going to leave it at that! If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me or comment below. (: