I know I’ve mentioned them a few times and it was brought to my attention by one of my readers that people not “in the know” may not understand the Pretty One/Stud Muffin references so I thought I’d explain a bit about who they are.
Stud Muffin is my amazing, handsome, sweet, loving, awesome fiancé. He’s kind of fantastic and I love him lots. He is a ‘phone guy’ with AT&T like the cable guy (no, not Jim Carey) but for phones. He fixes DSL issues and phone problems for AT&T Customers here in northern Illinois. Its hard work, he’s outside in the heat and the cold, climbing telephone poles, Carrying his ridiculously heavy ladder and walking through areas you or I wouldn’t dare set foot. He has to do some pretty disgusting work some times and I am thankful every day for what he does. Seriously folks, be nice to your phone guys. Luckily he likes working with his hands so most days he does generally like his job.
He is also a gamer and a total geek. He builds computers from scratch, loves working on cars, and will play almost any video game you put in front of him (as long as it isn’t a first person shooter). Unfortunately his favorite past time is listening to his mom and I tell him to get a haircut and then not cutting it because we amuse him. He loves me, believes in me, loves his daughter and does the very best he can for both of us. He learns from his mistakes and even though he’s made some big ones he owns them and moves on.
Pretty One is Stud Muffin’s only child. She for the most part lives with us and visits her mom on weekends and for longer periods in the summer, when her athletics schedule allows. She’s 15 going on 25 and has my heart as much as her dad does. She’s got everything going for her, she’s beautiful, smart, and funny. She is a talented artist and athlete. And her most admirable trait is that for the most part, Pretty One has a very good head on her shoulders (at least she does on the days when she didn’t wake up and eat a heaping bowl of teenager for breakfast).
So what does this all have to do with Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jefferies? Well, neither Stud Muffin nor Pretty One are what Mr. Jefferies, and the people like him in the corporate world, deem as attractive. There has been an enormous amount of talk in the media lately about his attitude about who he and his company market to based on an interview he did in 2006. The interview has been the source of some pretty heated debate that built up to his half-assed, back-handed apology via Facebook on May 15th. And you know what… I am kind of annoyed that he caved in and apologized.
He apologized to the numerous pissed off people that think his store should cater to them and that think A&F’s not carrying ladies XL or XXL sizes is a problem. Well, I am here to say it’s not. It’s his company and he has every right to select his market. Did he need to phrase things the way he did? No, it was stupid and made him look like a jerk, BUT there is no law in place saying people have to shop there. If you don’t like is outlook or comments then don’t shop there. Why waste energy on something so petty when at the end of the day it really isn’t Mike Jefferies that is the problem.
I cannot tell you how many comments I’ve see saying that his mindset gave their child body image issues. That is the biggest crock of bull I’ve ever heard. You know who is giving teens body image issues? Their parents. Yes I said it, its my opinion. Many young kids today are not brought up understanding that how a person looks or dresses is not what defines them. I just find it hard to cast blame on clothing companies for causing it.
Their nick names are Pretty One and Stud Muffin because I will be damned if either of them ever has to feel one moment of self-doubt or low self-esteem because some 68 year old CEO at a clothing company doesn’t want to sell clothes that would fit them. I don’t put their names on the blog to protect Pretty One as she is a minor and I am not her legal guardian. But Pretty One and Stud Muffin are their actual nicknames. I try and remind both of them that they are loved and awesome just as they are every day. I also call Pretty One by a number of other nicknames like Pretty, Pretty Face, Kiddo, etc. They are all to remind her that even though she isn’t a size 2 she is still beautiful. And she is! She’s happy, healthy, she is at a normal healthy weight for her height (of nearly 5’9”), and is truly one of the prettiest girls I’ve ever seen, even if some days she doesn’t believe it.
I believe it is our job as parents to raise our kids to believe that a brand, or a size, or a number on a scale does not define who they are. If more people were brought up with that mindset instilled in them from an early age this wouldn’t even be a discussion happening in America right now. I truly believe, in my heart, that a going that extra mile to teach our kids to love and accept themselves and to love and accept each other would lead to a lot more positive things in this world. There will always be narrow minded people and bullies, so why not teach our kids how to handle them with out breeding more hate?
Love your kids and teach them they are beautiful and this type of thing becomes a non-issue. That’s my two cents on the issue. Stay happy everyone!