Outraged teens protest Abercrombie & Fitch stance on size

Outraged teens protest Abercrombie & Fitch stance on size downtown

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Outraged consumers protested outside downtown Chicago's Water Tower Place on Monday, in opposition to Abercrombie & Fitch refusing to sell to those larger than size 10.

Abercrombie and Fitch is under fire after CEO's comments highlight the clothing brand's choice to only let "skinny people" wear their clothes.

Mike Jeffries made it clear that he believes women larger than a size 10 are not considered cool.

"In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids," Jeffries said. "Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don't belong [in our clothes], and they can't belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."

A group of teens and parents who oppose Jeffries' stance made their voices heard on the Magnificent Mile on Monday. Body image experts want kids who might be internalizing Jeffries message to know that they are perfect just the way they are, and that what the company says does not dictate how they should feel about themselves.

One teen articulated to FOX 32 News Monday morning as a person who struggled with her own body image and sometimes bought clothing from A&F in the past, happiness lies in accepting yourself exactly as you are.

"You're more than just a pants size – more than just a body. You're more than just how you look" she said. "Once you realize that life is more than popularity and your physical appearance, you can really start living."

In the past, the retail chain has been criticized for a line of t-shirts with messages that some said were be demeaning to women. Abercrombie has also been under fire for its racy catalogues featuring naked models. In 2004, the trendy retailer paid out a $40 million settlement to minority and female employees and job applicants for alleged discriminatory practices.

A petition online at change.org has a goal is to try to get Abercrombie to make plus sizes as well. It already has 8,000 signatures.

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