Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Funhouse Mirror

This is just terrifying. Towleroad pointed to this firewalled interview at Salon with Mike Jeffries, the 61 year old owner of Abercrombie and Fitch, who talks like a teenager, dresses like a teenager, and, well, prepare your eyeballs:

"His biggest obsession, though, is realizing his singular vision of idealized all-American youth. He wants desperately to look like his target customer (the casually flawless college kid), and in that pursuit he has aggressively transformed himself from a classically handsome man into a cartoonish physical specimen: dyed hair, perfectly white teeth, golden tan, bulging biceps, wrinkle-free face, and big, Angelina Jolie lips. But while he can't turn back the clock, he can -- and has -- done the next best thing, creating a parallel universe of beauty and exclusivity where his attractions and obsessions have made him millions, shaped modern culture's concepts of gender, masculinity and physical beauty, and made over himself and the world in his image, leaving them both just a little more bizarre than he found them."

God this is depressing. First, how does a man with such, well, obvious emotional issues end up in charge of a multi-million dollar clothing company? Second, why did no one ever just slap him and tell him to grow old gracefully? Sure, it sucks being the gay kid who is in love with all the pretty straight boys you'll never have, but you get over it. I'm not even against making your personal sexual obsessions into a successful business model (I work at American Apparel after all) but to refuse to see that you've become a sad parody of what you want, a pale golem of unfulfilled desire, well, we should all be a bit more self-aware then that. By becoming this Frankenstein chickenhawk, Mike Jeffries reminds us that we each craft our own version of Hell. I hope he someday wakes up from his.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is just plain mean

8:04 PM  

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