A Muslim teen in Oklahoma is alleging that a manager at an Oklahoma Abercrombie & Fitch refused to hire her because her head scarf "didn't fit the chain's image." A Muslim civil rights group has filed a federal complaint on the girl's behalf, citing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that an employer must reasonably accomodate employees' religious practices. A&F, not surprisingly, had no comment. If it's any consolation to the under-18 teen, not conforming to the "Abercrombie image?" Definitely a compliment. [MSNBC]
The practice of hiring Sales Assistants that fit a certain image is in no way limited to A&F. Ironically, when I worked at Arden B, a girl was not hired because she came from A&F, meaning she wore flip-flops and not enough makeup. This did not fit Arden B's image, so she was turned away after the first interview. Most stores have managed to limit their hiring so as to have built-in live models in each store. Not only are the S.A. expected to sell the clothes, they're supposed to sell the image that goes along with them— in a size 4, of course. It's unfair but like everything else, entirely subjective and deeply ingrained.