|Not a good hobby.|
I love you, I really do. You’re clever. You’re a wealth of information. And you look great in that hat.
Your insta-connectedness is fantastic too. Please continue to tweet a video of a cat riding a Roomba when you’re bored watching a middle school band concert or share that blog post that brought you to tears. Viral content is awesome. But if you want to share content that touches on a serious issue please take a bit more care. When you get pitch-forky it makes me nervous.
What do I mean by pitch-forky? I’ll give you an example: this past week you’ve been all about sharing and creating content about Abercrombie and Fitch being douchey.
Here’s the thing, though: Of course Abercrombie and Fitch is douchey. They’re Abercrombie and Fitch. In other news Gymboree caters to suburban parents of small children and water is wet.
It’s therefore not entirely surprising that Abercrombie and Fitch’s CEO gave an obnoxious interview to Salon.com where he’s like, “We want the attractive, cool kids to buy our clothes. Everyone knows that you can’t be attractive or cool if you’re over a size 10 so we don’t carry any of those fat, lame people sizes.”
But those charming comments were made in 2006 which doesn’t make them okay but does mean they’re nothing new. Any number of people who have walked into an Abercrombie over the past 7+ years probably noticed that they had no women’s sizes above 10. Even more people have observed that this phenomenon is by no means limited to Abercrombie. Fat shaming and the lack of availability of larger clothing sizes has been a thing for years.
Only this week, for whatever reason, is the week you’re talking about it and it’s oddly limited to hating on Abercrombie. Not that calling out fat shaming is a bad thing. It just creeps me out when an actual important issue is the artificially narrow e-topic of the week because just as fast and as randomly as it came up, it will go away.
Remember #Kony2012? Last spring there was a week where it was in vogue to hate Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony. The dodgy NGO “Invisible Children” made a video wherein one of its founders explained to his young son that a bad man in
Africa was making an army of child soldiers.
The Kony video was shared in an epically Pavlovian fashion. Never mind that the jumping off point for raising awareness about a major humanitarian issue was a you tube video that literally explained the situation at a preschool level.
As it turned out, making #Kony2012 trend on twitter was not just what
Africa needed to fix their warlord problems. Not only is Kony still at large but so are all the other child kidnappers, mass murderers, and rapists like him. We never even touched on them or the interaction between the scramble for minerals in demand in the West and governments in developing nations. It was , “You guys: KONY. He’s bad. Share if you agree!”
But whatever. Kony was SO 2012. It’s 2013. We’re mad at Abercrombie’s CEO now.
This just in! Angelina Jolie had a preventative double mastectomy so now we’re onto breast cancer. Let’s make some boob jokes to raise awareness about breast cancer since pretty much nobody knows what that is.
I’m not saying outrage isn’t warranted. Abercrombie’s marketing strategy is offensive, Joseph Kony is a monster, and breast cancer is a tragedy. But offhandedly sharing Grumpy Cat saying, “If you’re happy and you know it go to hell” is not the same as offhandedly sharing content that calls for action on serious issues. The latter warrants further thought and investigation.
What’s that you say, Internet? You’re wondering where you could possibly find information about such weighty topics? I’m so glad you asked. Let me introduce you to THE INTERNET.
So do me a favor: At least take a few minutes to Google and think before sharing the latest viral outrage generator. It’s the difference between waving around a pitchfork recreationally and actually engaging with the issues that spark outrage.