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Abercrombie in another ‘Situation’ over elitist image control

Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino and Karina Smi...

Image by trhnlhi via Flickr

Abercrombie & Fitch is losing its grip on image control as every Tom, Dick, Harry and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino,  parade around in their over-priced duds on TV, in Italy and other places not sanctioned by Abercrombie & Fitch.  Abercrombie is “concerned” enough about its image that it has offered a “substantial sum” of money to “The Situation” and the rest of the Jersey Shore cast to cease wearing their clothes.   While it is an obvious publicity ploy,  Abercrombie is no stranger to bad publicity and lawsuits stemming from its insistence that employees project a certain image and look.  I call it the Stepford  look, they call it preppy-sexy-beachy-wholesome-college-frat-sorority look.

While I don’t watch the reality show Jersey Shore, millions do and I have seen an episode or two as the cast tans, goes to the gym, does laundry and of course parties and fights. Not necessarily a wholesome image any product or retail outlet would want to project but Abercrombie had already  jumped on the Jersey Shore bandwagon when they came out with their “Fituation” and “GTL” (gym, tan, laundry) tee shirts a while back. Who are they kidding?  According to an Abercrombie press release; “We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino’s association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image.”  This is pretty funny since their image is one of elitist discrimination.

Abercrombie has long been the bastion of the preppy-sexy look, often approaching their own customers they think have the “look” and asking them if they would like a job while applications pile up from other Abercrombie job seekers that are not considered part of the super-elite-gene-pool-brand that the company covets (they got sued and lost also for telling applicants they weren’t hiring and were caught hiring only people with the “look.”)  I suppose using the pick-of-the-litter method of hiring is okay if we are talking skill set, knowledge, experience, retail personality etc. but choosing someone because they look like a surfer dude or dud and wear flip-flops for a living seems like the bottom of the shallow barrel.

But, Abercrombie will be taking all this free publicity to the bank. People are talking about this PR stunt and advertising geniuses are scratching their heads and wishing they would have thought of the idea first.  Plus, otherwise sane people, instead of boycotting a company that has an ugly policy of hiring only the “attractive” will go buy an A&F something -or-other because they don’t fit their image either, because nobody is going to tell them what they can’t wear–ka-ching!

(I would sure say this picture I used of the “Situation” looks pretty similar to the Abercrombie ads of half naked bodies on their website and in their catalogs so what do they mean he is bad for their image?) P.S. I’m open to not wearing anyone’s clothing–I really have no image so I could readily offend anyone equally. for the right price–of course.

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Dancing With the Stars premier; Who’s hot and who’s not

I am a Dancing-With-The-Stars TV show addict. I don’t watch those Bachelor/Bachelorette shows, or the Jersey seedy Shore thing or The Housewives of what-ever-county-is-popular this week, but I like dancing. I consider watching “stars’ (for some contestants this term is stretching it) dance or in some cases kinda-dance, highly entertaining.

So I grabbed the popcorn bowl and sat down for some uninterrupted viewing tonight and of course observations;

Right of the bat comedian Margaret Cho, came bouncing down the stairs for the grand entrance at the beginning of the show with her partner and visibly tripped. Hmmm. Not even dancing yet just walking.

Audrina Patridge was the first star dancer and she was not half-bad. She seemed like she had the steps down pat, was on beat and her 19 score out of 30 was okay for the first time out. Her online Bodog sports book odds are 8-1.

Kurt Warner, the former Rams QB was very graceful and looks to have good potential. His sports book odds are 12-1. His judges score was 19.

Kyle Massey,the Disney Channel star was really good. He shot out on the floor like a cannon and his energy was great. The judges were impressed with his first dance. His score was 23. His sports book odds today were 25-1.

Rick Fox, a former NBA Laker champion looked like a giant with shorty Cheryl Burke, even with her 4 in. heels. But despite his size he didn’t appear clumsy and was reasonably graceful for his extreme height. He had great posture and elegance. The judges were equally impressed. His sports book odds today were 11-2. His judges score was 22.

Margaret Cho, an actress and comedian was really great at first but got a little caught up in her winged costume and also fell down at the end, It evidently was a deliberate fall due to her comedic nature, the judges thought the fall was goofy. Her sports book odds as of today were 20-1, her judges score was 15.

Brandy, a singer and performer showed grace and elegance and the judges thought so too. She looked comfortable on the dance floor and her score was 23. Her sports book odds are 3-1.

Bristol Palin, daughter of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, started out dancing in a buttoned-up suit and peeled it away to a short red fringe dress. She had the moves memorized but didn’t quite have the beat down pat. She seemed nervous and mom wasn’t there to cheer her on. Her sports book odds are 22-1, her judges score was 18.

Florence Henderson, singer and actress and Brady Bunch mom, is 76 years young and looked fantastic and did a great job for a dancer of any age. The judges said she was great entertainment. Her sports book odds were 25-1 and the judges score was 18.

Singer Michael Bolton, was a little on the clumsy side and was sort of rushing to keep up with the dance. Not at all what I would call graceful but then it’s only the first week. Out of his element and it showed. His sports book odds were 10-1. His judges score was 16.

Mike Sorentino ‘The Situation” from the reality show Jersey Shore, wasn’t as confident on the dance floor as he is in a Jersey Shore bar. Rather clumsy, under-rehearsed, not at all the Mr. Cool he projects on his show. His 80’s style dancing wasn’t impressive to the judges, but they noted he hadn’t been able to rehearse much because of his TV show. His sports book odds are 7-1, way off in my book. His judges score was 15.

Jennifer Grey, “Baby” from the popular movie Dirty Dancing danced to a song from the movie album of Dirty Dancing. She was graceful, elegant, never missed a step or a beat and the dance was very emotional. You could not escape seeing her in the movie with Patrick Swayze as she glided across the floor. Her sports book odds are 7-2. Although I know it’s early, I think she will win the whole shebang. Her judges score was 24, the highest score of the night.

David Hasselhoff, actor in Baywatch among other programs. Looking cool in leather and sunglasses didn’t really help with the moves. Not what I would call agile, or smooth he tried to put a slapstick routine into the mix for humor. But that still doesn’t cover for the lack of dancing skills. His sports book odds are 10-1. I would say he is much more of a longshot than that. His score was 15.

All in all it was a good but not necessarily sit-on-the-edge-of-you-seat showstopper premier. Who will go home first? There are plenty lacking in dance skills on week one, that could go but it will end up a popularity contest as in, who’s hot and who’s not.  If it was truly up to the dancing I think the Hoff or the “Situation” should be among the frist to go.

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