Every morning after I catch up on my inbox and any other urgent or pending matters, I check the headlines in my google news feed and see what horrible things are happening in the world, and I like to read my horoscope. It’s fun! It was absolutely no surprise to me when a bunch of headlines related to Old Navy’s so-called inclusivity campaign and its utter failure popped up in my feed. The first headline I saw actually made me chuckle, but not in a funny joking way. More of a “oooooh you fooled us with this shit before!” sort of a chuckle. Like, surely they are fucking joking by trying to blame the fatties, yeah?!
Oh, they are not joking, friends. They are really trying to blame us for their failure. And they are falling hard, too! I laugh because it is absolute bullshit! I follow Mary Fran on InstaGram and she was a huge Old Navy fan up until like this fucking week. She went in and went through the entire store and found nothing over an XXL! When they finally asked about the plus sizes they were told they have a few but they never get put out on the sales floor. WOW! Yep, you read that correctly. They aren’t even bothering to put the sizes they have in stock out where customers can find them! What?!
I wish I could make it make sense. This isn’t even the first time they have pulled this shit on us. Last time they blamed us for the same fucking issue and then threw all of their plus sizes online with a big flashy “Exclusive” banner all over it. We got mad, so they offered free returns in stores. Then they took that away, too. Then they had just free returns through the mail. Rinse and repeat. FUCK OLD NAVY!
Look, I didn’t even know that Old Navy carried plus sizes at all until that drama in the late 00’s came up and by then they were online only. I was able to make a return in the store for free once, but the second time I was treated so badly I never went back. It’s unfortunate because for a lot of fatties Old Navy is one of the few places you can find affordable basics in plus sizing. And they have a decent variety of options for most things, too. Activewear being a big one, because it’s so hard to find activewear in plus sizes, specifically.
Their inclusivity campaign was cute, the ads they ran with Aidy Bryant dancing and being her cute and sassy self, were a revelation! They actually almost convinced me, almost. I love seeing anyone dance, but fat folks especially because we’re always excluded or told we simply can’t dance. Fuck that! Seeing Aidy on my big tv made me fucking happy as hell! Seeing Aidy on my TV always makes me happy. Those ads promised to include plus sizes not just in Old Navy stores, though. They promised to do away with the separate sections and to simply stock it all together on the sales floor. Their web site also has things together so that you don’t have to click on that appalling “Exclusively online” banner bullshit anymore.
Fool us once…Fuck you! They fucked this exact shit up over a decade ago. They claimed to have done the research and listened to what their customers really wanted, at all sizes. They claimed a lot if you ask me because how are you gonna say you listened to anybody when the stock isn’t hitting that sales floor?! How can you blame us when we can’t find the things we want to buy from you? How can you throw us under the bus when even the big influencers are saying they can’t find their size in your stores when that wasn’t a problem for them previously?!?!?!? Make it make sense, dammit!
There’s about four different headlines on this story and they all claim the same nonsense to blame us. One even threw in a nice little piece of shit quote from Diane von Furstenberg about how it’s not fair to charge the same for XS as XXL because it penalizes the smaller bodied people. Fuck her! And fuck the journallist who thought it was a good idea to through that non sequitur at the end of their article, they must’ve needed the word count. It’s embarrassing and pathetic, for them! Let’s be clear on that, it ain’t on us at all!
The truth is I do peruse Old Navy’s web site from time to time, usually when I’m looking for something specific or I hear about a great sale. Yet when I checked my records, I haven’t placed an order with them in over five years. Hmmm…no why would that be? I would actually love to buy some of their pixie pants and have heard great things about their rockstar jeans. But these are things I simply always have to try on! I just returned two pair of pants to Eloquii because they didn’t fit. Both were the same size, one too big, one too small. UGH!
We can’t win with these big retailers! They refuse to listen, even when they claim to have done the research. They even went as far as to make the damned clothing we want, but then failed to actually stock it in stores. People from all over are reporting that the middle sizes sell out first and then the higher and lower ends of the sizing spectrum just sit and go stale (yeah in the stock room!). They finally feature an actual fat person in their ad, even dancing and showing a range of body types dancing in their jeans, too. But it was all a lie! Isn’t it always?!
Forgive me for saying this, but it may just be time to let go of brick and mortar stores as a general concept. I say this as a former business owner during a bad recession, it would rough! I cannot imagine how they are keeping up with current market pricing as well as skyrocketing rents and supply chain issues while still turning a profit. My guess is that they aren’t and needed something to tell their board for the reduced earnings, and now here the hell we are.
Have you been to an Old Navy store in person since September 2021? Were you able to find your size? Were the sales associates helpful? Because what I’m seeing is that the sales associates can be kind of nasty to fatties who come to their stores looking for their size. Which is unacceptable. I don’t care how you feel about fat folks or your employer, you should still treat customers correctly. Damn!
I am not saying that I have the ultimate golden answer for this situation. I don’t think I’ve ever truly been in Old Navy’s preferred demographic. What is that demographic? I dunno, but it certainly seems like they would prefer a family of 4-5 all dressed in matching ensembles for each holiday or family occasion, and never plus sized, ever. It’s too bad too because my Old Navy active yoga pants are such a prized staple in my comfort wardrobe. I still wear some of their pajama bottoms from over ten years ago. The few times I have visited their stores I cannot say that I ever felt welcome or comfortable there. That could just be me, I’m weird. It also could just be that Old Navy has some deep-seated feelings about fat folks. It certainly feels that way to me.
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