[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
an open letter to the banana republic brain trust
normally i don’t write letters to faceless corporate entities. and i know i’m not the first letter you have received regarding the pressing matter i’m about to address. as a matter of fact, i’ve seen several blogs mention the matter i’m about to address, but i wanted to write to you anyway. (oh, banana republic, i hope you’re not one of those faceless corporate entities who has a problem with the word “blog.” because, really, they’re blogs. that’s what they are. that’s why they call it blogger. because they’re blogs. so that’s what i call them. blogs. but i digress from the matter at hand.)
actually, i say i “wanted” to write to you, and that’s not true at all. “compelled” is probably a word that more closely captures what i felt.
recently, i was perusing the pages of instyle magazine when i came across an ad from your holiday campaign. it was lovely and had lots of snow, and was very holidayesque in its loveliness and its snowiness.
now, normally, i wouldn’t stop to look at one of your ads. why is that? well, i'm glad you asked, banana republic, because there are a few reasons why.
i used to be a loyal banana republic – do you mind if i call you br? typing banana republic over and over is getting to be rather cumbersome – shopper, back in the day. back then your name made sense. you sold the sort of offbeat-type stuff one might find in an army surplus store, if the army was the british colonial-era army off in some exotic tropical location which they were gentrifying as quickly as possible. you were sort of petermanesque back then, with a quirky little catalog containing detailed descriptions and intriguing little backstories for every item. i had loads of your safari motif t-shirts and your cargo shorts.
then, something happened.
actually, i think it was the gap that happened. they came along and borg’ed you and the next thing i knew, not only could i not get a pair of british colonial army surplus cargo shorts, but i couldn’t even get a pair of pants for less than $59.99. furthermore, it seems that someone over at the borg has a problem with the following:
yes, the borg seems to be using you as its first line of defense in the war against women with hips, thighs and asses. how else to explain the fact that, even if i did want to spend $59.99 on a pair of khaki pants, i could not find any that would fit my ass? this is because there is more than a one-inch differential between my waist and hip measurements. which, apparently, is unacceptable to the borg.
wait, br…let me be fair: i cannot find a pair of pants in your stores. i can, however, find them on your website.
this vexes me.
were i the type to get bent out of pear-shape about such things, it might seem as though you are happy to take the money of girls who have hips, thighs and asses by selling them pants on your website…just not happy to have us come into your stores where people could see us. perhaps the idea that women with big asses wear your pants might take some of the sheen (metallics are huge for fall!) off your brand identity. or maybe the fear is that, were they to actually commingle with the size 2 women who run free in your stores whilst wearing vanilla perfumes, women-of-ass might confuse the vanilla-scented waifs for vanilla-scented wafers and eat one, thereby causing a public relations nightmare.
but, and this comes as a surprise to absolutely no one i am sure, i have digressed.
and that is an understatement.
i was talking about your lovely, snowy holiday ad campaign. it involves some sort of holiday story about true love and fate and how neither will ever find you if you’re not wearing cashmere from banana republic.
the ad is titled chapter iii: the lost mitten. and i see this caption, and i glance at the ad, and lo, there, in the lovely snow is an orange cashmere…glove.
i stared for a good long while at this ad, br. i even brought the magazine up close to my face, as though i was an 80-year-old woman. but there was no denying it: it was not a mitten.
and since there seems to be some sort of confusion over at your place, let me break it down for you: you can tell by the way it has finger holes. that’s the part that makes it not be a mitten. and, instead, makes it be a glove.
out of morbid curiosity, i visited your website to see if perhaps the error had been corrected in the campaign on your site. there, in the lower-right corner, was the link to your holiday story campaign. and there, on the screen, was a link to chapter iii: the lost mitten.
and then, there on the screen was this [emphasis added, of course]:
what is wrong with you?! do you really think this is a mitten? or that no one will notice that it’s not a mitten?! i have to think that something like 80 people probably had to work on and/or approve this campaign. did no one ever, at any point, say, “hey, uh…you guys…that’s a glove.” i mean, you use the word “mitten,” approximately 50 times in this thing, and every single time, my brain is screaming “for the love of god, it is not a mitten! it is a glove! a glove!”
clearly, this is the same brain trust that thinks girls with sizable asses should not be encouraged to shop in your stores.
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