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UPDATED: In response to being criticized for 'body-shaming,' Abercrombie & Fitch introduces new 'inclusive' and 'body-positive' campaign

Clothing retailer making big strides

Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Abercrombie & Fitch's brand-new " Fierce" campaign shows how the popular clothing retailer is responding to calls for more "body positive" advertising campaigns.

Abercrombie & Fitch formerly received heavy backlash for its long history of being perceived as an exclusionary brand that is only for thin, toned, good-looking people.

What are the details?

Abercrombie & Fitch's new campaign, which is for its signature fragrance, features a variety of people including "athletes, activists, performers, and authors," according to Business Insider, including U.S. women's soccer player Megan Rapinoe.

The company chose its faces for the new campaign based on whether they "made their mark on the world by living as their most authentic, brave, and 'Fierce' selves."

According to the retailer, "[C]ast members will share their experiences of body positivity, self-empowerment, determination, LGBTQ+ equality, gender equality, overcoming obstacles, and more, all to inspire customers to explore the unexpected and emotional aspects of inner strength."

The company made the new campaign announcement Thursday.

What abut the models?

Michael Robert McCauley, one of the company's new models, lauded the business for its decision to use "real" people in a lengthy Instagram post.

"I'm Fierce AF!" he wrote. "I'm so excited to partner with @abercrombie for the launch of their Fierce Family of fragrances! When I started modeling a little over a year ago I never would have believed you if you'd said I'd become an Abercrombie and Fitch model! Ok, secretly I would have because i dream big!"

"This partnership represents why I do what I do," he continued. "Brands are finally waking up to what their customers ACTUALLY want and I'm honored to be at the front of this movement working with Abercrombie as we lead the industry for change. People want to see REAL people in the clothes they're buying and I think most people can relate to guys like me. This isn't a fashion statement. Beefy dudes are here to stay! I'm so proud to be a part of this amazing Fierce family and the new ANF. Together we form a special kind of family. So much more to come!!!"

Update 2/7/2020, 4:14 p.m. ET:

Although Abercrombie has, in fact, been criticized in the past for body shaming, a spokesman for the company insists that the new advertising campaign is not related to the criticism.

The spokesperson told TheBlaze, "The Face Your Fierce campaign builds off the success of last year's relaunch — it was not created in response to criticism we received."

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