The small, the fat and the not-so-pretty, victims of a vast and secret discrimination

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An official French citizens’ rights watchdog has launched an investigation into allegedly discriminatory recruitment practices by fashionable US clothes retail chain Abercrombie & Fitch, which is accused of selecting only physically attractive people as sales staff for its French stores. As Michaël Hajdenberg reports, the affair highlights a problem that several studies show affects vast numbers of people on the job market, whose professional opportunities are daily compromised by a secret discrimination over their weight, size or blemishes.

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Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F), the fashionable clothes store chain that vaunts itself as a retailer for “cool” people, is back in hot water over its uniformly good-looking staff.