Family Magazine

When A Store Makes a Teen Girl Feel "Small"

By Joanigeltman @joanigeltman
Oh how I wish "small" in this case means not large. But small in my title means "less than" and not "small enough." BandyMelville is the name of the hottest new store for teen girls. Their "gimmick" is to offer a "one size fits all" which really mean "one size fits tiny girls." I visited this store over the weekend to see for myself. At 11:00 AM on a Sunday the store was packed with tween-teen age girls. Unless a teen was a 0-1-2 forget buying any jeans, leggings, shorts, or sweats or tiny little crop tops. They did have some cute oversized flannels shirts, and sweaters, so normal sized girls could still find things to shop for.
What is disturbing for me about this store is it's target audience is teenage girls. Girls who are in the throws of puberty, consumed with body image and how they see themselves and how others see them. And here comes a store that exploits this very vulnerable age group. 'I'm so skinny I can wear Brandy Melville jeans."Apparently it is a badge of honor to be able to fit into these tiny togs. And as trends go, this is one that belongs to a very exclusive club. Just what teens need, another way to feel less than and excluded!
These are not unique, one of a kind clothes. These are the same clothes I saw on the rack at Forever 21 across the street. So if this makes you just slightly disgusted, remember parents, your power and your daughter's power is in the wallet. What a great message to send to your teen, "you know honey, I don't want to give my money to a store that excludes girls who are a normal, healthy size. You can use your own money if you want to shop there, but I don't feel comfortable buying clothes at this kind of store, that preys on teen girls to be thin." Maybe you'll even get your daughters on board to spend their money elsewhere in solidarity of the sisterhood!
If your teen does want to shop there, at least give her some strategies so that she doesn't leave the store feeling like a piece of sh**. If she is a size 4 or above tell her not to set herself up for disappointment by trying on jeans that are meant for only very tiny girls. There are other options in the store. Tell her she can by her bottom half stuff elsewhere! Here is a clip of a segment I did this morning about Brandy Melville on Fox news. I was a lively discussion!
http://www.myfoxboston.com/clip/10730280/one-size-fits-39small39-teen-brand-stirs-controversy

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