One Size Fits Few


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The 18 Brandy Melville stores in the US sell clothes that are very popular among those who can fit into it.

Molly Kennedy, Sports Editor

Teenage girls gaze at models on shopping websites, stare at skinny mannequins in stores, and sit crying while trying on clothes in dressing rooms. Stores should not radiate anxiety and body negativity. The need to be unrealistically thin with “good proportions” is pushed on girls from a young age. When buying clothes, consumers should ask ourselves if the brand is putting out a positive message. One size fits all clothing is pushing these unrealistic standards forward.

Clothing brands such as Brandy Melville, promote the supposed ideal, yet, unrealistic body types and market them to teen girls. Models, while already being beautiful, are modified with filters, camera angles, and even PhotoShop in order to achieve perfection. Almost 4 million people, primarily teenage girls, follow Brandy Melville’s Instagram which is flooded with trendy, skinny, long-legged, teenage girls. Their 18 stores around the US are known to only employ girls who can model their clothes which are only exclusively sold in a size small.  

Founded in Italy, Brandy sells trendy yet edgy, teen girl clothing and has become very popular among those who can fit into the brand. Girls across different platforms such as YouTube and Instagram have documented their experiences of going in-store and not being able to fit into anything and being left feeling defeated. In extreme cases, girls have reported losing weight to fit into Brandy Melville’s clothes. In a YouTube video done by Tori Lucca, she reported being scared of trying on Brandy Melville’s clothes, “I didn’t wanna be that girl that went to the dressing room to try something on, and then guess what, it didn’t fit.” It is traumatizing for girls to go into a store meant for teen girls and not fit into anything. Girls that have perfectly healthy BMI can not wear the clothes because they do not fit into a size 0-2. “It’s pretty sad to see girls basing their worth on whether or not they can fit into one-size-fits-all clothes,” said YouTuber, Maria Zilic, in a video where she reviewed Brandy Melville. Zilic went into a Brandy store and tried on clothes to show that her being an average medium in most brands does not fit into Brandy’s clothes. 

When buying online at Brandy Melville it shows “fits size X-small/Small” for the size. The fashion industry has raved over being thin for many decades, however, only offering a size small is a new level of exclusivity. The average waist size is 24 inches in Brandy Melville bottoms, and considering the average waist size of an American teen girl’s is 32.6 inches, their slogan “One-size-fits-most” is a lie.

Brands may promote health and fitness and not produce every size, but only selling size small does not promote a healthy ideology. While growing up girls are very self-conscious and aware of the sizes they buy, so when teens do not fit into a brand all together made for their age group that leads to them developing the idea that they need to change and get thinner. Making a goal is to lose weight or be healthier is perfectly fine, but some girls do not understand not every girl is built the same and has the same metabolism. Not every girl growing up is a size small, and young girls shouldn’t be expected to all be the same size. 

Silvio Marson and his son Stephan Marson are the owners of Brandy Melville – an Italian father and son company that sells only to skinny, young girls. Clearly, the men do not take into consideration that only making sizes for size 2 teens could be damaging to the self-esteem of the girls who don’t fit into their clothes. Expecting girls that are different sizes and weights to fit into the same size is unrealistic, and they know that.

Many teens are forced to experience the same insecure feelings while staring at the same magazines, ads, or social media posts. Even the Victoria Secret Fashion Show was canceled in 2019 as the brand worked to evolve into a more inclusive brand. In 2019, Victoria Secret welcomed its first plus-size and transgender models. In 2019, many accepting movements were enforced in fashion, yet brands such as Brandy Melville continue to make millions. Another clothing store marketed to teens, Aerie, has begun empowering women and finding models that are not just the stereotypical model body. This led to more people shopping at Aerie, and the opening of many new stores. “I love aerie, all of the clothes they sell are super comfortable and their company promotes body positivity, which is very important to me,” said junior Lola Casillas. Furthermore, Aerie provides an inclusive environment to shop in, their mirrors in the dressing rooms allow girls to write on sticky notes and put them on the mirror to compliment themselves and others. 

In 2018, makeup companies such as Kim Kardashian West makeup line, KKW Beauty, was attacked for not catering to all skin colors. Many makeup companies were criticized on social media for putting out foundation products and having the majority only white foundation shades, or not having enough shades altogether. If makeup companies are forced to tend to all skin colors, why aren’t clothing brands expected to put out more than one size? 

Exclusive fashion in one specific size forces young girls to strive for most of the time unrealistic standards. Young girls shouldn’t be made to feel self-conscious because they want to fit into a specific size or brand or taught that to be trendy they must be thin. Marketing a smaller size shows teen girls that all that matters are their body and size.