Forever 21 Marketing Maternity Wear to Teens?

Getting pregnant brings about lots of changes, especially for a teen.  A pregnant teen must grow up fast and begin putting her unborn child’s needs before her own.  She might have to drop out of school to provide for her child and she’s likely going to lose a few friends in the process.  She may face the scorn and disapproval of her parents and society in general.  But thanks to the popular teen clothing retailer Forever 21, she can still look stylish while doing it.

In an effort to expand their appeal to a larger audience (no pun intended), Forever 21 recently debuted its Faith 21 plus-sized clothing line.  And now, the hip and happening clothing store is branching out yet again.  This time, they have their eye on, as Sara Libby at Salon’s Broadsheet puts it, the “temporarily plus-sized” girl:  The pregnant teen.

For those who may be unfamiliar with Forever 21, it’s important to know that the store’s name is misleading.  Most of their customers have yet to reach that magic age and are, in fact, high school girls who covet super-trendy, inexpensive fashions.  In fact, Forever 21’s website currently features a back-to-school sale.

But despite the fact that Forever 21 clearly knows who they are selling to, they have deemed it appropriate to launch love21 maternity.  Is Forever 21 trying to glamorize – and profit from – teen pregnancy?

Before you answer that, consider this: Of the five states in which Forever 21 has chosen to debut their new maternity line, three of them – Arizona, California and Texas – have some of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country.  What’s more, the models on their website could easily pass for teens.

As a former pregnant teen myself, I have a soft spot for young girls who find themselves knocked up before they’ve had a chance to grow up.  I feel for them because I know exactly what they are facing.  And while some may disagree, I do believe that certain television shows and high profile teen pregnancies are having a normalizing effect on a situation that is anything but.  And I think it is irresponsible for a retailer like Forever 21 to try to cash in on it.

Image:  Polina Sergeeva/Flickr

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Article Posted 6 years Ago
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