Spotlight on Brandy Melville

By now, most of us have heard of Brandy Melville, a boho/beachy, California-inspired clothing line that’s currently skyrocketing in popularity among young women. The line’s most well known location is in Pacsun stores, but other locations are also dispersed around the country in high fashion areas such as New York City and California.

At a first glance, these clothes look like the perfect fit for young women today—fun, inexpensive, and stylish. However, at a closer glance (at the tag, that is), it appears that these clothes might not be a perfect “fit” for all young women after all. Most of the clothes that Brandy Melville carries (apart from smalls) are labeled as “One size;” that is, one size fits all. Is there an issue with this? Absolutely.

In case it isn’t already obvious, all women aren’t the same size—we range in weight, height, muscle, etc. (Buzzfeed did an article on women of various sizes trying on the same article of clothing from Brandy Melville; check it out here.) Take a look at these clothes, and it becomes pretty obvious that the line’s only real range of sizes is small and extra small. But what about the women who want to wear these cute clothes, but can’t fit into this “one size fits all” façade? In this way, not only does Brandy Melville not cater to women of differing body sizes, but they also do so in a way that promotes exclusivity, or, as Buzzfeed quoted in one of their articles, “Congratulations! You fit in the clothes.”

It’s become all about image. Because of the popular image the line has made for itself, mainly through its eye-catching social media marketing strategies, displaying tall, thin, beautiful girls effortlessly flaunting the clothing, young girls want to be a part of the glamour. But, unfortunately, this can have a very strong detrimental effect on young girls who desperately want to fit into this mainstream culture that promotes the idea that thin is the only way to be beautiful.

On the bright side, there are other companies that are fighting back against this sort of culture. For instance, Aerie recently launched their Aerie Real campaign, which features models that vary in sizes without the use of any photo doctoring.  Customers are able to see any of the models’ scars, stretch marks, tattoos, and other blemishes that remind the public that these women are just as real as anyone else. These photos are displayed on social media as well as in the store and on their bags.

Dove is also a strong promoter of diverse body sizes with their Real Beauty campaign. When it comes down to it, today’s young generation needs to be reminded, through campaigns like Aerie’s and Dove’s, that there are many forms of beauty, NOT just “one size fits all.” In a society that is becoming more and more focused on outward beauty and perfection, it’s also important to remember that what truly matters is what’s on the inside.