In news that would have made 13 year old me hide under her bed and sob, there's a popular new retailer that only carries clothing in size small. Brandy Melville is a hot new brand that caters to teenage girls and their clothes only come in tiny sizes.
With a "one size fits most" policy (Most? You keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means), Brandy Melville is positioning itself to be the exclusive, hot new brand for teen girls. Reinforcing the idea that a woman's worth is in her weight, the store only carries a small or "one size fits most" (though a medium and large can be found in certain items online only). Their advertising is mostly on Instagram and focuses on waifish white girls with thigh gaps. It has one of the fastest growing brand names in teen clothing right now and the brand prides itself on being exclusive. Only the thinnest can wear it.
The clothing itself is relatively cheap, a pair of jeans will set you back $30, and most of their current collection looks like Free People and H&M knock offs. They company is originally from Italy and is now all over Europe. In the US it's mostly located in California and New York City.
Brandy Melville makes no bones about it's blatant fat shaming. A popular Youtuber named Trisha Paytas had a run in with their unfriendly policies and was told she couldn't try on any of their clothing because she was too fat to wear them. The employee said they didn't want to risk her stretching out the clothes. Paytas made a video about her experience but was forced to remove it by Brandy Melville's lawyers.
At a time where women (and teenage girls especially!) are inundated with messages to be as thin as popular, I can't find this store anything but reprehensible and vile. Anorexia and bulimia rates in women and girls are still high and studies have found girls as young as six putting themselves on diets where they purposefully eat less so they can be thinner. SIX! Some brands, most notably Aerie by American Eagle, have taken this to heart and have stopped photoshopping all their models and advertisements. Modcloth is making a killing selling chic plus size items. Brandy Melville has clearly taken a... different route to success and it's on the back of insecure teenage girls. As if they don't already have enough self esteem problems.
I'm not asking this company to automatically start offering plus size options but for fuck's sake carry larger than a small! It's such a toxic idea and they're making bank on it. Just look at the "cutesy" graphic they use on the size chart.
How does Brandy Melville respond to the accusation that they're fat shaming and fetishizing thinness? Jessy Longo, an executive with the brand gave an interview with USA Today in April and spoke of how inclusive they are to all sizes. If you're not small enough to wear the clothes, you can at least buy an accessory! How magnanimous.
"We can satisfy almost everybody, but not everybody. The one-size-fits-most clothing might turn off somebody if they don't walk into the store, but if you walk in you'll find something even if it's a bag."
There you have it. Too fat for their size small, 25 inch waist skinny jeans? You can at least buy a bag. Gee, thanks.