One Size Does Not Fit All

Body-shaming brands like Brandy Melville prioritize their own image over the wellbeing of young women.

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photo by Kendel Barber

Clothing tags of popular brands that have limited or one size fits all clothing.

Kendel Barber, Co-Editor-in-Chief

It would seem that any reasonable human being understands that one-size-fits-all clothing is absurd. In recent years, there has been a long overdue push for body positivity and inclusivity in popular culture. More of us now realize that bodies naturally come in all shapes and sizes, but the message evidently hasn’t made it to brands like Brandy Melville and John Galt. 

Both have attempted to popularize one-size-fits-all clothing, marketing especially to teenage girls and young women. Walking through the NASH hallways, you’ll likely see an abundance of trendy Brandy Melville outfits. The fashion line is very accessible to those it is aimed at, as it is sold at some of the most popular stores, like Urban Outfitters, Pacsun, and Nordstrom. With celebrity endorsements, countless social media influencers wearing these clothes, and relatively affordable prices, the line is particularly attractive to a teenage audience.

As society has progressed in its views toward body types, most fashion brands have begun to include all sizes.  It seems that Brandy Melville is behind on the times. ”

Despite these positives, however, there is one glaring issue with the brand that none of its influencers or Brandy Melville itself bothers to address. Most people don’t fit into one size, no matter what that size is. What makes this brand even worse is that the one size they have falls somewhere in between what would be a 0-2 in other women’s stores. Take a look at their website, or at the influencers who promote their clothes, and you will see the exact same body type: tall and thin, the same body type that is deemed fashionable and pretty in the industry. As society has progressed in its views toward body types, most fashion brands have begun to include all sizes.  It seems that Brandy Melville is behind on the times. 

Since the brand has not publicly addressed the issue or given an explanation for their choice, we can only speculate. It would seem that, from a business standpoint, offering such a limited size range would only hurt their business. Thus, the most apparent motivation for their one-size scheme is image. Size discrimination allows Brandy Melville to choose how it wants its customers to look. Other brands, like Abercrombie & Fitch and Lululemon, have also adopted this policy, either at present or in the past. Abercrombie only carried sizes up to 10 until 2013, and Lululemon went up to size 12 until last year, when they expanded to a size 14. Since these brands have become more inclusive (surprise!), their sales have gone up. These two especially popular brands should be a lesson to current discriminatory stores, and especially for one-size-fits-all brands.

Some would simply say that if a store does not have your size, then don’t shop there. They are correct, of course. There of plenty of other stores and brands that feature other sizes. But when a brand is consistently put on a media pedestal, it’s hard not to feel like you shouldn’t shop there.

Brandy Melville’s message is that, in order to be fashionable, young women need to have a specific body type. This is clearly toxic to our wellbeing, and it perpetuates the gender divide as it subtly communicates that anything other than one female body type is undesirable.