Saturday, November 14, 2020

Hey Everybody! Let's market clothing to teens that reduces their self-worth!

Since Marissa's been at home doing distance learning she's no longer in her school uniform and is wearing comfy clothes every day. Her favorite sweatpants finally wore through and she did a little online shopping to replace them. She selected two pairs from PacSun and they were delivered to our door. Unfortunately they were both a little too big, so we went to the local PacSun store to return them to select a smaller size. 

After returning the clothing to a sales associate, Marissa made her way to what I thought was a tasteless display of Playboy branded materials at the front of the store. She began sorting through the sweatpants with little bunnies on them, looking for the right size. 

" are not buying Playboy branded sweatpants," I told her. She looked at me with a shocked look on her face. "Playboy? What are you talking about?"

She thought the little bunny wearing a bowtie was just a cute graphic. She had no idea that it stood for the Playboy brand. And then she informed me that the sweatpants she had bought online were Playboy branded — I just hadn't seen the icon before approving the order because it was so small on the screen! 

We laughed about the fact that she didn't know they were Playboy sweats and I didn't realize she'd purchased Playboy sweats. But then we had a real discussion about why a retailer that caters to teens and young women would carry the Playboy brand and honestly, I don't get it.

The caption on the t-shirt on the far left says "Stretch Limousine Daydreams."
What exactly are we daydreaming about?  

In today's awareness of feminist issues, a soft porn magazine's brand isn't relevant or wanted in our culture. All of the things that Playboy embodies is harmful to my teen girls. I would never support their business by buying their brand. And I certainly would never want my 15-year-old daughter wearing Playboy gear. Ever. Who lets their teens buy this stuff?

I tweeted to PacSun and told them how disappointed I was that they carry the brand. Then again, PacSun also carries Brandy Melville clothing. If you don't know this clothing line, they have really cute items for teens, but they have no sizing. Really. The tags all say "one size." If you don't fit into the size they have, well then, I guess you're not the right size. 

What a great idea, market cute clothes to teen girls in their growing years when self-consciousness is its highest and self-confidence is often at its lowest, and make them feel worthless for not fitting into tailored clothing that assumes that all teen girls should be able to fit into their "one size." We looked through some of the pieces and they were tiny. Some of Marissa's short, petite friends could fit into them, but probably not the vast majority of teen girls. "One size" clothing should be reserved for scarves or hats, maybe a wrap, not jeans or tailored shirts. 

From the Brandy Melville website.

Marissa finally found some sweatpants that weren't offensive and that actually fit. selected from the fraction of the store that wasn't off limits due to its brand or its size. I'm not sure she'll want to shop at PacSun in the future. I'm grateful that she and I could have the conversation that we had on the way back home about the issues with both of these brands. 

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