Brandy Melville’s unrealistic body standards

Brandy Melville profits off of young girls’ insecurities with one-size-only marketing

Perris Larson, Falcon Navigator

“One size fits all”. Almost everything Brandy Melville is sized as small, even the underwear. (Perris Larson)

For those who do not know why Brandy Meville is a highly problematic clothing brand, I will gladly tell you. Brandy Melville has been around since I was a kid, and the only clothes that they sell seem to focus on one spectrum of people: kids.

At least that is how they size all their clothes. The clothing brand has only one size available for everyone, and the size is always a small. Literally, everything from a sweatshirt to panties are a small. 

Recently, my friends and I took a weekend trip to Vancouver for the weekend. It turned out that a Brandy Melville was around the corner from our hotel, so we decided to pop in and just look around. Besides the horror of low-rise jeans coming back into style, our attention was diverted to a large basket in the back of the room full of panties. Now, I have always known that the brand only had one size for everything they sell, so I should not have been surprised, but panties were a whole other level of body standards.

Are we seriously down to body shaming underwear now?

We picked one up, and were completely flabbergasted at the fact that they were small enough to fit a ten year old before they hit puberty, or an adult who fits a double zero. If they are selling merchandise that either fit children before puberty or double zero adults, what kind of standard is that setting for young? That they should have childlike bodies even when they are well in adulthood?

This is why I only thrift Brandy Melville clothing, because that way, my money is not going to them or in any way supporting their one size only marketing. Not only is it limiting the type of customers that come in, but it can also easily enforce body image issues among women. 

Hypothetically, a high school girl can see a popular girl wearing only Brandy Melville clothes and can then be inspired to buy some clothes from herself. But she is not a size zero like the popular girl was and cannot fit into anything comfortably in the store. However, the girl wants to look like the popular girl in her class, so she starts to calorie count her food and diet until she can fit into those size zero Brandy Melville jeans. 

Similar to other brands like Abercrombie and Fitch, and Victoria’s Secret when it comes to feeding young women’s insecurities, Brandy Melville is just as problematic except they are blatant when it comes to who they think should shop at the store. Other brands might not have a lot of options, but at least they have them to begin with.

It feels like Brandy Melville knows that it is not improving any young person’s body image, but they do not care. They make money by promoting unrealistic body standards that harm people’s physical and mental health. 

When I saw the one size only panties, it just reminded me that brands like that will do whatever they can to make money, even if it means feeding into harmful body image standards.