Comfortable. Cozy. Soft. Trendy. Casual. Stylish. Cute. These are all words that my peers replied with when I asked them about the popular female clothing brand, Brandy Melville. This brand has gained an insane amount of popularity in the last year. The products are, in my opinion, just as described—a socially acceptable way to wear pajamas outside.
I have purchased from Brandy Melville before, and I wear their tank tops all of the time. The tops are styled to fit more loosely, so a few of my friends and I fit into them. But my select group of friends and I are, by no means, the standard of most girls in the U.S.
I spend way more time on Instagram than I care to admit. It is easy to get stuck deep in the darkest black-hole-like accounts of Kardashian after Victoria’s Secret model and so on. One that is particularly mystifying is that of Brandy Melville. Their models are thin, tan, primarily blonde, have perfect eyebrows, toned legs, hot boyfriends and, of course, the coveted, casual-yet-trendy Brandy Melville clothing. While the account is aesthetically pleasing, there is a very distinct lack of diversity among the models on the page.
If you were to shop online, you would find that almost all of the brand’s products are sold in one size, under the claim that “one size fits most.” Think that’s bold? So did I. So, I did some research, and what I found was quite alarming. The vast majority of the skirts available on the Brandy Melville website have a waist measurement of 12 to 14 inches. Oh, but don’t worry; they stretch to 25 inches. That doesn’t satisfy you? Well, if you’re above a size two, I guess you are not “most” people.
This sizing really didn’t reassure me either. Keep this between us (just kidding), but I do not have a 25-inch waist, and neither do most of my friends. As it turns out, Brandy Melville does not have an accurate grasp of what the measurements of “most” waistlines in this country actually are. According to a 2012 study done by USA Today, the average waistlines of women measure 37.8 inches—a far cry from a mere 25.
Whether or not this waistline is healthy is not necessarily what is in question. Obviously it varies, as all people come in many shapes and sizes. However, the fact remains that 37.8 inches is the average waistline in the U.S., so Brandy Melville’s “one size fits most” claim is complete bullshit.
What alternate universe is this? How many people do you know that wear the same size anything? What about the girls who do not fit into Brandy Melville’s idea of most? Are we supposed to fit into this mold in order to keep up with one stupid trend? I am of healthy weight for my small 5-foot-4-inch stature, and yet, the brand’s tiny shorts pinch me, squeeze me and exclude me from their idea of the majority. So, because I do not fit into this brand, I do not fit within the thin, gorgeous models that are displayed in massive quantities on the brand’s Instagram page.
But why the hell should I? It is unrealistic to say that this company is going to change their brand image and Instagram account based on my opinion article. But something much more attainable is that I can get you all to rethink these ridiculous standards. I am not the first to say that we should all love ourselves, but I own two items from this brand. That’s it. And I happen to really like those items. But I would never bend over backwards and change myself to fit into a pair of their ridiculous shorts, or to blend in with the models on their Instagram page.
Clothes are just clothes. The exclusion from one brand does not mean that I am unattractive, or too big, or too pale or not blonde enough. So wear what you feel comfortable in. If these standards are too stiff for you, too, join the club. Take care of yourselves and love every inch of your body, no matter what it feels comfortable wearing. You only get one.
Marisa is a sophomore planning on majoring in journalism. Have you ever purchased anything from Brandy Melville? Do you follow their Instagram account? Do you agree with Marissa? Let us know what you think. Please send all comments, questions and concerns to email@example.com.