Is Brandy Melville Problematic? 

Sizing, racism, and more are rising issues with the popular clothing store.

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Is Brandy Melville Problematic? 

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Brandy Melville is widely known for having trendy clothes that girls from ages 12 to late 20s are obsessed with. With butterfly patches, floral-printed crop tops, and low rise jeans, this company has taken the world by storm. However, even though their clothes are some of the most popular choices of today’s youth, controversy surrounds them. 

The issue? The clothing labels itself as one size fits all. 

However, many people can see that everything in that store is not in fact, one size fits all. 

A student who prefers to not be named agrees because she only fits in their tops but not their pants. Even though she can fit in a variety of sizes, the bottoms are not at all comfortable. 

She  noticed that, as a tall girl, she doesn’t fit their targeted audience.

“I don’t really fit [their] spectrum. I’m a little bit of an outlier. That does make me feel insecure in a way.” 

In a day and age where body positivity should be at an all time high, having a company that dictates the ideal size for all girls is not a positive. The store caters to a body type that is very thin instead of having different body types. The measurements they currently have are damaging customers’ self esteem.

Helen Getnet in Brandy Melville

“Sometimes, it makes me sad…some of their clothes are really cute,” Keren Cano, a senior, responded when asked how she felt that she doesn’t fit into all the clothes from the store. 

People who do fit their standards get to experience the feeling of happiness when fitting into their clothes. 

“It makes me feel confident [because] the clothes are nice.” Ashley Cebreros, senior, said when asked how fitting into their clothes made her feel. 

“I guess it does make me feel more confident, just cause like being skinny makes people feel more confident.” Meena Natarajan, a senior, added when also asked how it made her feel.

“I have more confidence because I usually have low self esteem and this [fitting in the clothes] makes me feel good.” Melissa Cebreros, freshman, said. 

Fitting into Brandy Melville instills a sense of confidence in teen girls and sadly, not everyone is able to experience that.

For instance, Taylor Kim, a senior, feels pressured to lose weight to fit into the mold of the Brandy girl. 

“You feel really insecure when you step in and it’s like they’re all the same size. You have to lose weight to fit into those clothes.” 

Some argue that because there is plus size stores, there should be no problem with petite stores, which is what people have labeled Brandy Melville. However, the store does not market itself as a petite brand. They are labeled as “an Italian clothing and fashion accessories brand, marketing their products to teenage girls and young women” when you look their store up on Google.

Michelle Yi in Brandy Melville

Furthermore, they claim “one size fits all” on their clothing tags. As the interviews have shown, this is not true. 

If the clothing store would be able to extend their sizes it could help everyone feel more comfortable shopping at the store.

But that’s not the only problem the store has. 

Another issue is that even though 40% of the United States is a minority (according to worldpopulationreview.com), by scrolling through the company’s Instagram you can see that there is a lack of people of color representing the brand. You have to scroll past 10 pictures before finding one minority. This gives off a feeling where the shopper may feel discriminated against when they walk in the store.

Keren has experienced this feeling before. She is Hispanic and claims that she has felt weird because the workers might be judging her. 

“I feel attacked when I’m with my mom. I feel like they’re judging my mom for her broken [English].”

The people have also encountered rude workers when it comes to their experience while shopping. 

Keren says that she was shopping and waiting for a dressing room when “these two girls saw [her] waiting there and they didn’t do anything for about four minutes.” 

Meena also felt that when she was younger she may have received weird looks from the workers.

Angela Shvartsman, Kayle Kong, and Sonia Arabchyan in Brandy Melville

“I just felt like the girls there are just walking around and they just feel better than everyone who’s shopping there because they’re working there, they’re prettier.” 

This is not an uncommon issue for the customers of the store. These encounters have even been made fun of on the app TikTok, where a trend began of mimicking the rude vibe that they get from the people that shop there. 

This company lacks diversity. They lack diversity in sizes and diversity in their models. The ideal Brandy girl seems to be a tall, skinny, blonde girl. By including different races and different body shapes, the brand would be able to appeal to a whole new audience while maintaining their cool, modern look. 

For a majority of the people I interviewed, they all had a general consensus: they all want to continue shopping there. But there’s just an echoing remark that most agree on: one size does not fit all.