Pop culture and its impact on teens: Brandy Melville

Pop culture has a huge impact on all of us, however, teenagers are the most susceptible to its influence. One’s adolescent years are a time for discovering values, morals, and most importantly: self-discovery. From fashion to music, the media never fails to push an unrealistic narrative for teens. Teens are just slightly older children still growing and developing with impressionable minds that the media targets and profits off of.

 A great example of this is the Brandy Melville clothing brand. Their target audience that usually tries to shop there are teenage girls. However, the brand is not size-inclusive and has a reputation of being racist. They encourage and push a negative narrative for bigger teenage girls making them see themselves as not worthy. The company doesn’t even sell a size large, their largest size is medium. They sell mostly one- size fits all clothing, which just isn’t true. The brand idolizes and glamorizes skinnier and smaller bodies, pushing them as the beauty standard for teen girls. That kind of ideology can really disrupt a teenage girl’s mental health.

I went online and researched the impact this brand had on YouTube. There were many girls talking about their experience attempting to shop at the store as a person who is not slim. Most of the videos had a correlation in many things like rude customer service and dirty looks from the staff. Other videos talked about how the brand doesn’t really hire POC (people of color) or people who are not deemed conventionally attractive. It also reached the topic of the brand promoting eating disorders to young girls. Brandy Melville’s target audience ranges from tweens to teen girls (12-18), most likely having to be under a size 4 in order to fit their clothing without discomfort. Their audience is very impressionable and easily manipulated into their ideology, maybe not openly, but indirectly pushing skinnier bodies and encouraging eating disorders. That can negatively impact the mental health of the people they sell and profit off of, especially because they are a really big brand.

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